In the DREAmS (Disparity Reduction and Equity in Autism Services) Lab, we aspire to eliminate health disparities and achieve health equity for all individuals on the autism spectrum and their allies.
We are a multidisciplinary team of researchers, clinicians, students, and volunteers, and we use a range of health services research methods and designs, including surveys, large data analysis of health records, in-depth qualitative methods, and mixed methods approaches.
Rooted in occupational science theories and scholarship, DREAmS Lab projects are also influenced by dissemination and implementation science, disability studies, and public health; community engaged and participatory research approaches; and the disability rights and neurodiversity movements.
Our research focuses on groups of autistic people that are under-identified with autism, under-represented in research, and under-served in health systems. Current projects focus on autistic girls and women, autistic Latinx children and their families, and LGBTQIA+ autistic adults.
DREAmS Lab Mission Statement
We aim to identify, measure, understand, and reduce disparities in autism diagnosis and services.
To achieve this aim, we strive to:
- Conduct rigorous, innovative, and impactful health services research.
- Conduct research that reflects the needs and priorities of the communities that are impacted by our work.
- Include stakeholders in various stages of our research studies.
- Creatively disseminate our research findings, making them accessible to the communities that are impacted by our work.
- Reflect our core values in everything we do and work toward the lab mission at all times.
DREAmS Lab Core Values
We value a highly collaborative approach — within the lab, with our academic and clinical partners, and with the communities that are impacted by our research. This means fostering a sense of community and belonging, being generous with our time and resources, and bringing respect, compassion, and empathy to all our interactions.
We value justice, equity, and inclusion. This means understanding the broader socio-cultural and historic contexts of our work, providing accommodations to support participation within the lab and in our research studies, and understanding that differences are strengths. This is also reflected in our research focus on health equity.
- Lifelong Learning
We value self-reflection, listening well, and a commitment to personal, professional, and collective growth. This means supporting lab members to develop their research skills and achieve their goals, always being and having a mentor, and seeking to learn about and incorporate diverse perspectives into our work.