ASF Announces Expansion of Next Gen Siblings Project

Two Additional Research Sites added including the first non-US site; EarliPoint™ Evaluation Device to be implemented at US sites; Hilibrand Foundation joins as funding partner

Los Angeles, CA — Feb 28, 2024— The Autism Science Foundation (ASF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and funding innovative autism research, today announced the expansion of the ‘Next Gen Sibs’ Project to two additional sites. The University of California at Davis, and the University of Alberta will join Emory University and University of California at Los Angeles in a collaborative research network to identify, evaluate and support the children of typically-developing siblings of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These second-degree relatives normally do not have access to expert clinical assessments, although research shows that they have a higher probability of an autism diagnosis.  The Next Gen Sibs Project was launched in 2021 as an expansion of the Baby Siblings Research Consortium. Today’s announcement was made at the annual meeting of the Baby Siblings Research Consortium at UCLA.

ASF also announced today that the three US sites will utilize the new EarliPoint tool, made by EarliTec, to gather data and study the trajectories of children as young as six months old. The EarliPoint™ device is an objective, non-invasive, tablet-based method of tracking visual social attention and is currently FDA-authorized for diagnosis of children at 16 months of age. EarliTec Diagnostics is a medical device company making earlier identification and treatment for autism and related early childhood vulnerabilities accessible to children everywhere. 

“By including EarliPoint, scientists can integrate this biological measure with behavioral outcomes to examine how it could be implemented at even earlier time points” added Alycia Halladay, PhD, CSO of the Autism Science Foundation.

ASF also announced that the Hilibrand Foundation would join it as a funding partner for this project. Additional funds have been provided by the Kupferberg Foundation.

“The Next Gen Sibs project is an example of how ASF strives to address the most urgent questions in the autism community,” said ASF Co-Founder and President Alison Singer. “This new project is a direct result of many conversations we’ve had over the years with autism families and researchers who want to know more about the genetic factors associated with autism, and specifically how they might impact the children of typically-developing non-autistic siblings. We are so grateful to the Hilibrand Foundation, the Kupferberg Foundation and all the generous donors who are making this important research project possible.”

If you are the sibling of an individual with autism and are pregnant, considering expanding your family, or have a child under the age of 6 months, we invite you to join this project.  Meetings with a trained clinician are available in person and via telehealth. Please contact the location closest to you geographically, found below:

This project is based on data from the Baby Siblings Research Consortium (BSRC), which has shown the rate of autism in siblings of those with a diagnosis is 15x higher than in those with no family history. Together with the results of a recent ASF-funded study – which showed an increased rate of autism in the children of non-autistic siblings of autistic individuals – it became clear that future research examining heritability of ASD should expand into the next generation. 


About the Autism Science Foundation
The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) is a 501(c) (3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting autism research. ASF also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation, or to make a donation, visit