Autism Research and Engagement Core Update

tags: Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities

While summer may seem like a season of downtime for many, members of the MCDD’s Autism Research and Engagement Core have been as busy as ever. Collectively, the team produced a number of articles and webinars during July and August. Topics include autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adulthood, advice for families of color, finding services and psychological distress among caregivers raising a child with ASD during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Society for Autism Research published an article co-written by Kiely Law, MD, MPH, research director of the Autism Research and Engagement Core. The article, “Psychological distress among caregivers raising a child with autism spectrum disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic,” was co-authored by Luther G. Kalb, PhD; Elena Badillo-Goicoechea, MS; Calliope Holingue, MPH, PhD; Kira E. Riehm, PhD; Johannes Thrul, PhD, MS; Elizabeth A. Stuart, PhD; Emily J. Smail, PhD; Casey White-Lehman, MA, MS; and Daniele Fallin, PhD.

Jaimie Toroney headshot.
Jaimie Toroney,
senior research coordinator.

Marina Sarris, web content administrator of healthcare communications for the Autism Research and Engagement Core, wrote the following articles, which are published on the SPARK website: 

Autism Advocacy Advice for Families of Color

A Struggle to Find Autism Services Transforms a Career

Answering the Questions about Autism in Adulthood

Who Receives the Most Services for Autism?

Kiely Law headshot.
Kiely Law, research director.

Sarris and the SPARK Research Match team collaborated on “How Common is Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder in Autism?” The summary report describes results from newly-published research using data from SPARK participants.

SPARK also published two webinars, “Do Implicit Racial Biases Matter in Autism?” and “The Developing Social Landscape of Adult Autism,” which originally aired on August 25.

Visit the SPARK website for more articles and recorded webinars. Check under the Research, Discover and Video Library tabs for additional information.


Cheryl Cohen.
Cheryl Cohen,
director of online and community programs
Alison Marvin headshot.
Alison Marvin,
research manager.