UMass Autism Study Looking for Volunteers

From time to time I've posted calls for volunteers for research studies in the New England area.  Here's one from my home town school: UMass:

A doctoral student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst is completing her research in the area of speech differences in children with autism spectrum disorders. Part of her dissertation work is the development of a screening tool that Speech and Language Pathologists can use to identify potential motor difficulties that lead to language problems in children with autism. That knowledge could have important implications for planning effective treatment.

She is seeking two groups of volunteers: children with an autism spectrum diagnosis (this means autism, Asperger’s, or PDD-NOS), plus neurotypical children for her control group. 

Volunteers must be 4-11 years old, with a vocabulary of at least 50 words. Children should have no cranio-facial or other structural differences, such as cleft palate, or uncorrected visual or hearing deficits (hearing aids and glasses are acceptable).

Participation in the study will involve two visits to the Amherst campus. The first visit will include a hearing screening, followed by a variety of speech tasks, like imitating sounds and phrases, singing a song, telling a story, and talking about a favorite topic.

The second visit will include more such tasks, followed by a brief review meeting with the clinician.  Parents or guardians will also be provided with a brief report outlining their child’s strengths and weaknesses on our instrument.

This is an observation-only study where the kids will be in a one-on-one setting with the clinician.  There are no experimental therapies or treatments, and nothing unpleasant.  Praise and rewards are provided, and participants will receive fifty dollars for completing the study.

Appointments will be scheduled at mutually agreeable times.

Please contact Dr. Mary Andrianopoulos at (413) 545-0551, or her doctoral student at if you have questions, or if you’d like to enroll your child.


EnjoyHi5!Autism said…
Interesting. Thanks. Sharing.
By: Kate Nadeau said…
Thanks for sharing. I just sent them an e-mail to get more info on enrolling.
Emily P Smith said…
Hi John,
I'm going for my Masters in the field of education, and one of my assignments is to read 'Look Me in the Eye', and discuss what specific adjustments I would make in my classroom for a student such as yourself. I was wondering if you have any suggestions or pointers to help me with this topic. I suppose it's important to mention that I am looking to teach at the elementary level. Please let me know.
Thank You
Unknown said…
My son, who has Asbergers, was not diagnosed until age 19. He always had an unusual pronunciation of words,still does, and often i must make him repeat himself several times because I just can't understand him. It hurts...both me and I'm sure, him. Also, he has an
unusual tone to his voice, it often reminds me of the tone of a deaf person who speaks. However, Dr
is looking for younger children. If anyone ever needs us for questioning, let me know.
John, you are a godsend. You've opened up many doors for me to help my son and understand him more.
Unknown said…
I wrote the 4:45 comment:
my e-mail is

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