IAR In The News

Clinical Trial Finds an Innovative Outpatient Treatment Highly Effective for Children with Autism


MAX Program Shot

Researchers at the Institute for Autism Research (IAR) at Canisius University just published results of a 4-year clinical trial that found an innovative outpatient treatment (MAXout) to be highly effective for higher-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder (HFASD). Specifically, children with HFASD who received MAXout demonstrated significantly greater improvements in social skills, ASD symptoms, social-cognitive skills, and problem behaviors compared to children with HFASD in the control group.  


Further information on this study can be found by clicking here.  This promising research has also been featured on WKBW and the Amherst Bee.

Read More on WKBWRead More on Amherst Bee 

Lend A Paw for Autism: K9 Avengers Benefit on Sunday, April 14, 2019 a Success!

 Hail! Fredonia Records and IAR make 1st Pitch at Buffalo Bisons Game

First Pitch Bisons
Alexander and his brother, Michael, with Justina Race and
Kathleen Fischer from HAIL! Fredonia Records

The Institute for Autism Research was recognized at the Buffalo Bison’s game Saturday, April 4th, during pregame ceremonies thanks to HAIL! Fredonia Records, a student run organization from SUNY Fredonia.  Thanks to Alexander, who threw out the first pitch for the IAR! 

In addition to the pregame ceremonies, students from HAIL! Fredonia Records staffed a table during the game to promote the work of the IAR and the Lend a Paw for Autism: K9 Avengers Benefit. 

Table 3
Kyle Lajoie, Justina Race, and Kathleen Fischer from HAIL! Fredonia Records

HAIL! Fredonia Records conducted the 3rd annual Lend a Paw for Autism: K9 Avengers Benefit, on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at SUNY Fredonia from 12-4 PM.  The themed event consisted of a dog walk around the SUNY Fredonia campus, food, games, live music, a basket raffle, and more. A total of $3,900 was raised!  All proceeds benefit the work of the IAR.  


Hail! Fredonia Records

IAR Staff
Dr. Christopher Lopata, Donna Harrington & Dr. Marcus Thomeer appear at the Institute for Autism Research at Canisius University

School-Based Program Proves “Highly Effective” For Children With Autism

Canisius' Institute for Autism Research has been doing a clinical trial with a school-based intervention program called schoolMAX with students from many local schools and their research has just been published. This program has been designed to help students learn skills to communicate better with others. The students in this program are mostly in the average range for IQ and language skills which is a unique representation of children on the Autism Spectrum. Reasearch indicated that the program schoolMAX has helped these students continue to sharpen existing language and communication skills. This promising research has been featured on both WKBW and WBFO.

Read More on WKBW

Read More on WBFO

Students of Hail Fredonia Records! Star Paws Benefit 2018
Thank You Students of Hail Fredonia Records! The 2nd Annual Lend A Paw for Autism Dog Walk Benefit was a Huge Success! $4500 Raised.

Thanks to the students of Hail! Fredonia Records who held the second annual dog walk fundraising event, Lend a Paw for Autism: Star Paws on Sunday, April 22, 2018.  A total of $4500 was raised to support the the Institute for Autism Research (IAR) at Canisius University.  On a beautiful and bright sunny spring day, nearly 500 people and their pets came out to support autism research and programs conducted by the IAR.  Several participants (dogs included) dressed in Star War's costumes.  In partnership with @Dog_Rates, Hail Fredonia Records students’ posted about the event on twitter and snapchat and over 1.5 million people followed the event on social media including Mark Hamill!  Luke Skywalker himself posted comments on social media about the event.  The IAR and the families we serve are grateful to the students of Hail! Fredonia Records for all their time and energy in running a highly successful and fun dog walk fundraiser. 

The Hillmans pictured above with IAR Co-directors Marcus L. Thomeer, PhD and Christopher J. Lopata, PsyD. 

2nd Annual Golf Tournament Scores Aces for Institute for Autism Research

The MAX Charity Challenge scored an ‘ace’ for the Institute for Autism Research (IAR) at Canisius University.  The 2017 contest raised $18,032 for the interdisciplinary and collaborative research center, which is dedicated to understanding autism spectrum disorder and enhancing the lives of those affected and their families. 

Laura and Troy Hillman organized the 2017 MAX Challenge.  The couple started the tournament in 2016 as a way “to give back to the Institute for helping their son, who participated in IAR programs and saw significant social communication gains and reduced autism symptoms.” 

Interested in participating or sponsoring the 4th Annual max Charity Challenge, click here.

“Artists for Autism” musicians present the Institute for Autism Research at Canisius with a check for $25,000. Pictured (l-r) are: Robby Takac, Goo Goo Dolls; Canisius President John Hurley; singer-songwriter Cassandra Kubinski; Chis Lopata, PsyD and Marcus Thomeer, PhD, IAR co-directors; Armand Petri, music producer; Mary Ramsey, 10,000 Maniacs and John Rzeznik, Goo Goo Dolls.

Artists for Autism: Goo Goo Dolls with Special Guests Cassandra Kubinski and Mary Ramsey (10,000 Maniacs) headline concert to benefit the IAR

Buffalo’s own Goo Goo Dolls lent their star power to Canisius in April when the rock band headlined a concert to benefit the Institute for Autism Research (IAR). “Artists for Autism” raised more than $25,000 for the IAR and included performances by the multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated Goo Goo Dolls, singer-songwriter Cassandra Kubinski and vocalist Mary Ramsey of Jamestown’s 10,000 Maniacs. The musicians also debuted a new version of Kubinski’s original song “Not So Different.” Downloads of the song, now available on iTunes and Google Play, also benefit the IAR.

Famed music producer and Fredonia native Armand Petri arranged the “Artists for Autism” concert to increase awareness of the IAR. Petri’s son improved his social and communication skills after participating in one of the IAR programs. 

WGRZ (Channel 2) Story on the efficacy of the summerMAX program for high functioning children with autism spectrum disorder

Dr. Thomeer Interviewed on WBBZ's Talk of the Town - Part I

Dr. Thomeer and Dr. McDonald Interviewed on WBBZ's Talk of the Town - Part II


Download Not So Different (feat. John Rzeznik) on iTunes or Google Play
Thanks to Cassandra Kubinski, John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, Mary Ramsey from 10,000 Maniacs, Armand Petri, and HAIL! Fredonia Records.