Category Archives: Uncategorized

SPARK family interview on KOMO News

An amazing family met with KOMO News and discussed how Autism has impacted their famil  and their participation in the SPARK study.  The SPARK Study is the largest study on genetics in Autism ever done in the USA.  If you are interested in learning more, check out SPARK at or contact our coordinators at, and watch the KOMO News report here!

April Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month, and we are very excited! Here are some events happening around the Seattle Area.

Check out Sensory Friendly Events at

  1. April 6 – April 30: See the World A Different Way, 1 Mile & 5K for Autism: A Virtual Race!
  2. April 7, 4-7pm: Somali Health Board’s 3rd Annual Autism Awareness Community Event
  3. April 7, 4-6:30pm, Sensory Friendly Performance of Balloonacy – Seattle Children’s Theatre
  4. April 13, 6:30pm: Exploration for All: Sensory-Friendly Visits to the Pacific Science Center!
  5. April 14, 10-2pm: WAAALK 2019, Day Out for Autism, WA Autism Alliance & Advocacy, Downtown Park, Redmond, WA (Come find us at the Seattle Children’s Autism Center/SPARK booth!)
  6. April 20, 8-10am, Autism Early Open at Pacific Science Center
  7. April 28: Sensory Friendly Performance of the Diary of Anne Frank at Seattle Children’s Theatre

Sound and Brain Circuits

Neural circuits have a large impact on many disorders, including autism spectrum disorder. Understanding them and how to control them could be the key to many possible treatments. As it stands the methods we have to control neural circuits are invasive and can lead to serious brain damage. In efforts to resolve this problem Jerzy Szablowski and some of his fellow colleagues from Mikhail Shapiro’s lab at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena put an interesting spin on one of the current methods, chemogenetics. Chemogenetics uses “a virus to ferry synthetic receptors into neurons” in order to activate or inhibit the targeted neurons. Traditionally the virus is injected directly into the brain to avoid the blood brain barrier and requires surgery that comes with the risk of brain damage. In this new method Szablowski and his colleagues are instead able to inject the virus into the blood and use ultrasound to pass the blood brain barrier. They achieved this by injecting microscopic air bubbles that vibrate in response to ultrasound waves. The vibration puts enough pressure on the blood brain barrier for it to open momentarily and allow the virus to diffuse through. So far they have only applied this method in mice and rats, but it has been a success overall. In the future they hope to keep refining it and one day apply what they find to treatments for autism spectrum disorder and many others.

Full article can be found here on Spectrum News:

Microsoft job opportunities for ASD in Seattle

Microsoft is looking for candidates for full time and part time roles at Microsoft Retail Stores locally.

This is not for Developers, Coders, or Data Scientists, but for candidates on the spectrum that are open to working in a customer facing role at a Microsoft Retail Store in Bellevue or University Village (Seattle) for full time or part time positions. They offer a comprehensive benefits package including: healthcare, tuition reimbursement, fitness options and more.

See the below document for more information. Their hiring event is scheduled for March 27–28, 2019.

For more information on Microsoft’s Autism Hiring Program, go to:

Autism Hiring Program_Microsoft Stores


MoPoP Autism Morning program

Upcoming: MoPoP Autism Morning program

On Sunday, January 27th from 8-10am the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPoP) will be hosting their Autism Mornings program. This event allows members of the ASD spectrum and their families free early access to the museum with special sensory accommodations made to ensure an enjoyable museum experience for participants. In order to provide lower sensory experiences for kids with ASD and their families, there will be lower sounds and lighting in exhibits like the Lounge, Demo Lab and Learning Labs.

Other galleries that will be open include the Sound Lab, Science Fiction + Fantasy
Hall of Fame, Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses, Indie Game Revolution and Sky Church.

Doors will open at 8am with activities beginning at 8:30am. Admission to the museum is free with RSVP at
Reservations are required and there is limited availability so be sure to RSVP soon!

If you aren’t able to attend this event, note that the MoPoP hosts ASD Mornings two to three times a year. Check their upcoming events page for updates on when they will be putting on ASD Mornings next at

*please note that this blog post does not imply any endorsement of or affiliation with the MoPoP!*