The Research Training and Education Core will serve two primary constituencies: (1) The junior investigators, post-doctoral fellows, students and other trainees associated with the ACE;(2) The broader community of clinicians, educators, families and other stakeholders in our geographical region. For (1) a range of educational and training activities will be offered through the Core including: training in responsible and ethical conduct of research (through Boston University);a newly designed video-enriched web-based course on ASD;workshops on writing and grant applications;journal club focusing on ASD;training in major instruments and assessment techniques, especially for the minimally verbal population;seminars related to the disciplinary foundatons of the ACE scientific projects offered through the departments and Centers at BU associated with the ACE;seminars on ASD and related disorders in the Boston-area community;invited speakers;and an annual competition for small grant awards to stimulate novel research projects related to the goals of the ACE. Our goal is to provide a rich array of training opportunities for the next generation of researchers, the majority of whom will not have had an extensive background in ASD research. For (2), the senior investigators associated with the ACE will schedule regular speaking engagements to local schools serving children and adolescents with ASD, profesisonal groups (e.g., speech-language clinicians) and families through local ASD groups (e.g., Autism Speaks);organize an annual conference to be held at BU on our research findings related to minimally verbal children with ASD;and further disseminate our research in newsletters and publications (e.g., Exceptional Parent;Autism Spectrum Quarterly) that reach the wider community of stakeholders.

Public Health Relevance

Our ACE will be the first Center to address fundamental questions about minimally verbal children with ASD. We will attract outstanding scientists and clinicians to the research program whose future in the field of ASD will depend on complementing their research activities with a rich set of educational and training opportunities. There is also a dearth of knowledge in the broader community about this population;we therefore plan to disseminate our findings using multiple avenues to reach a wide audience of stakeholders.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
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Boston University
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Fedorenko, Evelina; Morgan, Angela; Murray, Elizabeth et al. (2016) A highly penetrant form of childhood apraxia of speech due to deletion of 16p11.2. Eur J Hum Genet 24:302-6
Bone, Daniel; Goodwin, Matthew S; Black, Matthew P et al. (2015) Applying machine learning to facilitate autism diagnostics: pitfalls and promises. J Autism Dev Disord 45:1121-36
Tager-Flusberg, Helen (2014) Promoting communicative speech in minimally verbal children with autism spectrum disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 53:612-3
Tager-Flusberg, Helen; Kasari, Connie (2013) Minimally verbal school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder: the neglected end of the spectrum. Autism Res 6:468-78
Wan, Catherine Y; Marchina, Sarah; Norton, Andrea et al. (2012) Atypical hemispheric asymmetry in the arcuate fasciculus of completely nonverbal children with autism. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1252:332-7