The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate about one in 59 children have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). As more children and adults are diagnosed, there is a great need for research to help us further understand the complexities of ASD and effective treatments.

The AARTS Center at Rush is dedicated to leading these research efforts in the Chicago area.

Our studies

Some of the studies currently offered through the AARTS Center at Rush include the following:

Autism spectrum disorder

Neurodevelopmental disorders

Research mission

Our mission is to explore, build and develop treatments for undertreated needs (e.g., social impairments, attention challenges) of children, teenagers and adults with ASD.

Researchers and clinicians at the center are dedicated to testing those treatments, and, ultimately, sharing them with the community at large.

Research program

Research programs at the AARTS Center at Rush focus on the following areas:

  • Biological and genetic factors: Through collaborations with local and national ASD leaders, the AARTS Center at Rush facilitates research on causes of ASD. Research on biological and genetic factors associated with ASD may help personalize treatment approaches.
  • Combination treatments: Studies that investigate combining medications, education, behavioral and psychological treatments to address the complexities of ASD.
  • Clinical trials: Research that evaluates new initiatives, including novel medications, devices and technology to improve the diagnosis and treatment of ASD.
  • Services and implementation research: Studies and research programs designed to modify and adapt ASD treatments interventions to make them suitable for community or education settings.

Why participate in research?

For patients and families

Participating in studies offers individuals and families living with ASD the opportunity to do the following:

  • Participate in innovative treatments 
  • Receive evaluations of individual strengths and weaknesses
  • Contribut to the autism community by helping researchers learn more about the diversity and complexities of ASD — which could, ultimately, lead to more tailored treatments for individuals with ASD

For referring physicians

Referring physicians within Rush University Medical Center and at other institutions can refer patients for clinical trials and research studies at the AARTS Center at Rush. Some of the benefits of referring your patients to these studies include the following:

  • Offering your patients expert care and novel treatments
  • Opportunities to collaborate with leading researchers and clinicians in the field