Parent led, science-based, community focused, we are OAR

We are the Organization for Autism Research, better known as OAR. OAR is an organization founded and led by parents and grandparents of children with autism, who serve as the Board of Directors providing leadership, life experience, and heart.

If our parent leaders are the heart, our Scientific Council, 16 remarkable and equally dedicated autism professionals are the brain when it comes to our mission and research direction. They are not simply a list of names on letterhead; they are a “roll up your sleeves” team that we call on throughout the year to share their professional expertise and review the merits of all research grant applications.

While the Board and Scientific Council take care of strategy and big picture stuff, it is OAR’s staff, a retired Marine and six people who take OAR’s mission to heart, that answer the call every day. They work hard. They work as a team, and they care.

The last and most important piece of the OAR paradigm is the community we serve. It is strong. It is diverse. It is vocal. It is unyielding in its quest for answers. On one hand the community is our reason for being; on the other, it is the source from which we draw strength, support, inspiration, and the capacity to act and do good.

Visit the Organization for Autism Research website


OAR was founded in December 2001 by seven individuals whose lives and families had been directly impacted by autism. They shared a common vision and set out on a singular mission – to apply science to answer the daily questions and challenges that autism presents to individuals with autism, their families, teachers, and caregivers.

There are many organizations dedicated to autism. What distinguishes us from other organizations is our singular focus on applied research and the quality and practical value of its resource materials. The studies we fund and the information resources we provide have meaning in the day-to-day lives of persons with autism and their families. Rather than fund research relative to cause and cure, we funds pilot studies on topics of more every day relevance such as education, parent and teacher training, communication, self-care, social skills, employment, behavior and adult and community issues. In pursuing its efforts to change lives, our ultimate focus is quality of life.

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