Current Research

Every study SARRC conducts is valuable to the autism community, but we cannot do it alone. We look to families of individuals impacted by autism to participate in our current research projects.

Research Projects 

SARRC’s research program brings together scientists, research methods, and stakeholders to gain a better understanding of possible causes of autism, identify better treatments, and educate others about how to improve the quality of life for those impacted by ASD and their families. 

Current studies and pharmaceutical trials with openings

Aging & Autism Study
In partnership with Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI), SARRC is studying the aging process of individuals with ASD. SARRC is recruiting participants with a diagnosis of ASD and without ASD including men and women ages 26-70 and 18-70 years old. Participants are asked to complete an evaluation at SARRC and then undergo an FMRI scan at BNI. During the scan, participants will complete tasks related to memory and thinking. For more information, contact 602.218.8184.

Autism and Mindfulness Intervention 
Adults with ASD often experience depression and anxiety symptoms which can affect quality of life. Participants will attend 8 weekly sessions involving stress-reduction education and social support that have reduced depression in adults with ASD. Our research aims to understand brain functioning before and after stress-reduction classes to help us better understand how symptom improvements relate to brain functioning in adults with ASD. This study is open to all adults, ages 18 and older, with autism. To learn more about this study or to enroll, contact the Autism Brain Aging Lab at 480.727.3970. 

Early Childhood Learning Study
Early experiences last! SARRC is studying how early learning experiences impact children with and without autism. If you have a preschool-age child, you can help us develop preschool programs where all children, with and without autism, can play and learn together. By participating in this study with your child, you can learn more about your child’s cognitive, language, and social development, which can help you understand how best to support your child’s learning! Your child does not need to be enrolled in preschool to participate. Participation in this study includes up to six study visits that will each last 3-4 hours. Study visits will be spaced 6 to 12 months apart until your child starts kindergarten. You will receive compensation for your participation at each study visit. Learn more by contacting a member of our research team at 602.606.9888.

LAPS Study (Long-term Antipsychotic Pediatric Safety)
Is your child taking Risperdal or Abilify? Would you like your child to be closely monitored for side effects of these medicines? If so, the LAPS study might be a good fit for your family! SARRC is working with The Pediatric Trials Network (PTN), to find the safest and most effective doses of commonly used medicines for infants and children. Children aren’t just little adults. Their bodies are growing and changing, meaning that they process medicines differently than adults do. To learn more about the LAPS study, contact us at 602.218.8183. 

NODA Study
The Naturalistic Observational Diagnostic Assessment (NODA) is the product of a SARRC Research collaboration with Behavior Imaging. NODA is an app that allows families to seek and receive an autism diagnosis from the comfort of their home by submitting video evidence of their child’s behavior to a team of diagnostic clinicians. SARRC and Behavior Imaging are continuing to do research on this tool. En Espanol: Dignostico del autismo – obtenga respuestas rapidamente. For more information, contact 602.340.8717, Ext. 2000. *Tambien en espanol. 

Clinical Trials

The CONNECT- Fragile X syndrome (FXS) study, sponsored by Zynerba, is evaluating the efficacy of cannabidiol gel for children and adolescents with FXS ages 3 to 17.  This investigational compound is the first and only pharmaceutically-produced cannabidiol, also called CBD, formulated as a gel for transdermal delivery. SARRC is one of 20 participating sites in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Travel reimbursement is available for participating families. For more information, contact 602.218.8183 or click here.

Janssen Study
The Janssen Study is investigating the efficacy of an investigational medication targeting the most common behavioral symptoms of autism. We are enrolling adolescents and young adults with ASD ages 13 through 35 to participate. Participants must have a study partner (e.g. parent, caregiver, significant other) available to attend all appointments. For more information, contact 602.606.9888.

SPARK for Autism
The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative is offering SPARK—an online, long-term study of genetics and autism. SPARK will collect and analyze genetic samples (saliva) from all participants to help autism researchers learn about genetic and non-genetic causes of autism. SPARK is open to all individuals with a professional diagnosis of autism, as well as their parents. Participation can take place either in your home via mail-in kit or at SARRC. For more information, contact 602.218.8184.