Autism Research

Children's Specialized Hospital
Autism Center of Excellence

The Children's Specialized Hospital 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 Autism Studies

Effect of Whole Body Vibration on Toe Walking in Children with Autism (4-12 years old). The physiatry department at CSH as looking to see if whole body vibration therapy effects toe walking in children with autism. We are seeking children with autism who toe walk, ages 4 to 12 years old, who do not have another diagnosis that causes toe walking. For more information, please contact Kendall Hulk DO at

Investigating Cognitive Correlates of Action-Control in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (6-16 years old): The Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Research Unit at CSH is examining how children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) control their behavior and choose their actions. We are seeking children (6-16 years old) with a diagnosis of autism and ADHD or autism only. For more information, click on the title to see the flyer, or contact Dr. Joman Natsheh at or Amira Herstic at

A Pilot Investigation of Emergent Multi-Class Imitation Training (age 5 or younger): Rutgers University is evaluating a comprehensive intervention protocol designed to rapidly teach imitation to young children diagnosed with an ASD. They are seeking children age 5 or younger with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder who are minimally vocal (more details in flyer hyperlinked in title). For more information, please contact Dr. Meghan Deshais at

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

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, or visit the ISL website: 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.

Recent Projects

  • Sulforaphane in autism. A treatment trial to confirm phenotypic improvement with sulforaphane treatment in a NJ population of individuals with autism.
  • The Examination of Emotional Processing in Children with Traumatic Brain Injury or Autism.
  • Exploring the Experiences of Diverse Families of Children newly diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in New Jersey.
  • Development of a New Autism Screening Tool for Traditionally Underserved Families
  • Piloting Early and Very Early Markers of ASD Risk in Preterm and Low Birth Weight Infants
  • 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
  • Exploring Pediatric Quality of Life Scores in Children with Autism
  • Piloting Electrophysiologic Markers for ASD and Related Disorders in Premature and Low Birthweight Infants
  • Multimodal Connectivity of Large Scale Neural Networks (LSNNs) and their impact on symptom expression and heterogeneity in pediatric Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Piloting the Safety and Efficacy of Propranolol in Adolescents and Adults with ASD and Aggression/ Self injury
  • Sulforaphane and Validation of Digital Biomarkers in Autism
  • Investigating Cognitive Correlates of Action-Control in Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder
  • Accessibility of Autism Diagnostic Evaluations: A National Survey
  • Experiences of Early Intervention Providers in Referring Children for Autism Screening
  • Using a Virtual Reality Job Interview Training Tool (VR-JIT) to improve Job Interview Skills in Adolescents with Autism
  • Identification of Strengths in Adolescents with Autism
  • KF-Stride
  • Accidental injury and children with developmental disabilities
  • Caregiver Attitudes towards Cannabis Use for their Child with ASD
  • The Experience of the Pediatric Outpatient Therapy Waiting Room for Autistic Children
  • Comparing attendance rates for autism evaluations virtually and in-person
  • Racial, Ethnic, and Language Disparities in Autism Health Service Utilization
  • Whole body vibration as a treatment intervention for improving toe-walking in children with autism spectrum disorder
  • Social Needs Screening Among Children with Developmental and Behavioral Concerns: A Descriptive Analysis






For a full list of publications, please click here.

Distinguished Lecture Series

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

  • After open heart surgery, 7-year-old Lily's biggest concern was the availability of blue ice pops and the unpleasant taste of acetaminophen. “Considering that she had open heart surgery, I'll take those complaints any day!” said her mother, Denise.

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