The future of autism research and treatment is focused on
early childhood. As most parents
and scientists know, early intervention is key for better treatment and better
results. However, many children
are not being diagnosed with autism until age 4 or 5.
Autism Speaks just granted $765,937 to Sally J. Rogers and
fellow researchers at UC Davis MIND Institute to extend their research into
ground-breaking autism treatments for younger children.
Rogers also works with Annette Estes of the Center for Human
Development and Disability at the University of Washington in Seattle, who also
received money from Autism Speaks.
Their research focuses on young children, ages 12 to 30
months. The research is testing
smart phone technology, new child assessment approaches, and other
interventions in order to evaluate the effectiveness of parent-implemented
treatments. As many parents wait for
a diagnosis, they are researching and implementing these interventions.
The researchers believe parent interventions are very
important for autism treatment, but we do not know to what extent these
interventions have on their own.
This research is particularly relevant for those individuals with autism
who do not have access to other resources and therapeutic care.
This project, known as the Parent and Toddlers with ASD at
Home, or PATH project, is designed to help parents improve social and
communicative learning opportunities at home through typical daily living and care-giving
activities. The purpose is also to
find the most effective treatments that parents can put into use through a
To record data, researchers are using parent
self-monitoring, data collection from mobile technology, and videos for parents
to show the researchers what interventions they are implementing at home.
For more information about UC David and the MIND Institute visit mindinstitute.ucdavis.edu.