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Assessing Functional Language Development via Telehealth

December 13, 2022 - December 12, 2027

This study is being conducted by Dr. Lee Mason and Alexis Bolds of Cook Children’s Health Care System and Texas Christian University’s Burnett School of Medicine in Fort Worth, Texas. Our research is designed to assess your child’s language development over the course of two years. Every six months we will ask you and your child to take part in a telehealth-based functional language assessment that will last approximately one hour. At the completion of this project, we will compare the different language profiles of all participants.

What are the goals of the study?

We are asking you to take part in this research because your child’s language skills are still developing, and we are trying to learn more about how functional language develops over time. The purpose of this research is to determine whether we can accurately conduct language assessments via telehealth, and to better understand the differences in language development between children with and without autism spectrum disorder.

What will happen during the visit or online?

A language assessment called a “verbal operant experimental (VOX) analysis” will be conducted every six months as part of this research. The VOX is a functional analysis of language that has been carefully designed to assess four language domains: conversing, labeling, echoing, and requesting. Across each of these conditions, we will assess your child’s ability to say the same words. Caregivers will also be asked to complete a brief demographic survey at the time of each assessment to identify potential factors that may be related to language development. We expect each assessment to take approximately 45-60 minutes of your time.

How will this help families?

After each VOX analysis, you will receive an assessment report that describes strengths and weaknesses of your functional language skills. The report provides recommendations for helping to remediate any deficit areas identified by the assessment.

Eligibility Criteria

Both children with autism and neurotypical children are eligible to participate in this research. Enrollment is open to children of both sex, ranging from two to seven years of age. We aim to recruit participants from a variety of racial/ethnic backgrounds that reflects the current demographic population of the surrounding communities.

To participate you will need:

1) Access to high-speed internet,
2) A Zoom-compatible device (e.g., laptop, tablet, or smartphone) to record your child,
3) A separate phone to communicate with researchers, and
4) Your child, along with some of their favorite toys.

View the study flyer here.

Register for an initial assessment here.

Contact Information

Dr. Lee Mason – (682) 303-9265, lee.mason@cookchildrens.org

 

Research Study Website
Register for an initial assessment

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