The Autism Treatment Network: Bringing Best Practices to All Children With Autism

Pediatrics. 2020 Apr;145(Suppl 1):S13-S19. doi: 10.1542/2019-1895D.


The Autism Treatment Network and Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health were established in 2008 with goals of improving understanding of the medical aspects of autism spectrum disorders. Over the past decade, the combined network has conducted >2 dozen clinical studies, established clinical pathways for best practice, developed tool kits for professionals and families to support better care, and disseminated these works through numerous presentations at scientific meetings and publications in medical journals. As the joint network enters its second decade continuing this work, it is undergoing a transformation to increase these activities and accelerate their incorporation into clinical care at the primary care and specialty care levels. In this article, we describe the past accomplishments and present activities. We also outline planned undertakings such as the establishment of the Autism Learning Health Network, the increasing role of family members as co-producers of the work of the network, the growth of clinical trials activities with funding from foundations and industry, and expansion of work with primary care practices and autism specialty centers. We also discuss the challenges of supporting network activities and potential solutions to sustain the network.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic