Under the direction of fellow Heather Adams, Harvard FXB is leading a research project focused on safeguarding the rights of adolescents with intellectual disabilities such as autism and autism spectrum disorder. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 88 children (and 1 in 54 boys) fall on the autism spectrum in the United States, a ten-fold increase over the past 40 years. Although the CDC has called autism a national public health crisis, autism still receives approximately 5% of the research funding afforded to less prevalent childhood diseases.
In partnership with colleagues in Palestine, Harvard FXB is engaged in a collaborative study of the ways in which families, communities, and policymakers diagnose and respond to adolescents with autism. The project will identify best practices in ensuring the health rights of disabled adolescents in Massachusetts and the United States.
 Autism Speaks, http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism
 Autism Speaks, http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/facts-about-autism