Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a neurodevelopment condition that is characterized by difficulties with social communication and social interaction and restricted and repetitive patterns in behaviors, interests, and activities. The symptoms are present early on in development and affect daily functioning. The term ‘spectrum’ is used because of the heterogeneity in the presentation and severity of ASD symptoms, as well as in the skills and level of functioning of individuals who have ASD.
ASD occurs in all racial and ethnic groups, and across every socioeconomic status level. Boys are about four times more likely to have ASD than girls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that 1 in 59 children in the United States meets criteria for ASD.
In our lab, we are interested in learning from families who have a child or adolescent with ASD. Our research is aimed at understanding the broad array of family experiences and identifying ways to improve upon current interventions/supports and social policies for both the child/adolescent with ASD and their family members. A family systems framework drives much of our work. In other words, we are interested in learning how children/adolescents influence the family system that they are part of, and in turn, how the family system influences the child/adolescent’s emotional and behavioral development across time. We assess a variety of aspects of the family system – parenting experiences, the parent couple relationship, and sibling experiences.
We are currently recruiting families who have a child with ASD aged 5 to 18 years-old to participate in a research study. The study involves a 1.5-2-hour visit to the Waisman Center. If you cannot come to the Waisman Center, we can come to your home. During this visit parents and the child/adolescent with ASD are interviewed, complete measures, and engage in tasks together. Parents and the child/adolescent with ASD then complete a daily diary.
If interested in learning more about the study, please contact: