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Advanced autism research to improve practice and outcomes - Social and communication interventions​ PI Duration Sponsor
Joint Attention Mediated Learning Intervention for Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Their Families

Baggett, K.

07/01/12-06/30/17

University of Indiana; U.S. Department of Education- IES

Purpose: The prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has grown dramatically in recent years, with advances in early identification now resulting in an influx of toddlers to the early intervention system. Although early intervention providers are required to implement evidence-based practices for this population, few models are available that target social communication, the core difficulty in ASD, at the preverbal stage when neurological development is most malleable. The proposed project directly addresses this need through an efficacy study of Joint Attention Mediated Learning (JAML), an intervention practice for toddlers with ASD that directly targets foundational preverbal social communication competencies from within the parent-child relationship at a critical juncture (by 30 months of age). Specifically, this study will determine the efficacy of JAML on the early preverbal and verbal social communication development of toddlers with ASD and the self-efficacy of their caregivers, assess factors that mediate and moderate intervention effects, and address the feasibility and acceptability of JAML.

Project Activities: Researchers will conduct a randomized controlled trial that compares the JAML intervention to a business-as-usual condition. The research team will recruit 126 toddlers, aged 30 months or younger, with ASD. Assessments will be conducted prior to the intervention (pre-test), post-intervention (post-test), and 6 months after the post-test to measure the sustainability of any intervention effects.

 

Parents:
We are recruiting families of toddlers under age 31 months who may have autism and who are having difficulty communicating and interacting with others. Our early intervention program has been used in other research, and now we would like to explore whether it will prove to be effective with a larger number of families.  The intervention is designed to help toddlers engage socially through parent-child interaction and to minimize possible future difficulties.  If you agree to participate and your child is eligible, you will be randomly assigned (by chance) to one of two groups and will receive intervention materials either gradually in weekly sessions (intervention group) or at the end of a 32-week period (control group).  Both groups will receive guidance on use of the intervention materials.
 
If you would like more information or would like to explore the next step in participating, please call Stacia Mitchell at 913-321-3143 or email samitchell@ku.edu.

 


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Job Opportunities

Graduate Research Assistants (GRA): JGCP is seeking Graduate Research Assistants. The GRAs will assist with data collection activities with preschool students and teachers, including administering literacy assessments to children, observing classroom instruction and teacher-child interactions, and assisting in the preparation and delivery of data reports in the Kansas City Metro, as well as data management and entry. Apply here

Assistant Researcher/Coach (50-75% FTE): JGCP is conducting a research program aimed at evaluating how a Practice Based Coaching model (Literacy 3D) can be used to enhance the literacy focus of early childhood (EC) teachers through data-driven decision making and strategies that boost children’s opportunities to respond in literacy activities. We are seeking an intervention coach who will be responsible for coaching Early Childhood teachers in the Kansas City Metro area in the implementation of Literacy 3D to promote early literacy and oral language development in children ages 3-5. Learn more and apply here

Graduate Research Assistant (GRA): JGCP is seeking a GRA to work 50% FTE (20 hours per week) for the next year of the project (1 year) on the Bridging the Word Gap Research Network Project. The GRA will attend regular project meetings and will be responsible for assisting the Leadership Team and Work Groups in developing associated deliverables from research syntheses, and assisting with translation and dissemination of synthesis findings for diverse audiences including researchers, teachers, parents, and policymakers. He/she will also provide support to the Practice Based Research Collaborative and assist with BWG related intervention studies. The GRA will also be available to the Executive Team to assist with the completion of project-specific tasks including maintaining the project website and creating the bi-monthly network newsletter. Apply here

Temporary Assistant Researchers: JCGP is looking for 1-2 temporary Assistant Researchers, at 50%-75% time, who will be responsible for data collection activities with preschool students and teachers, including administering literacy assessments to children, observing classroom instruction and interactions, and assisting in the preparation and delivery of data reports in the Kansas City Metro, as well as data management and entry at our offices in downtown Kansas City, KS. Learn more and apply here

Student Hourly Positions: JGCP is seeking 2-4 Student Hourlies who will be responsible for data collection activities with preschool students and teachers, including administering literacy assessments to children, observing classroom instruction and interactions, and assisting in the preparation and delivery of data reports in the Kansas City Metro, as well as data management and entry at our offices in downtown Kansas City, KS. Apply here

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