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Comparison Group: Individual Differences From Infancy to Adulthood
Studies for individuals with typical development or other developmental challenges

UW Autism Center

At the University of Washington Autism Center, we have many research opportunities for individuals with autism spectrum disorder symptoms, but we also have many opportunities for individuals who do NOT have ASD symptoms. To understand the particular challenges faced by individuals with ASD, we need to understand the process of development in many other groups of individuals, such as those who are typically developing, or those with other developmental challenges.

Why do you study children who DON’T have ASD?

We know that each child is unique, and this means there is likely to be a wide variation in the skills and abilities of any group of children. Studying these ‘individual differences’ within large groups of children helps us to recognize when a child is experiencing specific difficulties.

What does 'comparison group' mean?

Individuals who participate in our 'comparison groups' take part in many of the same tasks as participants who are showing symptoms of ASD. Comparison groups tell us about the range of skills of individuals who aren’t showing symptoms of ASD. This allows us to identify the particular patterns of strengths and weaknesses of individuals with ASD.

What studies can my family take part in?

We currently have several studies in progress that are open to individuals who are not showing signs of ASD. This section gives a brief description, and provides links to fuller descriptions of each study.

Early Connections Study: for typically developing infants aged six months or younger, with an older sibling.

This study explores infant development at ages six, twelve, and eighteen months. It is a longitudinal study, so participants will visit the University of Washington Autism Center at all three ages. Infants who participate will receive comprehensive developmental evaluations, which involve taking part in some fun games with an experienced clinician. You will be able to stay with your infant at all times, and any time they get bored or fussy we can stop or take a break.

Want to know more? Click to learn more about being in the comparison group for Early Connections, or to learn more about how the study works for families with children with symptoms of ASD.

Infant Brain Imaging study (IBIS): for typically developing infants aged six months of younger with an older sibling.

The University of Washington Autism Center and Seattle Children's Hospital are conducting a study to identify infants who may be at risk for autism. Free developmental evaluations and brain imaging studies will be provided when infants are six, 12 and 24 months of age to help parents obtain early intervention for infants who are showing early signs of autism.

Want to know more? Click to learn more about IBIS.

Whom should I contact to get involved?

To learn more about any of our studies, call 1.877.408.UWAC.

University of Washington
Autism Center Comparison Group
Box 357920, Seattle, WA 98195

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