Our Participants

Our Participants

Date Revised: November 22, 2022

Since SPARK’s pilot launch in late 2015, nearly 300,000 people, including over 100,000 people with autism, have joined this research study. They have contributed to our knowledge about autism through their data, stories, and the information they provide to researchers.

Participant Stories

Are you curious about SPARK participants and what their lives are like? Are their communities, schools, and employers supportive? What services are they receiving and what did they do to get them? Why do they participate in research and what have they learned through participation?  We are curious, too, so we’ve interviewed participants and share their stories with you.

Read about the autism journeys of SPARK families and autistic adults.

Research Snapshots and Reports

Sometimes, when you participate in research, you are left wondering what scientists have discovered. SPARK won’t let that happen. One way that SPARK is giving back to the autism community is by providing summary reports of data that have been collected. These SPARK Snapshots provide a window into the journeys of SPARK participants and contain interesting findings from the information that families have provided. As more families join SPARK and we explore new topics, we’ll take a new Snapshot to share our discoveries.

We take time to ensure that the information in the SPARK Snapshots and other reports is accurate.

Our current snapshots and reports, in PDF format, are listed below:

A Snapshot of the African American & Black Communities in SPARK

SPARK Snapshot -African American & Black Communities

Did you know there are 15,429 African American and Black autistic individuals and their families participating in SPARK? This window into their autism journeys was gathered from the information they provided from December 2015 to March 2022. 

SPARK Snapshot – Autistic Independent Adults

Did you know that the number of independent autistic adults participating in SPARK is larger than most other autism research studies in the United States? The findings in this Snapshot were gathered from information provided by independent autistic adults participating in SPARK from December 2015 through April 2022. This information is self-reported.

SPARK Snapshot – All Participants with Autism

When were our participants diagnosed and by whom? Were there problems during pregnancy and birth? How many people have conditions such as epilepsy, ADHD, and sleep problems? This SPARK Snapshot provides information about the 106,582 people with autism that joined SPARK between December 2015 and June 2021.

Listed below are older reports and snapshots: