Research FAQs

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What's the problem?
Autism spectrum disorder diagnosis can be vital for access to support, however, wait times for an assessment often stretch over 80 weeks [BC Autism Assessment network].
How can we help?
By participating in this research, you can help develop ways to identify ASD through a simple blood test, making diagnosis more accessible for all.
How can my child give a blood sample?
Blood collections are booked through our network of labs. Choose a nearby site and their staff will take care of the rest - most sites have additional measures available to ensure a smooth experience for children and, in select provinces, autistic patients. The blood test requires fasting beforehand, so most participants will want to book early morning appointments.
What if my child doesn't have a diagnosis?
Since this research is around identifying autism in children, there are some measures we have to take to ensure the results are valid. Therefore, we can only accept children who are autistic (diagnosed) or neurotypical.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept children who are autistic but do not yet have a diagnosis.
Is my child's health data and personal information secure?
Yes. Security and privacy of personally identifiable information and health data is our top priority. The Molecular You database holding all personal health information has advanced features for privacy, security and governance. Molecular You’s database security is aligned with PIPEDA, PIPA, and HIPAA (US) requirements and information is hosted in a secure data center. We will never share any of your personal health data with third parties.
What are the steps for participating in this study?
These are the steps for participating in the study. A dedicated member of our team will be assigned to provide you support and answer any questions throughout the process.
  1. Complete a brief screening survey to determine if your child is eligible (~3 minutes).
  2. We’ll email you an electronic consent form for you to review and sign. If your child is over 7 years old, they will need to sign an assent form as well.
  3. Complete an online medical history questionnaire (~15 minutes).
  4. Receive a blood and urine sample collection kit in the mail.
  5. Our team will help you book an appointment at one of our lab locations for the blood sample collection.
  6. Both the blood and urine samples must be collected after a period of fasting - meaning 8 hours with no food or drink except water - therefore we recommend an early morning appointment.
  7. The morning of your appointment, collect a urine sample at home using the kit provided and bring it with you to your appointment.
  8. At your lab appointment, a phlebotomist will collect a blood sample of up to 18 mL. Most of our lab locations have ASD-specific protocols to ensure a smoother experience for your child.
  9. You’ll receive an email containing your $50 Amazon gift card after we receive the blood and urine samples.
  10. Upon conclusion of the study, you will receive a report detailing your child’s results from the blood and urine sample analysis. The report includes a list of your child’s biomarker results, compared against reference ranges from similar-aged, neurotypical children.
What results will we receive after participating?
Participants will receive a version of a Molecular You Health Assessment designed for children, once the study has reached a successful conclusion (which may take several years).
The report will include a list of your child’s biomarker results, compared against pediatric reference ranges.
It will also include information on how these biomarkers contribute to health systems in the body (e.g. cognitive health, dietary health, etc).
Reports are designed to be reviewed with a physician, either your primary healthcare provider or a doctor at one of Molecular You’s partner clinics.
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