Rooks-Ellis quoted in BDN article on landmark autism research project

Deborah Rooks-Ellis, director of the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) at the University of Maine, spoke with the Bangor Daily News for an article about the largest research project to be conducted on autism. The Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge (SPARK) study aims to enroll 50,000 people with autism and their families across the country to learn more about the disorder, according to the article. Small sample sizes are often problematic with autism genetics research, said Rooks-Ellis. Although MAIER is not directly involved with the study, it has shared it with families and educators, according to Rooks-Ellis. “There are so many unanswered questions about autism and the diagnosis of autism and how autism even becomes autism,” she said. “So being able to collect this data from so many families and so many people that are affected by autism is just a brilliant idea.”