Autism Research

The Research Center’s studies in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) cover a range of topics from the development of screening tools for underserved communities, medication studies, research on how ASD impacts brain function, to studies of the genetic causes of ASD.

Our Current Studies

IMPRESSIVE: Scientists are seeking young adults (ages 16-24) with and without autism to be in a study to understand how job interviews affect obtaining employment. If you qualify, you will be asked to participate in an ALL REMOTE (virtual) study and you will be compensated for your time. Click on the video link for details! Email us at hgenova@kesslerfoundation.org for details.

Examination of Emotional Processing in Children with Traumatic Brain Injury or Autism(Ages 7-18): This is an exploratory study to learn how children with a brain injury or autism perceive the emotions of others. For more information, please contact Lauren Hendrix at 973-324-8384 lhendrix@kesslerfoundation.org.

FunConn: Exploring the Brain's Role in Symptoms of Autism (Ages 5-18): The two study visits will be conducted at the Kessler Foundation sites in East Hanover and West Orange. The study involves paper and pencil tasks that look at different brain functions and one brain scan (MRI). The brain scan does not involve any medications or radiation, and no contrast dyes or injections will be used for the MRI. Children who complete the brain scan will be compensated up to $200 (in Visa gift cards) for their participation. For more information, please contact Michael Dacanay at mdacanay@kesslerfoundation.org.

SPARK: The Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge (SPARK) is an autism research initiative that aims to recruit, engage and retain a community of 50,000 individuals with autism and their family members living in the U.S. This study involves contributing a saliva sample and completing behavioral surveys. For more information, please call 908-301-5958.

Will interactive acoustic experience optimize rapid auditory processing and prelinguistic acoustic mapping critical to later language in infants at familial risk for autism? (age 4 months): Experience with sound cues may strengthen abilities important for language in infants at familial risk for autism. The infancy studies laboratory (ISL) at Rutgers-Newark is inviting siblings of children with autism to participate in an interactive, baby-friendly game that encourages them to discriminate between brief sounds that become increasingly faster and more complex. The study begins at age 4 months and compensation up to $400.00 will be provided for study completion. For more information, please email us at babylab@newark.rutgers.edu, or visit the ISL website: https://www.babylab.rutgers.edu/current-studies and watch a video https://youtu.be/FZVWIAbucc4

Autism Treatment Trial (males, ages 13-30): This double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial will test if sulforaphane improves core symptoms of autism in adolescents or adults between ages 13 and 30 with a diagnosis of ASD.

Help us improve autism research for the entire community by participating in the Autism EXPECT Study.

For more research opportunities in Autism, please visit the NJ Autism Center for Excellence website.

More Studies in Autism

Exploring the Experiences of Diverse Families of Children newly diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in New Jersey - This study investigates the experiences of receiving an autism diagnosis and linking with services for Latino families of young children recently diagnosed with ASD

Feasibility and Safety of a Virtual-Reality Based Job Training Tool in Teenagers - This study aims to establish the safety, evaluate acceptability, study the tolerability, and assess “immersiveness” and physiological arousal during participation of VITA (virtual reality job interview training practice software) in youth with ASD.

Exploring Pediatric Quality of Life Scores in Children with Autism - This is a descriptive study exploring the quality of life in children diagnosed with autism

The Blum Study: A Double Blind Placebo Controlled Study of CM-AT for the Treatment of Autism in Children With All Levels of Fecal Chymotrypsin - This is a phase 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluating the efficacy and safety of CM-AT in pediatric patients with autism at all levels of fecal chymotrypsin.

Piloting the Safety and Efficacy of Propranolol in Adolescents and Adults with ASD and Aggression/ Self injury - This study examines the effect of propranolol in adolescents and adults with ASD and severe challenging behaviors

Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders - This project implements a screening process to identify children who are experiencing adversity and linking them to needed resources.

Sensory Integration Therapy in Autism: Mechanisms and Effectiveness - This randomized study compares the effectiveness of sensory integration and applied behavior analysis for children with autism

Early Occupational Therapy to Improve Functional Outcomes for Young Children with ASD - This study seeks to extend our evidence-based intervention for sensory symptoms in ASD to a younger age group. This study will adapt the existing treatment manual for younger children (ages 3-5 years) and test its outcomes.

A Pilot Study of the Use of tDCS for the Treatment of Non-Verbal or Minimally Verbal Children with ASD - This study involves examining transcranial direct current stimulation for children with ASD

Is Cerebellar Dysfunction A Biomarker for Early Signs of Autism and Related Disorders? - This study examines whether behavior or biomarkers may help identify early risk for autism in young children.

Our Recent Publications

Coffield, Caroline N., et al. "Parental Concerns of Underserved Young Children at Risk for Autism." Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 31.2 (2020): 742-755.

Juliano, Anthony C., et al. "Feasibility of a school-based mindfulness program for improving inhibitory skills in children with autism spectrum disorder." Research in Developmental Disabilities 101 (2020): 103641.

Ness SL, Bangerter A, Manyakov NV, Lewin D, Boice M, Skalkin A, Jagannatha S, Chatterjee M, Dawson G, Goodwin MS, Hendren R, Leventhal B, Shic F, Frazier JA, Janvier Y, King BH, Miller JS, Smith CJ, Tobe RH and Pandina G (2019)An Observational Study With the Janssen Autism Knowledge Engine (JAKE®) in Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Front. Neurosci. 13:111. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00111

Janvier, Y. M., et al. (2018). The Developmental Check-In: Development and initial testing of an autism screening tool targeting young children from underserved communities. Autism.

For a full list of publications, please click here.

About Children's Specialized Hospital's Autism Program

Treating children with an ASD diagnosis from birth through 21 years of age, our Autism Program provides coordinated, multidisciplinary care with a focus on early identification, treatment, family-centered care and community outreach.

Learn more.

Patient Stories

  • “Children’s Specialized Hospital has provided us with such excellent care. I couldn’t ask for a better team for Aiden.”

    Aiden
    Read More
  • Carly
    Read More
  • MEET EMMAELY: Fun-loving soccer player working hard for a speedy recovery

    Emmaely
    Read More

Patient Stories

  • Watch Testimonial
  • Watch Testimonial
  • Watch Testimonial