My family and I had the pleasure of taking part in an autism research study which we found incredibly rewarding. Conducted by the Weill Cornell Autism Research Program (WCARP), the purpose is to improve the understanding behind the genetics and brain bases of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). It meant just one visit which only took three hours to complete. Personally, it made me feel happy and productive to be able to do even a little something to help find answers!
Every individual with whom we came into contact was incredibly warm, caring, and sensitive. I was truly struck by how kind and compassionate those involved were and how exceptionally they treated my child.
In exchange for participation, each family gets a $25 gift certificate, parking voucher, and short summary from the doctors performing the evaluation identifying where one’s child is on the “spectrum”. In addition (and from my perspective, most importantly), I received free admission to an all day, interactive autism symposium (the cost of which was $175 for the general public). I have to say, it would have been worth every penny! After all, how often do you get the chance to sit in a room with scientists and clinicians and have your questions answered? The good news is that there are already plans to hold another event in 2012 (details TBD), so anyone participating in the study will be invited to attend at no cost!
If you are interested in learning more about the study, the coordinator is Vivian Ojeda. She can be reached at either 212-746-3583 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The study is being conducted at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York, New York as well as Hackensack, New Jersey (pretty convenient for anyone living in the Tri-State area!)