Elyanah was a research coordinator for the Screen-Refer-Treat study from 2016-2019. She left to pursue a degree in School Psychology at UW.
Danielle joined our lab as an undergraduate, and worked as a research study assistant on the ImPACT study from 2018-2019. She left to pursue a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at Whitworth University.
Hailee joined our lab as an undergraduate, and worked as a research study assistant from 2017-2019. She worked primarily on the Screen-Refer-Treat study and assisted with behavioral assessments for the ImPACT study. She left to pursue a Master’s degree in Applied Child and Adolescent Psychology at UW.
Roya worked as a research assistant from 2015-2018, working on the Screen-Refer-Treat Study and the Social Attention Study. She left to pursue a PhD in Developmental Psychology at University of California, Berkeley.
Juan Pablo was a research study assistant from 2016-2018, working on the Screen-Refer-Treat study. He left to attend medical school at UW.
Today’s report from the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM) revealed an increase in ASD prevalence in the U.S. between the years of 2012 and 2014. The new prevalence rate is 1 in 59 children, based on a 2014 survey of over 325,000 children across 11 states. The prevalence rate from the 2012 survey was 1 in 68.
Three unfortunate statistics remain, making our research at the READi Lab ever more necessary:
- Hispanic children are less likely to be identified with ASD by age 8 compared to Non-Hispanic White or Black children
- Although 85% of children with ASD had documented developmental concerns before 36 months, only 42% had a comprehensive evaluation on record by 36 months
- The median age of earliest known ASD diagnosis was 52 months.
If you would like to read more, visit:
One of our community partners asked us to create an informational card that describes the characteristics of autism in simple language. [Read more…]
Taylor worked as a research study assistant on the Screen-Refer-Treat Study from 2017-2018.
As part of our new PATHWAYS Study, we are recruiting parents who have a young child with autism (under age 6) to participate in a 2-hour focus group. The purpose of the focus group is to learn directly from parents about your experiences communicating with health care providers (and other service providers) about autism. Your ideas, insights, and suggestions will be used to develop specific training activities and materials for improving autism-related conversations between families and health care providers, and to help families make decisions about next steps.
We are conducting separate focus groups for families who speak English and those who are Spanish-speaking only. Participating families will be compensated $100 for their time. Check out our flyers for more information: English version and Spanish version!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently launched an app designed to help parents track their child’s development. The app was developed by CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” Program for children between 2 months and 5 years of age. The app provides interactive checklists, photos, and videos that illustrate important developmental milestones, as well as tips and activities designed to help children learn and grow. The app provides information on when and how to get in contact with a provider if you have concerns, and creates a personalized summary of your child’s milestone achievements to share with your provider. This app makes tracking early developmental milestones fun, interactive, and easy! The app is now available, for free, on Google Play and the App Store. Click here for more information!
On the third Saturday of each month, the Pacific Science Center in downtown Seattle presents a special event, “Exploration for All: Autism Early Open.” On these days, families affected by autism are invited for a free morning visit from 8am-10am (before the public opening), when they can engage in fun, sensory-friendly learning. On their website (click here), you can also find autism-specific resources to help prepare for your visit including adventure planners, picture schedules, sensory guides, and tips and tools for parents. Upcoming event dates include: January 20, February 17, and March 17.
If you’ve ever been asked this question, then this article is for you!
Autism Speaks has just announced its selection of the top 10 studies published in 2017 that have advanced our understanding of autism. The studies are described briefly and annotated by members of their leadership and advisory board. The research presented covers topics including the benefits of early intervention and the contributions of genetics and specific biomarkers to the development of autism. Read the article here!
How can we increase access to early screening and intervention for underserved families?
The READi Lab is partnering with health care, early intervention, and early learning programs in King County to reduce health care disparities in early ASD identification and treatment. This project involves: (1) conducting focus groups with community providers and families to understand barriers to communicating about ASD concerns, and (2) offering materials and training to community providers with the goals of increasing ASD screening and reducing the age at which children receive ASD specialized intervention.
Funding Source: US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Who is Eligible?
- Primary care, Early Intervention, or Early Learning providers working in King County
- Parents of 16-30 month old toddlers who:
- Receive services from one of the providers enrolled in the study
- Have concerns about the development of their toddler
- Speak either English or Spanish
- Completing surveys at 2 time points (3 months apart)
- Bringing your toddler to UW for two assessment visits (3 months apart)
Your time is compensated
An article posted recently in ParentMap magazine highlighted 16-year-old Alex Lubbers for the amazing light show he created to decorate his home for the holidays this year. A tradition spanning nearly 4 years, Alex never disappoints with these epic light shows, and this year is rumored to be the best one yet. According to his parents, Alex has always had a fascination with lights and programming them to music, and loves this annual tradition because it brings his family close together. In the article, he states, “My mom always had the dream of doing something like this, lights set to music… when we bought our first controller and it came with the software I was like, ‘Okay, time to make mom’s dreams come true.’” Want to check it out yourself? Shows run daily from around 4:30-10:00pm until January 1st. For more information on Alex or visiting the light show, click here!
A new study conducted by researchers at the UW READi Lab, Vanderbilt, and the Center for Telepsychology found that an interactive, web-based parenting tutorial was effective in improving children’s participation in home routines, such as bed time and bath time. The study is currently “in press” in the journal, Autism Research. The “Enhancing Interactions” tutorial was developed by our team and evaluated through a randomized clinical trial of 104 parents of children with ASD between 18 and 60 months.
Results revealed that parents assigned to the Tutorial condition learned new strategies for engaging their children in routines, and reported less parenting stress, felt better about their parenting skills, and reported better child social interactions compared to parents in the No Tutorial condition. This tutorial may be especially helpful for families who have limited access to services, as it can be completed at home.
This study was funded by an NIMH Small Business Innovation Research grant to Kenneth Kobak, and Lisa Ibanez and Wendy Stone are authors on this paper. To view an interactive demo of tutorial, click here!
As you probably know from the topics of our current grants, the READi Lab is a strong proponent of conducting universal autism-specific screening for children at 18 and 24 months. The word “universal” is used to denote the process of screening ALL children at a specific age, in contrast to “selective” screening, in which only a subset of children receive the screening. Research has shown that selective screening fails to identify many children at autism risk, especially those in minority groups. Recently, Slate published an article discussing the benefits of early screening, which include earlier access to specialized intervention and lowering the age of diagnosis of children from minority groups, who are diagnosed much later than white children. Universal autism screening would help providers better identify all children at risk, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status, and connect children and families to needed services at younger ages. The article, which can be accessed here, describes other structural inequalities that families may face when accessing autism-specific services, and the ways community organizations are attempting to overcome these disparities.
Have you checked out the “Tips and Resources” tab on our website yet? There, we have provided helpful tips and strategies for families with children with autism and the providers that work with them. Particularly relevant for this time of year, we have a tip sheet centered around preparing for the holiday season. While it can be a wonderful time for family gatherings and celebration, it can also present challenges for children with autism who have difficulty adapting to changes in their daily routines and navigating new social situations. Click here to download our holiday tips and resources PDF for helping your family make the most out of the season!
In case anyone has not heard of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” it is a best-selling novel — and Tony Award-winning play — that features a teenager with ASD. A recent New York Times article highlighted Mickey Rowe, who is the first actor with an ASD diagnosis to play the leading role of Christopher, a 15-year-old with ASD who tries to solve a “curious” murder-mystery. Rowe is a graduate of University of Washington, and believes that his role in the play sends an important message: “I think it’s theater’s job to change the world… it has a lot more power than it knows it has. And with that power comes great responsibility.” The play is no longer running at the Syracuse Theater in New York, but you can check out the full article here for more information about Mickey and his amazing journey to stardom.
This Thursday, Seattle Children’s Autism Center is hosting a panel discussion on “Autism from a Sibling’s Perspective,” as part of their Autism 200 series. During the event, attendees will hear stories from the brothers and sisters of individuals with autism. They will answer questions, offer their unique perspectives and experiences, and provide a platform for open and positive communication about the challenging and rewarding aspects of having a sibling with autism. The discussion will be held at Seattle Children’s Wright Auditorium on Thursday, November 16th from 7:00-8:30pm. If you can’t attend the event, the discussion will be available through video teleconferencing and posted on the Seattle Children’s website for later viewing. For more information about the event, click here.