Autism Care



“Future research needs to focus not only on the biological markers of ASD but also include data about functioning, participation, and environmental barriers and facilitators.”

Dr. Olaf Kraus de Camargo  //  Developmental Pediatrician


MacART is laying the foundation for creating a systematic way of linking scientific research on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at McMaster University to clinical practice at McMaster Children’s Hospital.

The physical proximity of McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences, and McMaster University has a number of characteristics that provides the rare opportunity for collaborative research. Taking advantage of existing university and clinical infrastructure and cross-appointments for clinicians at the university, ASD experts from these organizations are coming together to integrate ASD research into clinical practice.

The focus of MacART members’ research is in the areas of basic science, clinical practice, clinical research, epidemiology and statistical modelling, knowledge translation and exchange, and social science research. By promoting the collaboration of stakeholders across disciplines, MacART is reducing barriers to implementing research in clinical practice, with the goal of advancing autism care through meaningful research.

Learn more about our research HERE.


MacART members are now supervising more than 50 research trainees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels, and are engaged in the mentoring of junior and intermediate faculty members.

In the future, we intend to establish research and clinical training programs for students in McMaster’s undergraduate medical, health sciences, and psychology programs, and for residents and fellows in Pediatrics and Psychiatry.

By training and mentoring emerging researchers and practitioners, we will help to solidify their understanding of and commitment to using basic science to inform their clinical practice, and to use their clinical experience to help formulate research questions. It is our belief that involving these learners in MacART educational activities will promote their use of practices that advance autism care through meaningful research.


“Our scientists are working collaboratively with local clinicians to generate the evidence needed to improve autism services. This symposium is a great example of McMaster’s community engagement efforts.”

Dr. Patrick Deane // President & Vice-Chancellor // McMaster University


The community engagement component of MacART strives to work with stakeholders and involve them as partners in every step of the research process.  By doing so, the questions that drive research begin to change. They become more meaningful because they address the real day-to-day challenges faced by children and their families, and the clinicians supporting them.

MacART aims to increase participation and involvement of members of the McMaster and Hamilton communities in the research process. With community members driving the research, new and relevant knowledge can be produced to bridge the research-to-practice gap in ASD and advance autism care through meaningful research.


“People whose lives are connected to the challenge of autism can share knowledge – from clinicians to educators to parents – and what an amazing opportunity that is. We have a real opportunity to translate challenges into research, and research into practice that will help families living with autism.”

Rob MacIsaac  //  President & CEO // Hamilton Health Sciences


Policies should be created using the best available evidence that make positive impacts on the lives of individuals with ASD, along with their families.

MacART’s founder, Stelios Georgiades, serves on both federal and provincial advisory committees about ASD treatment funding.  Along with the wide-ranging expertise of its many ASD experts, MacART is set to act as a highly credible source of evidence-based information to influence and inform public policy about the provision and funding of ASD diagnosis, treatment, and family supports.

MacART will continue to find ways to collaborate with policymakers to both learn more about the policymaking process, and to contribute our expertise and knowledge to inform policymaking, in order to advance autism care through meaningful research.

2017 Autism Research Stakeholder Symposium Report

Below we are sharing our report from MacART’s second Autism Research Stakeholder Symposium, on the theme of ‘Rethinking Autism Training’.

Once again, there was strong support from the ASD community as 250 participants (representing the full spectrum of stakeholders: families, autistic advocates, educators, clinicians, researchers, policy makers, students, and trainees) came together to help identify stakeholder priorities related to autism training. Thank you to all those who took part and helped generate these key training priorities:

  • Embedding Stakeholder Collaboration into Training Programs
  • Stakeholder collaboration must begin early, and be integrated at the training level, in order to foster lasting relationships. To ensure success, parameters and principles for meaningful collaboration must be identified and evaluated.

  • Building Infrastructure & Capacity for Interdisciplinary Training
  • There is a need to develop infrastructure for accessible evidence-based training connecting those coming from diverse disciplines, backgrounds, and perspectives.

  • Using Diversity in Personal Experiences to Advance Training
  • We all share a common vision of supporting those living with ASD. Drawing from motivational training approaches can create opportunities to utilize and embrace this diversity to advance interdisciplinary training models and initiatives.

To read the 2017 report, please click HERE.


2016 Autism Research Stakeholder Symposium Report

Read the report on MacART’s Inaugural Symposium, where on January 15, 2016 we brought together over 150 ASD stakeholders to plan collaborations to help advance autism care through meaningful research.

Thank you to all those stakeholders – persons with ASD, family members, researchers, clinicians, clinician-researchers, and policymakers – who attended the Symposium. In the report you can see how your ideas, knowledge, and experience came together to formulate these key messages, which will be used in future research and program planning:  

  • Shift the system’s emphasis from diagnosis to function

    ASD develops early and over time. Tying intervention to red flags and developmental delays rather than a diagnosis will allow families to access interventions at the first emergence of signs for optimal development and outcomes.

  • Achieving pragmatic balance

    Understanding the shared characteristics of children with ASD must be balanced with a consideration of the individual needs of each child. Care should be personalized to each child’s strengths and relative weaknesses, while being standardized across patients.

  • Focus on the whole family

    Families are the driving force of change in autism awareness and research. Interventions should involve families directly and families must be included in every aspect of research and treatment.

To read the 2016 report, please click HERE.