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Chapman University partners with the Center for Autism and Related Disorders
Date:6/3/2014

ORANGE, Calif. Chapman has signed a formal agreement to collaborate with the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), one of the world's largest organizations treating autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the third largest non-governmental organization contributing to autism research in the United States. The goal of the partnership is to advance the understanding of autism and refine current treatment strategies.

In this collaboration, Chapman and CARD will analyze millions of data points collected during evidence-based treatment of children diagnosed with ASD. Chapman's Erik Linstead, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Computational Sciences, and CARD's chief strategy officer, Dennis Dixon, Ph.D., will lead a team to data mine de-identified patient data to look for patterns that could make autism treatment more effective.

"This collaboration is unique in the scope of the research and analysis in terms of the volume of data being mined," said Daniele Struppa, Chancellor, Chapman University.

The CARD Model, which was developed over the past 24 years by leading experts in autism treatment, uses applied behavior analysis (ABA) to treat individuals diagnosed with ASD and assesses patients in every area of human functioning to identify developmental delays, challenging behaviors, and the most appropriate targets for skill acquisition. The de-identified data from these comprehensive assessments and subsequent treatment are contained in the CARD database, and the work being done through the Chapman-CARD partnership will seek to identify trends in the data that are likely to inform autism treatment decisions and optimize treatment outcomes while improving cost-effectiveness. Such data analysis is especially attractive in an age where research dollars are limited because meaningful progress can be made without funding cost-prohibitive clinical trials.

"Quality ABA programs collect large sums of data naturally through the course of treatment, and those data may contain answers to many of our most pressing research questions," said Dr. Dixon. "By collaborating with Chapman to analyze these data, we have the potential to broaden our understanding of autism treatment and the variables that contribute to its effectiveness."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): ASD is a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. About one in 68 children has been identified with ASD according to estimates from CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network. Autism spectrum disorder is almost five times more common among boys (one in 42) than among girls (one in 189), and is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.


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Contact: Sheri Ledbetter
sledbett@chapman.edu
714-289-3143
Chapman University
Source:Eurekalert

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