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Encyclopedia > National Alliance for Autism Research

The National Alliance for Autism Research, based in Princeton, New Jersey, is a non-profit advocacy organization, founded by parents of children with autism concerned about the limited funding available for research. Princeton highlighted in Mercer County. ... A non-profit organization (often called non-profit org or simply non-profit or not-for-profit) can be seen as an organization that doesnt have a goal to make a profit. ... Advocacy is an umbrella term for organized activism related to a particular set of issues. ... // Autism is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests itself in markedly abnormal social interaction, communication ability, patterns of interests, and patterns of behavior. ...


Origins and activities

NAAR was founded in 1994 as an attempt to stimulate biomedical research and science-based approaches to understanding, 'treating', and 'curing' autism spectrum disorders. The founders comprised a small group of parents, including two psychiatrists, a lawyer and a chemistry professor. 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... Autistic spectrum, autism spectrum, autistic spectrum disorders, autism spectrum disorders and ASD are all synonymous designations for the more official terminology in DSM-IV and ICD-10, where the term Pervasive Developmental Disorders, ( PDD) is being used. ...

NAAR has raised money to provide research grants focusing on autism, and has committed an excess of $20 million to over 200 autism research projects, fellowships and collaborative programs - more than any other non-governmental organization. NAAR has focused intently on its role in establishing and funding the Autism Tissue Program, a post-mortem brain tissue donation program designed to further autism research studies at the cellular and molecular level. Other major programs include the 'High Risk Baby Sibling Autism Research Project', and the 'NAAR Genome Project'. NAAR also publishes the NAARRATIVE [1], a newsletter on autism biomedical research.


NAAR funded the controversial Danish epidemiological study, along with the Centers for Disease Control, that concluded no link could be found between MMR vaccines and autism. Detractors contend the study was flawed on a number of grounds, and that the study was conducted by researchers compromised by conflicts of interest. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta is recognized as the lead United States agency for protecting the public health and safety of people by providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships with state health departments and other organizations. ... The MMR vaccine is a combined vaccine for immunization against measles, mumps and rubella. ... A bottle and a syringe containing the influenza vaccine. ...

NAAR has encountered criticism that it is influenced by the pharmaceutical industry. "These statements are simply false", according to a statement on the NAAR.org website, which contends inaccurate and misleading information has been circulated. Their rebuttal of such attacks was endorsed by the Wall Street Journal [2].

Controversy has also arisen over the objectives promoted by groups including NAAR and Cure Autism Now, largely over the notion autism needs to be 'cured'. Some members of the autistic community, along with a number of their supporters, contend autism is not a disorder at all, and does not need a cure. Cure Autism Now or CAN is an organization dedicated to finding a possible cure for autism d funds a lot of research (such as genetic research) to this end. ... People on the autism spectrum have formed an online community through a network of websites, forums, and autism chat rooms. ... A disease is any abnormal condition of the body or mind that causes discomfort, dysfunction, or distress to the person affected or those in contact with the person. ...

See also

Asperger described his patients as little professors. Aspergers syndrome (AS), is a pervasive developmental disorder commonly referred to as a form of high-functioning autism. ... // Autism is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests itself in markedly abnormal social interaction, communication ability, patterns of interests, and patterns of behavior. ... The advent of a possible autism epidemic was first suggested in the mid-1990s by a handful of healthcare professionals who noticed sharp increases in the numbers being diagnosed and reported to public health agencies. ... There is considerable disagreement over the exact nature of autism, a spectrum or cluster of conditions, of varying severity, which are not well understood. ... There are many programs intended as treatment for autism available. ... The UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute is a Sacramento, California based research and treatment consortium of scientists, educators, physicians and parents who have joined together to unravel the mysteries of autism spectrum disorders, fragile X syndrome, and other developmental disorders. ... Neurodiversity is a concept that atypical neurological wiring (neurodivergence) is a normal human difference that is to be tolerated and respected as any other human difference. ...

External links

  • Aspires-Relationships.com - 'The Autism Autoimmunity Project (TAAP) is disappointed in the NBC TV series on autism'
  • AutismTools.org - ISAAC (Internet System for Assessing Autistic Children)
  • CelebrateAutismToday.org - 'C.A.T.: Celebrate Autism Today'
  • NAAR.org - National Alliance for Autism Research homepage
  • NAAR.org - 'Pharmaceutical Industry & NAAR: The truth about NAAR's relationship with the pharmaceutical industry and vaccine research focusing on autism'
  • NeuroDiversity.com - 'honoring the variety of human wiring', Kathleen Seidel
  • PsychiatricTimes.com - 'A Psychiatrist's Journey from Parent to Founder of Research Advocacy Organization', Eric London, M.D. Psychiatric Times, Vol 14, No 11, November, 1997
  • [http://www.vaccinationnews.com/Scandals/Nov_15_02/Scandal42.htm 'Scandals - Why We Won't Take "No" For An Answer ("No relationship between MMR and autism")', Sandy Mintz, MA (11/15/02)



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