Officials at the National Institutes of Health said the program of research was guided in part by objectives set out in the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Strategic Plan, with particular research focus on:
-- Autism Centers of Excellence, an NIH program of six centers, focusing research on risk factors for autism and related conditions, early brain development and functioning, and the biological bases of core autism and related conditions symptoms -- repetitive behaviors, communication difficulties, and social impairment -- and five networks focusing on causes, characterization, and improved treatment.
-- National Database for Autism Research, which provides qualified autism and related conditions researchers access to an extensive database of biomedical information on individuals with autism and related conditions and their families. Current National Database for Autism Research users have access to data from 25,000 research participants.
-- Identifying autism and related conditions risk factors.
-- Screening and diagnosis of autism and related conditions.
-- Research to improve services and interventions for autism and related conditions.
-- A multicenter scientific and clinical research to addresses health issues for children with autism.