Kesler Foundation announced on Wednesday the opening of the Center for Autism Research, which will be led by Helen Genova, neuroscientist and associate director, and is dedicated to developing evidence-based research for children, adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum. ‘autism.
This new facility, located at 120 Eagle Rock Ave. in East Hanover, has meeting rooms, testing facilities and a new pediatric waiting room designed for the convenience of children and their parents.
The goal of the Center is to improve the quality of life of neurodiverse people who communicate, interact, behave and learn differently from neurotypical people. The Center will explore outcomes and develop interventions for adults and children on the spectrum, with a particular focus on the critical transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Genova is known for research on impaired social functioning in populations with autism, brain damage, and multiple sclerosis, with widespread funding from federal, state, and private sources.
“Today marks a turning point in autism spectrum disorder research,” said Rodger DeRose, president and CEO of the Kessler Foundation. “With the support of our donors and the work of our scientists and collaborators, we are confident that our Autism Research Center will bring much-needed behavioral breakthroughs to the autism community,” he said.
The Center directly engages the autism community in multiple aspects of research, ensuring that science is informed by those who matter most. “By engaging the autism community, the Center will objectively provide meaningful and accessible outcomes for clinicians, educators, parents, and people on the autism spectrum,” DeRose added.
“Our goal is to develop easily accessible tools for people on the spectrum to overcome the barriers they face in community integration and social functioning. To address these issues, we implement the principles of positive psychology , virtual reality technology, web-based interventions and neuroimaging,” explained Genova.
Autism research has been ongoing for over a year at the Foundation, where the Genova team has worked on numerous studies, instituting a range of groundbreaking techniques and tools.