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Understanding the spectrum of autism through DNA

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Kathy Kmonicek/AP
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FR170189 AP
Kathleen Lanese of Kings Park, N.Y., poses her two autistic sons Brendan, 14, and Kevin, 10, on swing, at her sister-in-law's home. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

SPARK -- a large database of DNA from people with autism and their families -- offers insight into the spectrum of the disorder.

Neuropsychologist Ericka Wodka of Kennedy Krieger Institute explains how the enormous number of SPARK participants helps researchers investigate other conditions that commonly affect people with autism.

Angie Auldridge, whose son, Mark, has autism, tells how genetic testing revealed a rare mutation and set his treatment on a different path.

Connect with SPARK through Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Maureen Harvie is senior producer for On the Record. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and joined WYPR in 2014 as an intern for the newsroom. Whether coordinating live election night coverage, capturing the sounds of a roller derby scrimmage, interviewing veterans, or booking local authors, she is always on the lookout for the next story.