Research, Grants & Scholarships

The International Society for Autism conducts and funds research. While cognitive behavioral therapy (psychotherapy) continues to be a proven method for treating depression or anxiety in those affected by with autism spectrum disorders, more recently, developmental anomalies have and are occurring that have guided ISA to invest in researching the most appropriate treatments modalities and behavioral interventions.  One such study, underway with the partnering organization New Directions, focuses on Jean Piaget’s developmental stage theory that explores how a human acquires, constructs and uses knowledge.  A young adult with autism may lack “insight,” whereby they don’t know or even care about how other people feel or think.  The development of insight traditionally occurs in early childhood between the ages of 2-5.  After multiple assessments New Directions is able to discern the gap in development and create a treatment plan that include both cognitive behavioral therapy or psychotherapy to understand the root of depression and anxiety and then use what they developed as “direction therapy” whereby they guide or direct the patient toward a new life.  For example, if a young adult does not care about how they smell. New Directions works with the client daily to develop a routine that includes showering and brushing of teeth every day when a client wakes up until this routine becomes habit.   These types of unique intervention’s ISA feels are huge contributions to the field as they provide much needed guidance for those living with and treating autism.   As such, ISA considers research proposals, conducts research, and funds grants or scholarships to organizations, institutions or individuals who seek to test and research the efficacy of various treatment modalities and behavioral interventions for autism.

The International Society for Autism (ISA), in partnership with doctoral students at the Illinois Institute of Technology, is taking part in a research initiative to evaluate evidence-based components of Multidisciplinary Treatment models. This research initiative funded by ISA examines:

  • Factors predicting academic achievement, Independent Living Skill acquisition, and clinical symptom reduction, social skill acquisition, for young adults with ASD.
  • The significance of differences between Multidisciplinary and more traditional therapeutic modalities/interventions.
  • Factors predicting Online/Video Game use and its subsequent effects on the aforementioned variables.