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Royal Arch Masons present Autism Speaks with $100,000 Royal Arch research assistance grant

NEW YORK, N.Y. (November 16, 2011) -- The General Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International presented Autism Speaks, the world's largest autism research and advocacy organization, with a $100,000 Royal Arch Research Assistance (RARA) grant in support of the Autism Speaks early diagnosis and early intervention initiative to investigate auditory processing disorders in children with autism.

Many of the precursor symptoms of auditory processing disorders are seen in some children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These symptoms include trouble paying attention and remembering information; poor listening skills; difficulty in processing information; behavioral problems; difficulty with comprehending language; and anxiety or confusion in social situations. Young children on the autism spectrum who exhibit precursor symptoms may be diagnosed with a central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) at a later age.

The RARA grant will enable Autism Speaks to address precursor symptoms of auditory processing disorders in an effort to create better outcomes for children who are at risk for developing both ASD and CAPD. In addition, the grant will go towards funding Autism Speaks' efforts to educate healthcare providers and parents about the role of auditory processing disorders in a child's autism diagnosis as well as encourage further evaluation for young children who demonstrate auditory processing difficulty

"Children who show early signs of autism spectrum disorders are at risk for a number of developmental problems," noted Dr. Geri Dawson, chief science officer of Autism Speaks. "With the help of this grant, clinicians can better understand the early signs of auditory processing disorder in children with autism, allowing for treatment of this disorder to begin as early as possible."

Autism Speaks will also disseminate and share information developed in this effort with caregivers and clinicians including methods to treat auditory processing problems associated with ASD.

"The Royal Arch Masons have been supporting central auditory processing disorder research for over 30 years through the Royal Arch Research Assistance grants and we are delighted to partner with Autism Speaks in this venture," said Royal Arch Mason General Grand High Priest, Most Excellent Edmund D. Harrison. "The Royal Arch Mason's forward look forward to participating in events around the country sponsored by Autism Speaks and assisting in their fundraising efforts to assist families affecting by autism."

The grant will build on the work of Autism Speaks Toddler Treatment Network, a consortium of eight research sites established in 2006 to determine the efficacy of intervention earlier than 18 months of age. Its focus is on clinical research to establish best practices and actively train clinicians and caregivers in treatment techniques appropriate for toddlers. The primary beneficiaries of the Toddler Treatment Network are young children under age three with ASD or at risk for developing ASD, as well as their parents and primary caregivers.


Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein
Autism Speaks

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Royal Arch Masons present Autism Speaks with $100,000 Royal Arch research assistance grant
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