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The effect of multisensory stimuli on behavioral responses and perception

Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina

The perception of stimuli through more than one sensory modality results in a wide range of behavioral benefits including improved stimulus detection, increased response accuracy, and faster reaction times. Although these enhancements have been demonstrated using both simple and complex multisensory stimulus pairs, they have not yet been extended to naturalistic versus robotic speech. This application would be particularly useful in assessing multisensory integration in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), for whom social robots are increasingly utilized as tools for social skills and communication therapies by coupling social interaction with intrinsic reinforcers and motivators. Robots generate increased engagement and attention in autistic subjects and confer the added benefit of occupying a niche between inanimate toys (not eliciting social behaviors) and animate human beings (whose social cues can confuse and distress autistic individuals). Given the use of robots as therapy tools in individuals with ASD, we aimed to test the effect of naturalistic versus robotic speech on the size of the temporal binding window (a probabilistic depiction reflecting the likelihood that two stimuli from different modalities will be perceptually bound as a unified, synchronous event). We will develop audiovisual stimuli using naturalistic human speech compared to robotic speech, testing responses at various stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs). Stimuli that are simple (e.g., white noise or beeps, LEDs or random dot kinematograms) or complex (human and robotic speech; biological movement and sound) will be developed and tested in normal subjects with the goal of comparison to clinical populations in which multisensory processing is impaired, particularly individuals with autism spectrum disorder for whom social robots may confer effective therapeutic outcomes.

Caregiver Perspectives: Surveyed Responses About Perceived Barriers to Dental Care Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Location: Online Survey

The purpose of this study is to discover the significant barriers to dental care for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in order to improve and/or facilitate dental care to this population. Once we get surveys back we will analyze the data to see if there are any patterns or trends in the barriers to dental care in this population of children. From the data we can ideally identify the more prevalent barriers to dental care. Understanding the barriers to dental care will allow the dental community to make steps towards facilitating the process and hopefully increase the level of dental care for this population of children.

Parenting Style as it Relates to Parenting Stress and Behavioral Outcomes in Children with Autism

Location: Online Survey

The purpose of this study is to look at the parenting styles of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder and how it may impact parenting stress and child behaviors.

Autism Spectrum Genetics in the African American Community

Location: Albert Einstein College of Medicine - Bronx, NY

The Children’s Research Unit at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, NY is conducting a study on the genetics of Autism in African Americans. In the majority of the current research on Autism, African Americans are not well represented. This study will be investigating genetics and issues surrounding the diagnosis of Autism in African American children which can lead to earlier diagnosis and better treatment options for the African American community.

Stress Related Growth of Parents Raising Children With Autism

Location: Online Survey

The main research goal is to identify specific factors associated with increased stress-related growth (SRG) and the differences or similarities between mothers and fathers raising children with Autism in these factors. The proposed study also aims to identify factors which make parents stronger and more likely to result in perceived positive experiences in raising children with Autism. These specific factors include: stress, coping, perceived social support, age of parent, and gender of parent.

To thank participants for completing the survey they will be offered an $5 Starbuck’s eGift card. To thank them for completing the phone interview they will be offered an additional $5 Starbuck’s eGift card.

Encouraging Meaningful Parent-Teacher Collaboration for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Location: Online Survey

The purpose of this research is be to assess parent and teacher perspectives and/or satisfaction with the collaboration efforts of the school. In order to promote more effective collaboration between teachers and families in the education of children with autism, this research will assess the aspects of collaboration and communication that parents deem most important.

Emotion Socialization and Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Role of Disability Severity and Parental Attributions in Predicting Parents’ Emotional Responses

Location: Online Survey

I am currently conducting a study examining how parents of children with autism promote their children's emotional development. We are interested in examining the unique experiences and ways in which parents of children with autism respond to their children's emotions and teach them to regulate their emotions.

If eligible to participate, participants may opt into a drawing to receive a $100.00 gift card for completing the 45-minute survey.

Vaccination Decisions of Family Members of Children with Autism

Location: Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC

The purpose of this study is to look at how family members of children with autism make vaccination decisions.

Development of a Meaure of the Environmental Impact on Participation for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Phases 3 and 4

Location: Online Survey

The purpose of this research study is to develop and test a new parent report measure assessing sensory environmental factors that impact participation for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families or caregivers.

Effects of Autism Spectrum Disorder on Family Rountines and Rituals

Location: Online Survey

The purpose of this study is to determine the positive and negative impacts a diagnosis of autism has on the entire family.

Qualitative Inquiry into Sexual Orientation and High-Functioning Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Location: Online Survey

This study aims to gain an in-depth understanding of how persons with ASD experience their gender and sexuality, through their own words. We hope to raise awareness of, and respect for the sexualities and gender-identities of people on the spectrum through this study, and use our findings to enhance sex-education programs designed to help those with ASD, and the quality of support offered by friends and family of persons with ASD.


Grandparenting Children with Disabilities

Location: Interviews conducted by Syracuse University faculty by phone or in respondent home or other destinations of the respondent’s choosing

This study conducts in-depth interviews with grandparents caring for children with disabilities across the US to determine under what conditions they provide care, what types and intensities of care they provide, and the impact of that care on their financial, emotional, social, and physical well-being.

An Approach to Capture Divergent Stakeholder Views on Future Research Needs in Autism

Location: Online

Are you an autism stakeholder – a self-advocate, family member, provider, policymaker or researcher? Please tell us your priorities for autism research by taking a brief confidential survey. The survey asks questions about your interest in autism, what you value in treatment options, and where you feel investment should be made in future research.

A multi-site double-blind placebo-controlled trial of memantine vs. placebo in children with autism targeting memory and motor planning

Locations: Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, NY

We will explore the effect of memantine on a variety of symptom domains related to autism including memory for faces, narrative memory, social function, sensory disturbance, irritability, hyperactivity and executive function, in a pilot fashion.

Motor movement impairment, imitation, and language skill in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down syndrome

Location: Atlanta, GA, Georgia State University

The primary goal of this project is to examine the relationship between basic motor movement impairment, imitation skill, and language skills in 3-5 year old children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as compared to children with Down syndrome (DS).

Basic Relational Concepts in Apps for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Location: Online

The purpose of this study is to analyze the content of the most popular apps being used for educational/therapeutic purposes with young children (ages 3-7) with ASD. Content analysis will determine the extent to which the basic relational concepts are taught/embedded in apps, thereby examining the apps’ potential educational benefits.

Investigating the Efficacy and Safety Of RO5285119 in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Location: Various sites around the country

This multi-center, randomized, double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled, proof of concept study will investigate the efficacy and safety of RG7314 in adult patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The anticipated time on study treatment is 12 weeks.

Recognition of Emotional Facial Expressions in Children and Adolescents with Autism

Location: Online survey

The aim of this study is to get a better understanding of how individuals with autism recognise emotions from facial expressions. By running the study over the Internet we hope to include a large number of people in the study, which will allow us to look at similarities and differences between individuals with an autism spectrum diagnosis. The results of this study will help us to design better materials for teaching those who struggle with emotion recognition.

Parenting Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Location: Online Survey

We are conducting an online survey to learn more about the types of parenting strategies that mothers of children with ASD use when their children experience negative emotions. Understanding more about the experiences of parent-child interactions is an important step in designing more specific interventions for children with ASD and their parents.

As compensation for their time, mothers will receive a $5.00 electronic gift card for Starbucks.

A Qualitative Inquiry on the Experience of Mothers of Older Children Diagnosed with Severe Autism

Location: Simi Valley, CA

The purpose of the study is to learn about various aspects of the maternal experience of mothers of children diagnosed with moderate to severe autism.

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