Autism: What We Know. What is Next?

Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
Date Published: 
May 1, 2014

This project begins a conversation concerning what we know and what we need to learn about autism and related developmental disorders. SFARI’s chief scientist, Gerald Fischbach, wrote the original draft, with the intent of providing an outline of recent research advances and suggestions about next steps. The document incorporates several different methodologies, ranging from molecular biology to behavior, in hopes of building bridges between them. We hope it will serve as a valuable resource for experts in autism research and also as a helpful guide for those just entering the field.

Neither the claims about what we know nor the questions raised are complete lists. Autism research is advancing rapidly. In our hopes that “What we know” will become a living document, we invite you to suggest additions, deletions, corrections or wholesale rearrangements. Please email your comments to And please check back for future iterations of this document as it expands and evolves.

The PDF version of this document can be found here.