The Covid-19 pandemic upended many lives, and the need to provide meaningful support while sustaining research has been as important as ever.  While the causes of ASD remain unclear, recent scientific advances challenge the traditional view of autism as an untreatable disease—as one that is genetically hardwired. These developments support the position that ARI has always maintained: autism is treatable. Despite the challenges, we continued our efforts to pioneer research, outreach, and cooperative efforts with other organizations worldwide.

Learn about the work we did in 2020. 

View and print ARI’s Annual Report (.pdf)

View and print our 2020 Impact Report (.pdf)

View and print ARI’s 2020 audited financial statement

2020 Accomplishments


We continued taking an active role in all phases of autism research.

  • ARI is awarding more than $280,000 in grants to fund exciting and innovative research that holds realistic promise in impacting the lives of those on the autism spectrum.

  • Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, colleagues around the world have shared that they are working as creatively as they can in their effort to find answers for individuals with autism during this time. Researchers are concerned about securing funding to keep their investigations at a high scientific level of integrity.

  • ARI continues expanding its Scientific Advisory Board, which attracts leading researchers in all areas related to the understanding of the underlying biology of autism. Panelists provide invaluable guidance in ARI’s rigorous grant review process by volunteering their time to assess submissions and participate in a juried review of finalists. They also present at our near weekly webinars and keep us up-to-date on promising new findings.

  • ARI is planning now for our post-pandemic national and regional think tanks, set to resume in 2021.

  • ARI provides researchers with advice and guidance on how to optimize their experimental designs. We also helped them recruit participants for their studies.

  • ARI assists two tissue banks, including a brain tissue bank for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the University of Maryland and a gastrointestinal tissue bank at the Digestive Function Laboratory Repository at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

  • ARI publishes its quarterly science newsletter, Autism Research Review International (ARRI), where we report on current medical, sensory, and educational research.

COVID-19 Support

We pivoted quickly to offer new resources for coping at home during the pandemic.

  • Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have leveraged technology to step up the frequency of our webinars — we have offered more talks in 2020 than in any past year. Presentations on coping at home during the pandemic were offered in addition to our regularly scheduled research updates, and talks on appropriate medical care, ABA, assessment, educational therapies, and adult issues.

  • Throughout the year we released Covid-19 social stories and downloadable handouts on handwashing, mask wearing, distance learning, social distancing and more  in both English and Spanish.

New Book on Anxiety in Autism

Understanding and Treating Anxiety in Autism is now available. Edited by ARI Executive Director Stephen M. Edelson and past ARI Board Member Jane B. Johnson, and written by leading experts in the field, the book summarizes current perspectives and research on anxiety for people with autism, including neurological, medical, immunological, gastrointestinal, nutritional, sensory, and behavioral concerns.

ARI is also working on an additional book, which will focus on understanding and treating sleep disturbances in autism.


  • ARI’s monthly e-newsletter keeps nearly 140,000 subscribers up-to-date on new resources and research updates. ARI also publishes the bimonthly Clinical Research in Autism for clinicians.

Continuing Medical Education

  • ARI offers, in joint providership with the Cleveland Clinic, complimentary AMA PRA Category1 Credit™ to physicians and the general public. Connecting physicians to improved standards of care is crucial to amplifying understanding of the medical nature of the disorder. New talks on epilepsy and autism have been completed and are set for release soon. Translations of talks in Spanish and Portuguese are available. Learn more at

Outreach in the U.S.

We continued providing personal support.

  • ARI sponsors a telephone support line and provides the opportunity for viewers of its live webinars to ask questions directly to the presenters. We also moderate active social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube for parents and providers.

International Outreach

We continued expanding outreach to the global autism community.

  • ARI is an NGO (non-governmental organization) of the United Nations.

  • ARI facilitates translation of many online articles, as well as the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC). Now available in 22 languages, the ATEC is completed by more than 150 users per day.

  • ARI networks with 61 parent support groups, located in 28 countries, and continues to add more. The goal is to improve communication and to share information about the science and evidence-based treatments.

ARI’s Accomplishments in 2021

November 18th, 2021|News|

For more than five decades, we have been challenging the traditional view of autism as an untreatable disorder and have advanced research to improve the health and well-being of people on the autism

ARI’s Accomplishments in 2019

January 1st, 2020|News|

At ARI, we have always been mindful of the needs of those on the autism spectrum and their family members. Their support over the past five decades has magnified our focus on

  • ARI accomplishments, ari accomplishments 2018

ARI Accomplishments in 2018

December 6th, 2019|Uncategorized|

At ARI, we have always been mindful of the needs of those on the autism spectrum and their family members. Their support over the past five decades has magnified our focus on advancing

  • ARI accomplishments, ari accomplishments 2017, autism research

ARI Accomplishments in 2017

January 1st, 2018|Uncategorized|

Advancing an ambitious research agenda while providing the latest science-based information for people of all ages on the spectrum is our focus at the ARI. In 2017 we did so through our annual

  • ARI accomplishments, ari accomplishments 2016, autism research

ARI Accomplishments in 2016

January 1st, 2017|Uncategorized|

Research ARI awarded more than $400,000 in grants to scientists whose work will have a direct impact on the lives of those on the autism spectrum. The funds supported research in immune, gastrointestinal,

  • autism research

ARI Accomplishments in 2015

January 1st, 2016|Uncategorized|

Outreach ARI now offers, in joint providership with the Cleveland Clinic, complimentary webcasts offering AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ to physicians and the general public on gastrointestinal, medical, metabolic, and neurological

Help ARI improve the quality of life for children and adults with autism.