In 2009, a team of researchers formed the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment (RI-CART) to explore better ways for physicians, scientists, service providers, educators and parents to collaborate on a broad range of autism-related research.
RI-CART has evolved into a unique, public-private partnership, bringing together the state’s leading experts on autism research, education, health and advocacy. It’s only the second effort of its kind in the nation.
Our belief in the power of knowledge and the importance of partnership drives RI-CART’s long-term goal of enrolling all Rhode Islanders with ASD or related neurodevelopmental disorders into our research registry by 2020. This will pave the way toward gaining a big picture view of all those affected by autism and neurodevelopmental disorders statewide. Increased participation also translates to better positioning to secure research dollars and funding for more community services.
Research is the core of RI-CART. Our registry houses information shared with us by participants in a secure, anonymous database. We are working to enroll everyone in the state with ASD or neurodevelopmental disorders. By connecting families and individuals with ASD to researchers, we are making innovative research and a big picture understanding of those affected by ASD in Rhode Island possible.
Why Rhode Island?
Rhode Island is uniquely positioned to serve as a leader in autism research, treatment and advocacy. With just over a million residents living in 1,200 square miles, Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation and can be travelled in about an hour. Our population is diverse, and the state has a single department of health, children’s hospital and medical school While we do not know the exact number of people affected by ASD, there may be more than 10,000 individuals with ASD in Rhode Island, a state with a population of only 1.05 million people. The need in our state is real and pressing.
Rhode Island holds the ingredients for a coordinated, interdisciplinary, geographically feasible system of research, support, education and care. Considering our size and resources, by coming together under RI-CART, we are equipped to efficiently:
Share cutting-edge equipment, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and collaborate among leading scientists, physicians, and educators.
Test and rapidly roll out new ways to improve clinical care.
Access government and academic leaders to develop new research collaborations and public policies.