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Brain and Cognitive Development In Autism

What's the study about?

The purpose of the study is to understand how the brains of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) differ from those who are typically developing (TD). Your participation in this study will help us answer two main questions. 1) How does the autistic brain differ functionally and structurally to that of a typically developed brain? 2) How does bilingualism affect brain and cognitive development in children with ASD? This study will help us understand how speaking multiple languages in the home influences children with autism.

Who can participate?

Children with autism age 8-12 years old that are bilingual or speak one language

What will participants be doing?

The study involves two visits, one for a group of cognitive assessments and one for an MRI scan. Participants will be compensated $75, be provided a report on cognitive assessment performance, and a copy of their brain scan for participation. Parking costs are also covered

Visit 1: Measures on IQ, social communication, behavior assessment, executive function (e.g. planning, flexible thinking, impulse control) and pubertal stage. You will also be asked to complete some additional measures on ASD. This visit will last about 3 hours.

Visit 2: You will be asked to participate in an MRI scan session. In total the visit will last about 2 hours and 30 min.

Why is this important?

To the autism community at large, we believe our study will help us further understand brain function in ASD–specifically in the context of executive functioning and flexible behaviors. For the bilingual autism community in particular, our study could help give clinicians more accurate and helpful recommendations for families that speak more than one language.

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