Elucidating Genetic Components of Autism and Related Disorders

Short Title

Department of Genetics, Rutgers University

Project Description

NJLAGS is examining the genetic basis of autism with a specific interest in genes affecting language and communication.

The New Jersey Language and Autism Genetics Study (NJLAGS) is focused on understanding how genes influence the development of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Linda Brzustowicz, M.D. of the Human Genetics Institute of Rutgers University and her research team are exploring the genetic components of autism with a special interest in language. Funded by the the New Jersey Governor's Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism, we  continue trying to unravel the many genetic complexities associated with ASDs. Our professional team is comprised of geneticists, psychiatrists, developmental pediatricians, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, and research technicians. Our Specific Aims include combining the analysis of behavioral and genetic biomarkers to develop more accurate models for the prediction of risk for autism spectrum disorders. 

Selection Criteria

Families are encouraged to participate if they:
  • Have at least one family member with an autism spectrum disorder and language impairment 
  • Have at least one other family member with a language-based learning disability
  • Have at least 5 participating family members that speak English
  • Have all family members willing
    to give a blood sample for genetic

What's Involved

Behavioral tests, detailed family history and blood draws. Testing can be done in one day or over a course of days here or at your home anytime.


Each family member will receive a $25 dollar gift card after testing is completed. Parents will receive a letter for each child describing the standardized assessments they received.
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