This study is a fun study for children and their caregivers that consists of both an online Zoom session and an in-person visit to 665 Broadway in Manhattan. Families will receive a small gift and up to $80 in Amazon gift cards in appreciation for their time. This study will help us understand language development in both children with and without ASD.
What are the goals of the study?
We study children who are developing normally as well as children who have or are at risk for language delay or language disorders, including children with autism spectrum disorder. One important predictor of language acquisition is the quality of language exposure that children receive from their caregivers. Therefore, we study (1) the language that caregivers direct to their children, (2) children’s understanding of the language they hear from their caregivers and from others, and (3) how they learn new elements of language (e.g., new words) in experimental tasks.
What will happen during the visit or online?
Children will participate in game-like tasks in which they hear language containing either familiar words (e.g., horse) or unfamiliar or nonsense words (e.g., equine). They will engage in the tasks either with a caregiver or with experimenters. We will measure their understanding and learning of the language they hear via their overt responses (e.g., pointing to a picture, answering a question) or via eye-tracking–that is, how their eye gaze toward objects or pictures on a screen is influenced by the language they hear.
How will this help families?
This study will help us learn more about how young children diagnosed with ASD learn language.