Why is this research study being done?

The purpose of the study is to look at possible environmental risk factors for childhood autism in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a major health concern which affects approximately 1 in every 88 children and their families. Although we know possible genetic factors seem to be a predictor of autism, the recent increase in the past 10 years cannot be explained by genetics alone. Therefore, we are exploring possible environmental factors. We hope that the results of this study will add to the knowledge about factors that might be associated with developing this disorder.

Who will be asked to participate in this research study?

Parents of:

  • Children with ASD.

  • Children without ASD or developmental disabilities.

Who is eligible for this research study?

Children who were:

  • Born from January, 2006 through December, 2009.

  • Born in and still living in one of the following Pennsylvania counties:

    • Allegheny County
    • Armstrong County
    • Beaver County
    • Butler County
    • Washington County
    • Westmoreland County

What will parents be asked to do?

  • Telephone confirmation of eligibility.

  • Complete a one hour telephone interview which will include questions about where the family has lived, occupational histories, family and child's medical history, and other relevant factors.

Other Information

  • Participation in this research study is completely voluntary.

  • Any information which a participant provides for this research study will be kept strictly confidential. It will not be shared with anyone else.

  • Research study participants will receive $20 for their time.