Smooth Sailing Study

Aug 1 2013
Nov 1 2013
America/New York
University of Massachussetts, Boston, MA


Brief Description

The Smooth Sailing Study, funded by the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, is aimed at understanding the transition to school for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The transition to formal schooling is a crucial milestone for all children. Through this study, we ask the question: What factors help children with ASD succeed during this challenging transition period? Ultimately, this study will lead to the development of an intervention program to help children have positive social and academic experiences during the transition to school.

Participating families help us in our scientific pursuit of strategies to help children succeed in school. At each visit, you will receive $50 plus $6 for the cost of travel. You will receive a developmental report of your child’s language and literacy skills after the first visit, a DVD of you and your child after the second visit, and a full summary of your child’s progress after the 3rd visit. 


We are looking for children ages 4-7 years (entering pre-K, kindergarten, or first grade) who have autism, PDD, or Asperger’s to enroll in our study. Participants will visit our office at the University of Massachusetts Boston for a total of 4 visits. The first visit will determine eligibility and will take place in the Summer or Fall of 2013. Children will complete the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI), and parents will answer a few questionnaires about their child. At the end of this visit, you will receive a diagnostic assessment report that documents your child’s symptoms of autism and cognitive skills.

If your child is eligible based on this testing, you will be invited for 3 additional visits, in Fall 2013, Winter 2013-2014, and Spring 2014. During these visits, we will assess your child’s language and literacy development over time, as well as your opinions on your child’s school experiences. 

Contact Information

Melanie Feldman Research Coordinator