Throughout the world, research programs are dedicated to identifying the causes of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and to developing more effective approaches to their diagnosis, treatment and cure. The advent of powerful new research techniques has brought us to a new era in which we can legitimately hope to identify and understand the genetic and environmental causes of ASDs. These discoveries are bringing us closer to designing truly effective treatments that will address the core symptoms of these disorders. Science is making great strides to help the autism community, but the participation of families and individuals affected by autism is the necessary foundation for making these new discoveries. There are many exciting and promising research studies that families can get involved in, which offer substantial benefits to the family and the broader autism community. Participation is an expression of confidence in science and concern for the future of all children affected by autism.