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

A Pilot/Feasibility Study of the Use of High Dose Propranolol to Treat Severe and Chronic Challenging Behaviors in Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (12-30 years): Rutgers University (RWJMS) is examining the efficacy of propranolol to treat severe and chronic challenging behaviors in adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder. They are seeking children and adults (12-30 years old) with a diagnosis of autism to participate in a double-blind study. For more information, please contact Dr. Barbie Zimmerman-Bier at(732) 401-6588 or email asdpropranolol@rwjms.rutgers.edu

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. Participation includes: 2 three-hour visits or 3 two-hour visits, paper-and-pencil measures, looking at pictures of faces with different emotions, & $50 compensation. For more information, please contact Jacqueline Leddy at 973-324-8384 or jleddy@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.

Strength Identification and Expression in Young Adults (Ages 13-24): Researchers want to know about how young adults with and without autism view themselves. The research study is 100% virtual (online) and should take about an hour. You and your child will be asked to fill out surveys. You will be compensated for participating. Please contact Alexandra Edwards at 973-324-8427 or aedwards@kesslerfoundation.org

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 and watch a video.

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

More Studies in Autism

  • Sulforaphane and Validation of Digital Biomarkers in Autism This study with autistic adolescents and adults uses digital biomarkers to examine the impact of sulforaphane and whether digital biomarkers can help explain variations in autism.

Our Recent Publication

Harris JF, Coffield CN, Janvier YM, Mandell D and Cidav Z. Validation of The Developmental Check-In Tool for Low-Literacy Autism Screening. Pediatrics 2021; 147(1) e20193659.

Harris JF, Gorman LP, Doshi A, Swope S, Page SD. Development and implementation of health care transition resources for youth with autism spectrum disorders within a primary care medical home. Autism. November 2020. doi:10.1177/1362361320974491

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.

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

  • Dr. Therrien told us he would be there for our family and he referred us to Children’s Specialized Hospital.

    Kenny
    Read More
  • “I’m just super grateful,” shares Amanda. “I’m so glad we landed at Children’s Specialized Hospital.”

    Colbie
    Read More
  • “I enjoyed Physical Therapy with my Therapist Zack the most!” shares Jayson. “The therapy was always fun. He would have me balance on one leg while we played Uno, we would play catch. It was awesome!”

    Jayson
    Read More

Patient Stories

  • Watch Testimonial
  • Watch Testimonial
  • Watch Testimonial