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Communicative Repair Produced by Preschoolers With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorder

I am a Speech-Language Pathologist and PhD Candidate at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I am currently working on recruiting families of children with autism spectrum disorder to participate in my dissertation research study. I would value the opportunity to provide information to families via the research page of the AUSM website.

Here is a bit more about my study:

Broadly, my dissertation project examines how preschool age children with autism spectrum disorder initiate requests for communicative repair during a shared book reading activity and how their performance compares to their typically developing peers.

Who can participate?

Children who are:
- 4 years; 0 months - 4 years; 11 months
- medical diagnosis of ASD
- expressive and receptive language skills within an average range
- cognitive skills within an average range
- monolingual English language speakers

Participants who are likely to meet inclusion criteria will be those whose primary challenges are social communication skills but whose structural language does not differ significantly from their peers.

What will participants be asked to do?

Participants will be asked to complete two research sessions. During the first session, they will take two standardized assessments to measure their expressive and receptive language skills and nonverbal cognitive skills. Participants will also have their hearing screened and complete a very short (~5 min) criterion-referenced assessment of their perspective-taking skills. During the second session, participants will complete a shared book reading activity with me. During the book reading, we will read the book and I will ask the child some questions about the story. We will also play with some objects related to the book and look at and talk about the pictures in the book. This activity will last about 20 minutes.

What about parents?

Parents will be asked to complete to surveys related to their child's development, across domains, including their social skill development.

Where will the research sessions take place?

We would like to conduct the research sessions where it is most convenient for the participants and their families. Many families choose to have the sessions at their home but some families have completed them at their preschool or clinic where they receive services.

If families are interested in participating or have questions about the study, they can contact me directly:

Hannah Julien
612-670-8655
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

New intervention study for young adults with ASD!

We are looking for families to participate in a study about programming for young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study has two goals: 1) promote the development of advocacy and social skills in young adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) 2) enable families to support their adult children in achieving educational and employment goals.

To participate, individuals with ASD must meet the following criteria:
• the adult must provide ASD diagnosis documentation (either from a health care or educational professional)
• the adult with ASD has not been diagnosed with an intellectual disability
• the adult must be 18-30 years old
• the adult must live at home with his or her parent(s)
• the adult works less than 10 hours per week
• the adult spends less than 20 hours a week in work and in degree-seeking post-secondary education program

To find out more, please contact Dr. Rebekah Hudock at 612-626-3538 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click Here for additional information on this study and other intervention services available through UMN.

Seeking Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum to Volunteer for a Research Study

My name is Allison Brenneise.  In addition to being a mother to two young men at varying places on the spectrum, I am a graduate student at SIU working on a research study about the social experiences and relationships of young adults with an autism spectrum disorder.  I am currently conducting a research study relevant to individuals with autism.

The purpose of this study is to learn more about the social experiences and relationships of young adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from the perspective of the young adult. Young adults who participate in this study will have an opportunity to communicate their experiences in and about social relationships and further the collective understanding of what young adults with an ASD want and need from social experiences.  They may also benefit from contributing to a field which currently does not publish much, if anything, about the experiences of young adults with an ASD from their own perspective.

Any person who meets the following criteria may be eligible:

1) has the legal authority to make decisions about engaging in research relationships

2) is between 18 years -35 years of age

3) has documented evidence of having an autism spectrum disorder.

I will be in Minneapolis on March 11, 2017, through March 18, 2017, conducting interviews and am scheduling now. I look forward to speaking with people who may be interested in participating in this study during that time.  Participation in the study consists of two or three face to face meetings lasting up to two hours each, involving questions and answers.  I am available by telephone or text at 858-461-8699, e-mail or Skype chat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or via direct message on Twitter @ABrenneise.

Parents of Adults with Autism Survey

As a doctoral candidate at Lamar University, I am conducting a study for my dissertation to better understand the relationship between various parental factors which may impact the successful employment outcomes of adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between parental factors and the successful employment of adults, age 26 or older, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the United States. I plan to use this information to develop higher-quality, research-based parent training programs aimed at providing parents the tools they need to help their children with Autism Spectrum Disorder obtain and maintain employment. The results should be of interest and value to parents, educators, related professionals, and any other professionals who work with individuals with Autism and their families.

I hope to have at least 88 parents from across the country participate in this study. Criteria for participation include the following: 
The participants must be a parent of an adult, age 26 or older, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder by a licensed professional.
The participants must also have current knowledge of their adult’s employment status.

Your responses are confidential and your name will not be associated with any research findings. In addition, no names or other identifying information will be collected in the survey. The data will be stored electronically in a secure manner. This study has been approved by the Lamar University Institutional Review Board. You are free to decide not to participate in this study or to withdraw at any time without adversely affecting your relationship with the investigator or Lamar University. There is no compensation to participate in this study; however, benefits of participation may include a contribution to scholarly research, as well as direct benefits to the subjects through the provision of the study’s summary and recommendations regarding how parents can best support their children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to obtain and maintain employment.

If, after reading the above information, you would like to participate in the study, please go to the following link to sign the electronic consent form and access the survey through Survey Monkey:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PFWPASD

If you have any questions regarding the study, please contact the Principal Researcher or the Dissertation Chair.
Sincerely,
James Williams, MRC, CRC
Principal Researcher
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr. Ken Young
Dissertation Chair
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Working Together Study

We are recruiting for an education and support program for families of young adults with ASD. Adults with ASD and their parents will attend weekly group meetings with other families to receive information on planning for independence, coping strategies, and other topics. Problem solving strategies will be taught to address specific concerns. The study will consist of initial and exit interviews for young adults with ASD and their parents and 8 weekly group sessions held in Minneapolis at the UMN Autism Clinic.

To participate, the adult with ASD must be between 18 and 30 years of age and live with their parents, have finished high school, and have less than 20 hours per week of classes and work combined. Adults with ASD must not be diagnosed with an intellectual disability.

To find out more, please contact
Dr. Rebekah Hudock at the University of Minnesota ASD Clinic
(612) 626-3538 or
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..