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Parents and Toddlers at Home (PATH)

UW Autism Center

What is the purpose of this study?

The Parents and Toddlers at Home (PATH) study seeks to examine a new approach to parent-implemented intervention for toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorder ages 12-32 months.

This study is headed by Annette Estes, PhD (principle investigator) and clinical research team Kimberlee Moomey, MS, and Jessica Greenson, Ph.D.

Who may participate? What are the criteria?

  • Children between 12 -32 months of age who have symptoms of autism or a diagnosis of autism.
  • Children who have English as a primary language (all tests are administered in English)
  • Families who live within a 30 minute drive of the University of Washington Seattle Campus
  • Children who are able to move around on their own

What does participation in the study mean?

Participation in this study involves screening phone calls, parent completed questionnaires, and you and your child coming to UW for 3 in-person eligibility visits.  If the study is right for you and your child based on these phone calls and visits, we may invite you to participate in the in the intervention portion of the study and will assign you randomly (by chance) to one of the two intervention groups. The intervention portion of the study will entail 12 weeks of parent coaching and a 12 week follow-up period. The eligibility visits take place at the UW Seattle campus and the intervention training and follow-up portions of the study take place at the UW Seattle campus and in your home.

What is the time commitment for participation in the study?

The study takes about 7 months in total. If your child qualifies for the study and you decide to enroll, you will receive one of two versions of a parent coaching program. You and your child will work with one of our therapists every week. The visits will occur 1-2 times a week, either at the UW or at home. Each week we will ask you to complete questionnaires about your intervention activities and your child’s behaviors. After the first three months, the active period of learning, the intervention ends and 12 weeks of follow-up services begin.

If your child qualifies, we will assess your child’s development three times: at the start of the study, after four months, and at the end the study, about seven months after you started. The assessments will take place at the UW. At these visits you will also be asked to fill out questionnaires about your child’s development, your feelings about being a parent and about the study intervention. Finally, there will be some videotaping that we will ask you to do at home a few times.  We supply the camera, so all you have to do is run it. 

What will my family get out of the study?

Families who participate will promptly receive free clinical services, three evaluations of developmental strengths and needs, consultations from clinically trained research staff, and individual referrals for additional intervention services in the community. All qualifying families will receive 12 weeks of parent coaching at the UW as well as 12 weeks of follow up.

What are the risks to participating in this study and what safeguards are in place to minimize any risks?

This study is approved by a human subjects committee at the University of Washington and all efforts are made to minimize any potential risks. There are no known psychological or physical risks associated with any of the procedures. However, you may feel uncomfortable learning new approaches to interacting with your child. Clinicians working with families in the study have extensive experience and expertise in working with families with children with autism and will be available to answer questions and provide additional referrals if necessary.

Whom should I contact to get involved?

For more information, please call Rachel Thomas, our research coordinator, at 206-616-2854 or email*

How is this study funded?

Funding for this study is provided by Autism Speaks.  


*Please note that we cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any information sent by email.