Dr. Matthew Siegel, of Maine Health’s Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook will direct the autism research, which will also include hospitals in Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Baltimore, Colorado and Pittsburgh. This is considered a coo for Maine as most funding goes to the bigger universities.
The grant is from the Simons Foundation and the NLM Family Foundation and will be a two-year study of cases of severe autism and hopefully identify better treatments. The study is expected to included between 500 to 1,000 children, each of whom will be tracked over time. Seigel says:
“There’s this big gap in the scientific research. What the differences are between an autistic child with a high IQ who has communication skills and a kid who doesn’t speak at all and has problems with basic functioning, we don’t know.”
“I’m so hopeful that with this research we can help the kids who need the most help, the children that we understand the least,”