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Autism Research

The overarching goal of the autism research program is to improve understanding, education, and treatment of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

By participating in a research program, participants, with their families, can play a more active role in their own health care, gain access to new research treatments before they are widely available and help others by contributing to medical research.

A research study is conducted to try to answer a question. The question varies from study to study. The research protocol or study plan clearly states the question being asked and informs potential participants of the tests and procedures that will be conducted during the study. If you decide to enter into a research study, be sure you know what question the researcher is trying to answer.

Autism Research Program Newsletters

Sign up for the Autism Registry to receive quarterly research newsletters, or download our newsletters below.


Areas of Research

  1. Biological causes of autism spectrum disorders
  2. Assessment of core and associated autism symptoms
  3. Behavioral & medication treatment of autism spectrum disorder

Treatment studies focus on behavioral and medical interventions that can improve the lives of individuals with autism. These include projects examining existing and new behavioral treatments and medicines

Assessment studies evaluate new methods for identifying autism symptoms in infants and toddlers, older children, adolescents and adults. These studies also include evaluation of language and communication deficits in individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

As we uncover new genetic causes we hope to develop personalized genetic treatments for children, adolescents and adults with autism.

Learn more about our research studies:

Learn More

Autism Research Registry

The Autism and Developmental Disability Research Registry is a database containing possible future research participants.

When you sign up for the registry, you are under no obligation to participate in future research projects. This registry simply indicates that you are interested in future research projects and would like to receive pertinent treatment and research information through quarterly newsletters.

Information on the Research


A Trial of CM-AT in Children with Autism with All Levels of FCT

The Center for Autism is investigating the effects of an investigational study medication, CM-AT, which may help with core and non-core symptoms of Autism. Researchers will evaluate children using psychological, medical, behavioral, and developmental measures.

The 14-week clinical trial is a FDA-regulated powdered investigational medication which is neutral in taste and is sprinkled on food three times a day. Participants must be between the ages of 3-8 and have a diagnosis of ASD. Contact our Research Coordinator Emily Zetzer to find out more at 216-448-6682 or

Autism & Macrocephaly

The Center for Autism is currently enrolling participants ages 3-21 who have a diagnosis of Autism & Macrocephaly in an observational study of PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome.

We are working with Boston Children’s Hospital, Stanford University Medical Center and University of California at Los Angeles to gain a better understanding of PTEN mutation syndromes and the relation to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Participating in this study involves 3 visits to the Cleveland Clinic over the course of 2 years and involves a physical exam, medical history questions, a blood draw, and neuropsychological assessments.

Eligible participants must have a diagnosis of ASD with the presence of macrocephaly (head circumference >98th percentile) or a confirmed diagnosis of PTEN Mutation, with or without a diagnosis of ASD. Contact our Research Coordinator Emily Zetzer about the study at 216-448-6682 or

Autism Research Internship

The Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Autism Research Program conducts interviews in the spring/late summer for fall internship positions and in the late fall for spring internship positions. Students selected to participate have the opportunity to work on a variety of research projects, including: compiling yearly assessment data for current students and assisting with data entry, database creation and data analysis for a variety of projects.

Interns will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge base to include information regarding autism spectrum disorders, Applied Behavior Analysis and research. Requirements include experience with Microsoft Excel and SPSS software, attention to detail, and independent work skills. Opportunity for assistance on additional projects may be possible.

To apply please send resume and cover letter to

Targeted ABA (T-ABA) Treatment Study

Participating in this 10-week study includes:

  • Five weekly one and a half hour parent group sessions
  • Five weekly one hour parent-therapist coaching sessions
  • Individualized therapy sessions

Topics based on empirically validated ABA treatment principles include:

  • Increasing communication
  • Addressing challenging behavior
  • Teaching daily living activities
  • Using visual supports

If your child is between the age of 20 months and 5.99 years old, please contact Rachel King, M.A., BCBA for more information at 440.895.2001.

The study location is:

Cleveland Clinic Children’s
Center for Autism – Rocky River
21016 Hilliard Blvd. Suite #214
Rocky River, OH 44116

Contact Us

For more information on current research programs and clinical trials, please contact us at