Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Autism Research Institute. Active in the field of autism for 45 years, he was named director of ARI in 2006 after the passing of autism pioneer and advocate Dr. Bernard Rimland.
Dr. Edelson received his Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Experimental Psychology at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana under the supervision of Dr. Douglas Medin, then served as Assistant Professor at Pitzer College, one of the Claremont Colleges for four years. The most popular course he gave was a weekly seminar on autism.
Dr. Edelson has conducted research in various areas comprising behavior, biomedical, diagnosis, sensory issues, and cognition. He has spent decades spearheading research design by developing effective measures of autistic traits relevant to evaluating level of disability and establishing a network with researchers and medical providers. He frequently convenes with this network to discuss emerging findings that have the potential to improve the health and well-being of people with autism. Dr. Edelson has published research articles with many notables in the autism field, including Drs. Bernard Rimland, Ivar Lovaas, Temple Grandin, Margaret Bauman, Edward (Ted) Carr, and Manuel Casanova.
Dr. Edelson is a participant on the Panel of Professional Advisors for the Autism Society of America (ASA). He is also a former ASA Board member and a past president of the Autism Society of Oregon. Dr. Edelson was named ASA’s ‘Volunteer of the Year’ in 2000.
Dr. Edelson’s scholarly contributions and practical impacts to the field of ASD and health include the following:
Advancing knowledge in autism, focusing on co-occurring medical conditions and service delivery throughout the lifespan.
Study currently underway: Examining the possibility of autism subtypes in an extensive database with over 40,000 cases.
A partial list of recent, relevant citations is included below; see a complete listing here
Edelson, S.M. & Johnson, J.B. (2022, Editors). Understanding and Treating Sleep Disturbances in Autism. London: Jessica Kingsley Press.
Edelson, S.M. (2022). Evidence from characteristics and comorbidities suggesting that Asperger syndrome is a subtype of autism spectrum disorder. Genes, 13(2), 274. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/genes13020274
Edelson, S.M. (2022). Understanding challenging behaviors in autism spectrum disorder: A multi-component, interdisciplinary model. Journal of Personalized Medicine, 12, 1127. doi: 10.3390/jpm12071127
Edelson, S.M. (2021). Comparison of autistic individuals who engage in self-injurious behavior, aggression, and both behaviors. Pediatric Reports, 13, 558-565. doi: 10.3390/pediatric13040066
Edelson, S.M., Nicholas, D.B., Stoddart, K.P., Bauman, M.B., Mawlam, L., Lawson, W.B., Jose, C., Morris, R., & Wright, S.D. (2021). Strategies for research, practice, and policy for autism in later life: A report from a think tank on aging and autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 51(1), 382-390. doi: 10.1007/s10803-020-04514-3
Edelson, S.M., & Johnson, J.B. (2021, Editors). Understanding and Treating Anxiety in Autism. London: Jessica Kingsley Press.
Edelson, S.M., Van de Water, J., & Edelson, M.S.G. (2021). The immune system and anxiety: A case for toxic exposure. In S.M. Edelson & J.B. Johnson (Eds.), Understanding and treating anxiety in autism (pp. 57-66). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Enriching ASD knowledge for healthcare professionals
Dr. Edelson coordinates interdisciplinary resources for physicians and other healthcare professions. This includes organizing a series of global webinar lectures and publishing a bi-monthly e-newsletter for pediatricians, obstetricians, and nurses.
Mobilizing knowledge and increasing awareness of best practices to autism and non-autism communities
Dr. Edelson has been the Managing Editor of Autism Research Review International printed journal since 2007. He also leads ARI’s annual scientific meeting and co-leads its annual in-person Think Tank for researchers and clinicians.
View Dr. Edelson’s CV Here