CARD Patients Eligible for FirstStepDX Autism Genetic Testing

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) has teamed up with Lineagen to offer FirstStepDX whole-genome genetic testing to patients participating in CARD’s Innovative Skills program.

“Doreen Granpeesheh, Ph.D., CARD Founder and Executive Director, commented, “We are constantly seeking new opportunities to enhance our services with proven research and guideline supported technology and services. Recent scientific literature and clinical guidelines have recommended genetic testing and counseling for children with ASDs. In selecting a partner in this area, CARD chose Lineagen’s FirstStepDx because it includes the most advanced technology complemented with the personal service similar to that provided by CARD to each patient and family.” Source: CARD

FirstStepDX is an autism and developmental delay-specific genetic test. Genetic testing intrigues me, as I believe that at least in my children’s case genetics are the root of their diagnoses.

While there is no known “autism gene” – and there may never be a single autism gene found – there are some genetic traits that are more frequently found among individuals on the autism spectrum than in the general population. This is where FirstStepDX may come in handy for parents just starting the diagnostic journey.

Although Lineagen is working with CARD to offer the test to certain patients, anyone can order a FirstStepDX kit if they have a doctor that will sign the requisition form. The hardest part about the entire process might be obtaining the cheek swab from an orally sensitive child.

Photo: DOE Joint Genome Institute/Flickr

About Melissa

Melissa is the mother of two children on the autism spectrum and strives to provide information about all aspects of autism through her blog, The Autism Education Site. Follow Melissa on Twitter. Like me on Facebook.

© Melissa Hincha-Ownby and The Autism Education Site, 2008-2014.


  1. Although this is a very good step, it may not offer great insight into the results. Usually we carry a tons of mutations, some are pin-point mutations (SNPs), some are deletions or some are additions. Majority of them are not studied. Unless you got a mutation that is studied and has a treatment available, all it will give you is a ‘result’ and you may not be able to do anything about it.