Merry Barua Awarded the INSAR 2015 Advocate Award!

We are thrilled to announce that Merry Barua, Director of Action for Autism (New Delhi, India)  is the recipient of the 2015 Advocate Award from INSAR (International Society for Autism Research) for “creating the autism community in India, founding the school in New Delhi, and advocating for more positive attitudes to ASD globally!”

The formal ceremony will occur during the IMFAR 2015 Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City (13–16 May 2015).

Please join INSAR in thanking her “for all she has done for people with autism, their families, and the wider community, including those undertaking research to understand and better appreciate autism.”

Learn more about Merry Barua’s work here:


Merry Barua is the founder director of Action for Autism (AFA), the National Center for Autism.AFA (, the leading autism society in India, runs a school, provides various autism specific interventions and services and works on awareness, advocacy, education, research, training and rehabilitation with an emphasis on life-span services. Merry is an activist and a specific needs educator and has pioneered the autism movement in India and South Asia. She has over two decades experience in working with individuals on the autism spectrum, from the functionally significantly affected to the very able, and in a range of settings. Merry is also parent to a son, Neeraj, who has autism.

New Paper from CBDMH: Adults with Autism in India – A Mixed Method Approach to Make Meaning of Daily Routines

We’re excited to announce publication of a new paper from CBDMH (Culture & Disability Research)  in Social Science & Medicine covering two very important and understudied topics using a mixed-method approach: the daily lives of adults living with autism and persons living with psychiatric disorders outside the US.


Adults with Autism in India: A Mixed-Method Approach to Make Meaning of Daily Routines
Tamara C. DaleyThomas Weisner, and Nidhi Singhal

Published Online: 1 July 2014


Although individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have been diagnosed in India for over fifty years, virtually nothing is known about the social circumstances of adults, their daily lives, and their families. Where are adults with autism? How do they spend their time? Who are they with, and what are they doing all day? A mixed-method approach was used to obtain information on daily routines of 54 adults with ASD living in New Delhi, India, and about parent levels of stress associated with these routines during a study collected from January through June, 2013. Whether or not they attended a structured setting during the day (59% did so), adults engaged in some 20 activities both inside and outside their home. Contrary to our expectations, most adults were not “hidden” and were out in public at least on occasion. Higher functioning adults were more likely to attend a structured setting, but parents described challenging behaviors, both adult and parent preference, and lack of options as reasons that adults stayed home. The amount of time adults spent outside their home was not associated with parent reported stress, but stress was significantly higher for mothers who were employed. Most families described adaptation to caring for their adult children. A partnership with an Indian nongovernmental organization provided mechanisms to amplify our research findings, making them meaningful to our participants and others.

Fall 2013 UCLA Psychiatry Grand Rounds

All Institute Grand Rounds are held in the Louis Jolyon West Auditorium (C8-183) in the Semel Institute building at 760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles CA 90024 (Google Map), routinely on Tuesdays. Unless otherwise indicated, the presentation will begin at 11:00 AM, and coffee will be served in the auditorium foyer at 10:45.

Screen shot 2013-08-23 at 11.06.10 AM

EHP – Ambient Air Pollution and Autism in Los Angeles County, California

FPR board member Beate Ritz, who is chair of the department of epidemiology at UCLA, and colleagues have published a new study suggesting an association between prenatal air pollution exposure and autism (See current issue of Environmental Health Perspectives).


Neuron – Rare Inherited Variation in Autism: Beginning to See the Forest and a Few Trees

Link to an overview in Jan 2013 Neuron by UCLA researchers Jason Stein, Neelroop Parikshak, and Daniel Geschwind of the Geschwind Lab: – Neuron – Rare Inherited Variation in Autism: Beginning to See the Forest and a Few Trees.