Hyperthermia and the Amelioration of Autism Symptoms

Aug 5 2013
America/New York
Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center; Bronx, NY


There has been evidence in case studies that children with ASD have an improvement in symptoms during fever responses; specifically parents have noted increased communication and socialization while children are experiencing fevers. In conducting this study, we are trying to assess whether this change is due to simply a rise in body temperature, or whether it is due to some other change that occurs during a fever - such as inflammation. In order to explore this relationship, this research study will look at the effect of increased body temperature on ASD symptoms in a controlled environment with structured assessments.

Body temperature will be increased using a heated pool at Westchester Square Physical Therapy in the Bronx, NY. Two pool temperatures (98 degrees and 102 degrees - both safe) will be used to determine if the higher body temperature caused by an increased pool temperature is responsible for an improvement of symptoms in children with ASD.

In terms of the time commitment for the study: Your and you child's participation in the study will last a maximum of 3 weeks. The research study includes one visit to Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center and two visits to Westchester Square Physical Therapy. The study will include 1 visit by you and your child to our offices for a screening visit, where we will determine eligibility for the study, and two visits to the Westchester Square Physical Therapy office, where your child will swim in pool on two separate occasions (one time at 98 degrees and a second time at 102 degrees). You are welcome to swim with your child if you'd like (but are certainly not required to) and you child is welcome to bring siblings to play with in the pool. Your child will be monitored by at least two staff members while he/she is in the pool. Also, if he/she does not know how to swim, he/she will be required to where floaties and stay in the shallow end during the visit. Your child will not be in the pool for more than 1 hour and 15 minutes, approximately. The pool days will all be on Sundays but the screening visit will be on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday.

Lastly, you will be compensated $60 for each of the three visits.


Participants must be between the ages of 5 and 17 years old, with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. Participants cannot have a history of seizures or of developmental and medical disorders. Participants must have a normal BMI and cannot be pregnant. 

Contact Information

Emma Racine
Study Supervisor
718-653-4859 x 223