Advancing Autism Research

The College of Health and Human Sciences, through the multidisciplinary Purdue Autism Cluster, is breaking old barriers in autism research and forming collaborations unheard of a generation ago. The pioneering Autism Cluster brings together a group of diverse Purdue thinkers who deliberately cross academic boundaries to help people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families.

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Human Development and Family Studies professor advances autism research

 In 2011, A.J. Schwichtenberg was originally drawn to Purdue because of the Purdue Autism Network. “It was certainly part of the selling points,” says Schwichtenberg. “We want to focus on what we can do to make a difference. People here have been so truly amazing and supportive of the need for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) research, and it takes people who are passionate about what we do to move things forward.”

Since then, Purdue has made significant investments in resources to expand interdisciplinary ASD research. Schwichtenberg now serves as the co-director of Purdue Autism Cluster, working with faculty across the university.

Read more about how A.J. Schwichtenberg’s got her start collaborating on ASD research at Purdue.

A.J. Schwichtenberg, Assistant Professor, Purdue University Department of Human Development and Family Studies, recently presented her research on sleep behavior related to autism.

“At its core autism is a social disorder, but it is not synonymous with ‘disability.’ Autism can vary in severity in the way people communicate and interact with others. There is a saying: ‘If you know one individual with autism, you know one individual with autism,’ because everyone is so different. Early intervention is key in effective treatment and progress.”

A.J. Schwichtenberg

Purdue Autism Cluster

The Purdue Autism Cluster was established to develop an interdisciplinary and highly coordinated effort to understand, assess, and treat individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD); our effort spans basic biological and genetic to behavioral and applied approaches. Faculty associated with the Purdue Autism Cluster reside in a number of academic units across campus, including the Colleges of Health and Human Sciences (HHS), Science (SCI), Education (EDU), and Veterinary Medicine (VM), and research interests include causes, diagnosis and treatment of autism. The Purdue Autism Cluster is deeply invested in the testing and delivery of newly discovered clinical interventions to children with ASD, and in generating the basic research that makes these interventions possible. The Purdue Autism Cluster is poised to make significant progress in this area of critical societal need.

At Purdue University, researchers across campus are working to unlock the mystery of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Learn more about the Purdue Autism Cluster.