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Friday, January 31, 2014

Autism Research in Rhode Island

According to the National Institutes of Health, funding allocated to autism research is on the rise nation-wide. It has consistently increased every year since 2010 at least; and in 2014 is projected to reach an all-time high of $192 million.

Rhode Island in particular has been at the forefront of autism research and advocacy in recent years. From the formation of the Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART) in 2009, to the establishment of a statewide registry of children and adults with autism in 2013, to the creation of a new state license plate to help raise autism awareness slated for 2014, Rhode Island is fast becoming a leader in autism-related causes.

Now a team at Brown University in Providence is creating a sophisticated computerized tool for the acoustic analysis of babies' cries as a non-invasive early warning system that may provide clues as to whether infants are at risk of developing autism.

The researchers, including Harvey Silverman, a professor of engineering, and Barry Lester, a specialist in baby sounds, hope that the project could soon be in hospitals around the country, and that their work could also lead to the development of easily accessible application that new parents could use.

The system is already in use at Women & Infants Hospital, in Providence, Rhode Island, and has produced some strong results so far.

For more information about this research, visit the Brown University website.

For more information about autism services in Rhode Island, visit Perspectives Corporation's Autism Center of Excellence.

Perspectives Corporation is a proud member of the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment.

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