Uploaded:  4/30/09

Author:  Simons Foundation
Autism Research:  Simons Simplex Collection Project
Funded by:  The Simons Foundation, a philanthropic organization that has committed millions of dollars to autism research

The Simons Simplex Collection is a bold new initiative to search for the causes of autism.  Researchers at thirteen sites in North America will collect DNA samples from 2000 families with just one child affected by an autism spectrum disorder.  This valuable data will be available to the best scientific minds in the world to search for clues that will lead to important breakthroughs.  The Simons Foundation, a New York-based philanthropic organization, has committed millions of dollars to the SFARI Simplex Collection, and other cutting edge autism research.

What is the purpose of this study?
The Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) is focused on families with just one child with autism, called simplex families, which will provide insight into the most common and unexplained form of autism.  This comes at an exciting time in history, in which breakthroughs in gene mapping, advancement of high-tech tools, and the latest brain research present a unique opportunity for progress.

How can I participate? What are the criteria?
  • You have only one child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), age four or older,
  • You have additional child(ren) without ASD, age four or older, and
  • Both biological parents are willing to participate.

What does participation in the study mean?
  • Two phone calls to determine if this study is a good fit for your family.
  • Completion of several questionnaires about your children.
  • A visit to the University of Washington (UW) Autism Center on the UW Medical Center campus or a collection site in your area for diagnostic, cognitive, and language assessments for your child with an ASD and interviews with one parent.  We will also collect photos, measurements, and a blood sample from your children and both parents.

What will my family get out of the study?
  • Your child with an ASD will receive a behavioral assessment free of charge.  We will also provide parents with oral feedback and a brief, written report regarding their child's assessment results.
  • Families will be provided with an honorarium of at least $250. 
  • Families will be making an important scientific contribution to understanding more about the most common form of autism.

Whom should I contact to get involved?
Emily Champoux, Project Coordinator
    Toll free: 1-800-994-9701 or 206-616-2889 (or cell: 206-947-2282)
    Email: emchamp1@u.washington.edu
Additional SSC information available at: http://depts.washington.edu/uwautism/research/simonssimplexproject.html