Letter of Support – Nonprofit Agency #2 Stichter/Thompson Center Thompson Family Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders University of Missouri-Columbia Janine Stichter, Ph.D. University of Missouri-Columbia Department of Special Education 311C Townsend Hall Columbia, MO 65211 Dear Dr. Stichter: It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of support for your grant proposal titled, “Developing a Structural Analysis Assessment and Intervention Model to Enhance Peer-related Social Behaviors in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Up until now, research on the treatment of young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has focused primarily on medical and behavioral interventions in clinical settings and at home. Yet children with ASD frequently are served in early childhood and educational settings. Your project will address the pressing need for intervention research in such applied early childhood settings, which provide a natural environment for facilitating social behaviors in young children. As you know, I am particularly interested in your proposal because of the growth of interdisciplinary autism research and services at the University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC). Currently, I direct the Thompson Family Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, which was established June 1, 2005. This Center was made possible through the philanthropy of Bill and Nancy Thompson, who provided an $8.5 million endowment to integrate our cross-campus autism programs and to expand our capacity to conduct cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. This gift was in response to the strengths inherent in our existing programs at UMC. For example, between 300 and 400 children with ASD from across the state visit our clinics at UMC each year. Many contribute to a large, ongoing research database in the Department of Child Health (Judith Miles, MD, PI) that is supported in part by state funds from the Missouri Department of Mental Health. We have a history of strong interdisciplinary collaboration at UMC, as evidenced by Center partnerships among diverse faculty from the School of Medicine, School of Health Professions, College of Education, and the early childhood programs in the School of Human Environmental Sciences. Such collaboration lends itself to innovation and provides the resources necessary to solve complex problems such as those facing children with ASD and their families. The project you propose is one major step in the direction of improving child outcomes by refining early an equal opportunity/ADA institution Dr. Janine Stichter Page 2 interventions in applied settings. It reflects the leadership you have demonstrated and your commitment to the field of autism research. In my role as Director of the Center, I can contribute numerous resources that will ensure the success of your project: Referral of children with ASD from our clinics, giving you access to many potential participants in your study Diagnostic and cognitive/behavioral assessments by clinical psychologists through the Department of Health Psychology using standard research measures (e.g., ADI-R, ADOS) Opportunities to access information in the larger Center database, which is being designed to incorporate data from multiple disciplines (e.g., dysmorphology subtypes) Consultation with other Center faculty regarding research design and analysis There is no doubt in my mind that the Center will be able to support your research efforts, since your proposal is very consistent with our goal of enhancing the availability of evidence-based best practices for children with ASD. I look forward to our work together. Sincerely, Janet E. Farmer, Ph.D., ABPP Associate Professor of Health Psychology Director, Thompson Family Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders JF/mep an equal opportunity/ADA institution
"Sample Autism Grant Proposal - DOC"