Families invited to take part in Vanderbilt autism studies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Families of children with and without autism are invited to take part in two new research projects at Vanderbilt University-a study of sleep in children and a study of social interest in children with autism and their brothers and sisters.

The projects are among several studies being conducted by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD). Autism is a developmental disability that affects a person’s ability to communicate and socially interact with others.

The sleep study explores sleep patterns in children with autism as compared to typically developing children between 4 and 10 years old. The study has four stages, and only some of the children who complete each stage will be asked to participate in the next.

The social interest study measures brain activity and social interest in young children. Two groups of children are being recruited for this project: children who have been diagnosed with autism or PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disability-Not Otherwise Specified), who are between the ages of 24 and 60 months, and 12- to 18-month-old brothers and sisters of children with autism or PDD-NOS.

The studies are funded by grants from Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Nicholas Hobbs Society.

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center is a national center for research on development and developmental disabilities. TRIAD is a specialized program for autism spectrum disorders at the Center for Child Development at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. For more information on TRIAD, visit www.TRIADatVanderbilt.com.

For more information on the sleep study, contact Lynnette Henderson at 615- 936-0448 or lynnette.henderson@vanderbilt.edu. For more information on the social interest study, e-mail Tina Patterson at tina.patterson@vanderbilt.edu. Additional information on these and other autism studies is available on the Kennedy Center website, kc.vanderbilt.edu/autism/.

Media contact: Jan Rosemergy, (615) 322-8240

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