Autism Speaks Toolkits

Autism Care



“Future research needs to focus not only on the biological markers of autism but also include data about functioning, participation, and environmental barriers and facilitators.”

Dr. Olaf Kraus de Camargo  //  Developmental Pediatrician


MacART is laying the foundation for creating a systematic way of linking scientific research on autism at McMaster University to clinical practice at McMaster Children’s Hospital.

The physical proximity of McMaster Children’s Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences, and McMaster University has a number of characteristics that provides the rare opportunity for collaborative research. Taking advantage of existing university and clinical infrastructure and cross-appointments for clinicians at the university, autism experts from these organizations are coming together to integrate autism research into clinical practice.

The focus of MacART members’ research is in the areas of basic science, clinical practice, clinical research, epidemiology and statistical modelling, knowledge translation and exchange, and social science research. By promoting the collaboration of stakeholders across disciplines, MacART is reducing barriers to implementing research in clinical practice, with the goal of advancing autism care through meaningful research.

Learn more about our research HERE.


MacART members are now supervising more than 50 research trainees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels, and are engaged in the mentoring of junior and intermediate faculty members.

In the future, we intend to establish research and clinical training programs for students in McMaster’s undergraduate medical, health sciences, and psychology programs, and for residents and fellows in Pediatrics and Psychiatry.

By training and mentoring emerging researchers and practitioners, we will help to solidify their understanding of and commitment to using basic science to inform their clinical practice, and to use their clinical experience to help formulate research questions. It is our belief that involving these learners in MacART educational activities will promote their use of practices that advance autism care through meaningful research.


“Our scientists are working collaboratively with local clinicians to generate the evidence needed to improve autism services. This symposium is a great example of McMaster’s community engagement efforts.”

Dr. Patrick Deane // President & Vice-Chancellor // McMaster University


The community engagement component of MacART strives to work with stakeholders and involve them as partners in every step of the research process.  By doing so, the questions that drive research begin to change. They become more meaningful because they address the real day-to-day challenges faced by children and their families, and the clinicians supporting them.

MacART aims to increase participation and involvement of members of the McMaster and Hamilton communities in the research process. With community members driving the research, new and relevant knowledge can be produced to bridge the research-to-practice gap in autism and advance autism care through meaningful research.


“People whose lives are connected to the challenge of autism can share knowledge – from clinicians to educators to parents – and what an amazing opportunity that is. We have a real opportunity to translate challenges into research, and research into practice that will help families living with autism.”

Rob MacIsaac  //  President & CEO // Hamilton Health Sciences


Policies should be created using the best available evidence that make positive impacts on the lives of Autistic individuals, along with their families.

MacART’s founder, Stelios Georgiades, serves on both federal and provincial advisory committees about autism supports/service funding. Along with the wide-ranging expertise of its many autism experts, MacART is set to act as a highly credible source of evidence-based information to influence and inform public policy about the provision and funding of autism diagnosis, services, and family supports.

MacART will continue to find ways to collaborate with policymakers to both learn more about the policymaking process, and to contribute our expertise and knowledge to inform policymaking, in order to advance autism care through meaningful research.

Kids laying on ground

Autism Speaks has issued the first in a series of annual, in-depth reports on special topics in Autism – Autism and Health: Advances in Understanding and Treating the Health Conditions that Frequently Accompany Autism. This special report has gathered authoritative research on autism-associated health conditions, along with the latest guidelines on treatment and support for those affected by them. Click here to download the Autism and Health report.


We’ve chosen a selection of Autism Speaks’ excellent series of toolkits for families, friends and others supporting an Autistic loved one, to help them with everyday issues.The purpose of each kit is to help teach family members and friends more about Autism and its effects on families, and provide resources and support to enable them to lead happy and successful lives with their Autistic loved ones.

The PDFs can be downloaded from Autism Speaks Canada’s site:

Download A Friend’s Guide to Autism

Download A Grandparent’s Guide to Autism

Download A Parent’s Guide to Autism

Download A Sibling’s Guide to Autism


Blood Draw for Parents

The Blood Draw Tool Kits have been prepared in two versions—one for parents and one for providers. These tool kits present a variety of tools to help parents, their children and health care providers meet the unique needs of each child, ensuring a more productive, less stressful visit.

Download the Blood Draw Tool Kit

Challenging Behaviours

Autism Speaks has created this Challenging Behaviours Tool Kit to provide you with strategies and resources to address the challenging behaviours to help support you and your loved ones during difficult situations.

Download the Challenging Behaviours Tool Kit

Dental Guide

Oral health is a very important component of healthy daily living. But for some Autistic children, oral health habits can be challenging. Autism Speaks has created a dental guide and video to provide tips for improving oral hygiene at home, as well as information about how parents and dental professionals can make a visit to the dentist's office less stressful and more productive. Our hope is that this guide will provide information for families to help begin a lifetime of good oral care.

Download the Dental Guide Tool Kit

First Hundred Days (after the diagnosis)

The 100 Day Kit was created specifically for newly diagnosed families to make the best possible use out of the first 100 days following their child’s Autism diagnosis.

Download the First 100 Days Tool Kit

Is it Autism?

Is It Autism and If So, What Next? A Guide for Adults was designed to help adults who suspect they may have Autism, as well as those recently diagnosed. This kit will provide an overview of Autism to help you better understand the disorder and will hopefully clarify whether you should seek out a professional for a thorough evaluation.

Download Is It Autism Tool Kit

Sleep Tool Kit

Many Autistic children have difficulty with sleep. This can be stressful for children and their families. This informational booklet is designed to provide parents with strategies to improve sleep in their Autistic child.

Download the Sleep Tool Kit