2020-2021 MacART Progress Report
Five years after its creation, MacART now has over 40 members from across multiple academic departments and research centres, bringing together a diversity of knowledge and perspectives related to Autism. Our members are involved in numerous projects and initiatives – the breadth of research and other activities that this team is involved in is truly impressive, and we have highlighted some of that work in this report.
To read the 2020-2021 report, please click HERE.
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 Autism 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:
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.
There is a need to develop infrastructure for accessible evidence-based training connecting those coming from diverse disciplines, backgrounds, and perspectives.
We all share a common vision of supporting Autistic persons. Drawing from motivational training approaches can create opportunities to utilize and embrace this diversity to advance interdisciplinary training models and initiatives.
- Embedding Stakeholder Collaboration into Training Programs
- Building Infrastructure & Capacity for Interdisciplinary Training
- Using Diversity in Personal Experiences to Advance Training
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 Autism stakeholders to plan collaborations to help advance autism care through meaningful research.
Thank you to all those stakeholders – Autistic persons, 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
Autism 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 Autistic children 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.