Archived | Autism Speaks: Autism Treatment Network | Circa 2007 #NotAnAutisticAlly

Image: Human head and shoulders silhouette with Not An Autistic Ally text and the logo for Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN).

Autism Treatment Network

What is the ATN? 

The Autism Treatment Network (ATN) is a network of treatment and research centers dedicated to improving medical care for children and adolescents with autism.

The Autism Treatment Network was modeled after the Cystic Fibrosis Network which includes a large network of Clinical Care Centers offering comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, care and counseling, and a network of research centers that engage in projects to advance understanding of the disease, develop new treatments and find a cure.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease.]

The goal of the ATN is to improve medical treatment of children and adolescents with autism by establishing standards of clinical care based on research and shared clinical practice.

The ATN is dedicated to establishing these standards of care for autism in the medical community through open research collaboration, trainee mentorship, medical education and participation in conferences.

The ATN is further committed to improving insurance reimbursement for autism treatment to improve accessibility to these treatments community-wide.


  • The ATN consists of active clinical programs – groups actively seeing patients and providing ongoing care to children and families.
  • The ATN clinicians have a history and willingness to share current best practices with a wide variety of other clinical programs.
  • The ATN leaders and members have a real commitment to treatment – based on strong clinical experience – to finding better ways to identify and manage the health conditions of children with autism.
  • The ATN has developed a common protocol for multidisciplinary assessment of children with autism – with common domains and measures.

How did the ATN get started? 

The ATN began as a joint venture between the Northwest Autism Foundation in Oregon and Mass General Hospital for Children in Boston.

Their initial association concentrated on certain medical issues of children with autism, and in the course of their studies they found that medical care of individuals with autism was far less than ideal. A major part of the problem was the absence of any organized group devoted to defining a high standard of medical care for autistic patients.

The ATN was foreseen as filling this need, and the initial steps in its formation included the recruitment of a group of distinguished physicians and researchers who would define its mission and goals. Cure Autism Now recognized that this innovative network could play a valuable role in its mission to identify the means of preventing, treating and ultimately curing autism.

To this end, Cure Autism Now joined forces with the Autism Treatment Network incorporating it as one of its key research programs.

Cure Autism Now and Autism Speaks recently announced plans to combine operations, bringing together the two leading organizations dedicated to accelerating and funding biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and cure for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Which institutions participate in the ATN? 

University of Arkansas
and Arkansas Children’s Hospital (Little Rock, AR)
Jill James, PhD
Eldon Schulz, MD
Jill Fussell, MD

Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program 
Northern California
 (San Jose, CA)
Lisa Croen, PhD
Pilar Bernal, MD

University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine
and The Children’s Hospital (Denver, CO)
Cordelia Robinson, PhD, RN
Ann Reynolds, MD
Susan Hepburn, PhD

Kennedy Krieger Institute
and Marcus Institute (Baltimore, MD / Atlanta, GA)
Rebecca Landa, PhD
Stewart Mostofsky, MD

LADDERS/Mass General Hospital (Boston, MA)
Margaret Bauman, MD
Martha Herbert, MD, PhD

University of Missouri (Columbia, MO)
Judith Miles, MD, PhD
Stephen Kanne, PhD

Columbia University Medical Center (New York, NY)
Agnes Whitaker, MD
Reet Sidhu, MD

University of Rochester (Rochester, NY)
Susan Hyman, MD
Tristram Smith, PhD

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (Cincinnati, OH)
Patricia Manning-Courtney, MD
Cynthia Molloy, MD, MS

Bloorview Kids Rehab, Surrey Place Centre
and The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto, ON, Canada)
Wendy Roberts, MD
Alvin Loh, MD

Oregon Health & Science University (Portland, OR)
Robert Steiner, MD
Darryn Sikora, PhD

University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
Nancy Minshew, MD
Cynthia Johnson, PhD

Vanderbilt University Medical School (Nashville, TN)
Wendy Stone, PhD
Beth Malow, MD

Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX)
Diane Treadwell-Deering, MD
Daniel Glaze, MD

University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
Bryan King, MD

What is the benefit of the ATN to families? 

1. Families have access to a coordinated multi-disciplinary team of physicians and clinicians with significant experience with ASD’s.
2. Sites provide access to a committed core team of specialists including: 

  • Pediatricians
  • Psychologists/Neuropsychologists
  • Pediatric neurologists
  • Gastroenterologists
  • Sleep specialists
  • Immunologists
  • Ancillary care services (speech therapy, OT, PT, nutrition)

What is the benefit of the ATN to the participating institutions? 

  • Access to standardized protocols and assessments
  • Access to a national database
  • Ability to submit research proposals via the ATN database
  • Access to a community of autism physicians
  • Access to empirically derived treatment practices
  • Highest quality data collection on well-characterized individuals across a variety of disciplines
  • Latest treatment practice parameters

Who can I contact for more information? 

Nancy Jones, Ph.D.
Clinical Program Manager
Phone: 323-297-4754

Mailing Address and Fax:
Autism Speaks
5455 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 2250
Los Angeles, CA 90036-4234
Fax: 323-549-0450

Grant Mailing Address:
ATN-07-01 Submission
Autism Speaks
5455 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 2250
Los Angeles, CA 90036


Autism Speaks
An Autism Speaks Initiative
Interactive Autism Network (IAN)
Cure Autism Now
Autism Clinical Trials Network (ACTN)
Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE)
Autism TIssue Program (ATP)
National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR)
Autism Treatment Network (ATN)
Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P)
Autism Care Network
Alpha Xi Delta
Parents As Partners


Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t workIn study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth. 

The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome. 

This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.

Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.

Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.

Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.

2 Replies to “Archived | Autism Speaks: Autism Treatment Network | Circa 2007 #NotAnAutisticAlly”

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