Genetic Studies

SPARK postcardWhat is SPARK?
We are a growing community of individuals, families, and researchers on a mission to speed up the understanding of autism. Our aims are to:
  • Collect DNA and information through surveys from 50,000 people with autism and both of their parents.
  • Share that data with researchers.
  • Make breakthroughs that were never before possible.
  • Return findings to the participants – Around 10% of participants are receiving genetic results back at this time
SPARK is sponsored by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) and MUSC is one of more than 30 participating hospitals and clinics across the country.
Who can join SPARK?
  • Parents of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Person with an ASD diagnosis – Official diagnosis documentation not required, can be a diagnosis through school, provider, etc.
  • All ages are welcome!
  • Click here to see a list of the SPARK’s most frequently asked questions
Why join SPARK?
  • Find possible genetic causes of autism in your own family.
  • Power future autism research for years to come.
  • Join other autism research studies.
  • Get updates on the latest autism research.
How to join SPARK or find out more?
Registration can be completed entirely online and from home at or by scheduling an appointment with the MUSC study team. We are standing by to help and answer any questions at 843-714-1352 or
By joining SPARK, participants will be making invaluable contributions to advancing the understanding of autism. Together, we can improve lives by helping to accelerate research.