Research

These research opportunities are listed as a courtesy to UF CARD constituents. Specific questions should be directed to the contact person listed for each study. Content is updated at least twice a year.

Research opportunity

Aging Well in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The Neurocognitive and Behavioral Development lab (NBDlab) is seeking autistic individuals and control participants between ages 30 and 75 years for a research study on sensorimotor skill and brain function of ASD.

elderly person's hand and puzzle pieces

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Chewing and Swallowing Study in Autism

The Neurocognitive and Behavioral Development (NBD) Lab currently is seeking children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for participation in a clinical research study on chewing and swallowing. This study aims to better understand how sensory and motor dysfunctions contribute to chewing /swallowing difficulties in ASD.

nuts fruits vegetables

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Preclinical Dementia Biomarkers in Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD)

The Neurocognitive and Behavioral Development lab (NBD-lab) seeks autistic adults and control individuals for participation in a research study focused on healthy aging.

brain scans

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

VocFit Study

Researchers at the University of Florida are conducting a study to improve the Vocational Fit Assessment, a tool designed to help young adults, ages 18-22, with intellectual disabilities find a good job fit.

man siting in front of computer pointing at screen

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

PEDI PRO Study

A study developing a new self-report assessment software for kids, teens, and young adults with developmental disabilities.

iPhone in a person's hand

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Caregivers’ Perceptions of Barriers to Accessing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Services

Help us to identify perceived barriers and facilitators of accessing therapy services.

Barrier and Stop Sign

Research Opportunity

Housing Survey

This study aims to collect information on the housing needs for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) and their families.

six graphic images of houses

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Sleep Concerns?

The Behavior Analysis Research Clinic is evaluating sleep patterns and problem behavior in children.

young girl sleeping in bed with blanket and toy

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Social Skill and Autism

If you or your child exhibit difficulties with social skills and would like to learn strategies to make improvements in this area, consider enrolling in our study!

Back of person's head, person holding end of some strands of hair

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Problem Behavior and Autism

If your child exhibits mild to moderate problem behavior and you would like us to evaluate the function of everyday consequences of that behavior, consider enrolling in our study!

Back of person's head, person holding end of some strands of hair

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Teeth Grinding

Does your child grind their teeth during the day?

young boy showing teeth and snarling

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Cooperation with Medical Procedures

This study is designed to evaluate the most effective ways to increase cooperation with medical procedures such as immunization shots or blood draws in individuals with autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders. 

arm of person getting their blood drawn

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Project PHoENIX

Participatory, Human-centered Equitable, Neurodiverse, and Inclusive XR seeks to engage in design-based research to create advanced virtual reality technology systems and tools which will enable inclusive research and development of immersive learning technologies in collaboration with autistic research participants.

robot in a VR setting with UF Gator logo and Gator football game on tv in background

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Solution Talk with Parents of Children with Autism

Free support group for parents of a child with autism experiencing pandemic related stress. 

word stress written in red pencil that is being pressed hard on paper

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

ASD Literacy Survey Study

Have a K-6th grade child with autism? We’d love to hear from you about your child’s reading and writing instruction before and during the COV-19 pandemic! 

Young boy writing at a table

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

SPARK for Autism

Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research (SPARK) Online research partnership involving individuals with autism & their families, to speed up research & advance our understanding of autism. SPARK is sponsored by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI).

Young children; one is holding cardboard box that says SPARK on it

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Sensory Intervention in Boys with Autism

Help researchers understand and learn more about non-pharmacological interventions for children with ASD and how their brains use sensory information.

little boy on playground

Aging Well in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The Neurocognitive and Behavioral Development lab (NBD-lab) seeks autistic adults and control individuals for participation in a research study focused on healthy aging.
Aging, or getting older, might change someone’s brain function, motor skills, health condition, or how they feel about their life. By understanding how these things might change, in the future we might be able to help autistic adults stay heathier longer.

Eligible individuals will be requested to complete the following non-invasive tests:

  • Autism screening and diagnostic evaluation
  • Questions about medical, developmental, and family history
  • Tests of motor skill
  • Tests of brain anatomy and function
  • Questions about quality-of-life and happiness

Locations:
Tests are conducted at three locations on the UF Gainesville main campus, including the UF Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UF CARD), Florida Gymnasium, and McKnight Brain Imaging
Center.

Are you eligible?

  • Between the ages of 30 to 75 years
  • Received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), OR
  • Meet our requirement as a control participant

This is NOT a treatment study. Participants will be compensated for their time and reimbursed for travel.

Contact:
Zheng Wang, PhD., Principal Investigator (PI)
Email or call 352-294-5309

Study ID:IRB201801378 Date Approved: 10/2/2020


Chewing and Swallowing Study in Autism

The Neurocognitive and Behavioral Development (NBD) Lab currently is seeking children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for participation in a clinical research study on chewing and swallowing. This study aims to better understand how sensory and motor dysfunctions contribute to chewing /swallowing difficulties in ASD.

Eligible individuals will be asked to complete the following non-invasive tests:

  • Questions about medical, developmental and family history
  • Autism diagnostic testing (not applicable for controls)
  • Puzzles
  • Chewing and swallowing assessment

Location
Testing will be conducted at UF (Gainesville Campus). All procedures have been approved by our local Institutional Review Board.

Are you eligible?

  • Between the ages of 6 to 12
  • Received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • OR
  • Have not received a diagnosis of ASD.

Participants will be compensated for their time!

Contact:
Zheng Wang, PhD., Principal Investigator (PI)
Email or call 352-294-5309

Study ID:IRB201901348 Date Approved: 2/24/2020


Preclinical Dementia Biomarkers in Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD)

The Neurocognitive Behavioral Development lab (NBD lab) is currently seeking autistic adults between the ages of 30-75 years for a non-treatment research study on Blood and Brain Markers of Dementia in Adults with ASD.

Eligible individuals will be asked to complete the following tasks:

  • Diagnostic screening and evaluation
  • Memory and thinking abilities
  • Brain imaging (MRI & PET/CT) scans
  • Blood draw

Locations:
Tests are conducted at the University of Florida Gainesville main campus:

  • UF Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD)
  • Florida Gymnasium
  • McKnight Brain Imaging Center
  • UF Health Medical Plaza
  • Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases

If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact the study team:
ndb-lab@ufl.edu
352-294-5309

All costs covered by study including MRI , PET/CT, blood draw, travel, and stipend

Study ID:IRB202100659Date Approved: 10/26/2021


Vocational Fit Assessment and Employment Status in People with Intellectual Disabilities

Goal: Explore the work-related experiences of people with intellectual disabilities.

Who can participate?

  • Adults with intellectual disabilities, ages 18-22, currently engaged in work activities
  • A person who knows them well and has been a part of their life for over a year (e.g., teacher, parent, job coach, employer)

Interview partners will:

  • Provide background information on the adult with intellectual disability
  • Talk about what they are good at or work history

How long with it take?

  • Each interview will take approximately 2 hours
  • There will be 3 interviews: now, in 12 months, and again in 24 months
  • Questions will be given to participant partners two weeks before to allow more time for reading and preparation
  • As a thank you gift, each participant partner will receive $40 for each interview (each partner can expect to receive $120)

Contact:
Elizabeth Kennelly-Smith, Research Coordinator
Jessica Kramer, PhD, OTR/L, Associate Professor University of Florida
University of Florida Department of Occupational Therapy
For more information, email or call 352-273-9365.

Protocol Number: 19-8656H


PEDI PRO Study

Help develop a new app that helps youth and young adults with disabilities speak up for their needs.

We are looking for teens and young adults:

  • Ages 14-22
  • With developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, or Down syndrome
  • With intellectual disabilities

What will happen?

  • Answer questions on the app.
  • Your parent, guardian, or other adult will also answer some questions about you and your abilities.
  • Meet with us one time.
  • You can choose to do the study in a location that is safe and easy for you.
  • After the meeting, you will receive a $30.00 gift card.

Contact:
Elizabeth Kennelly-Smith, Research Coordinator
Jessica Kramer, PhD, OTR/L, Associate Professor University of Florida
University of Florida Department of Occupational Therapy
For more information, email or call 352-273-9365.

This study is funded by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R42HD090772

Study ID:IRB201903395 Date Approved: 11/19/2021 


Caregivers’ Perceptions of Barriers to Accessing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Services

Help us to identify perceived barriers and facilitators of accessing therapy services.

We are looking for caregivers who:

  • have a child with autism spectrum disorder who is age 17 years or younger
  • who live in Alachua or Marion county, and
  • who registered with UF CARD in 2019

What will happen?

  • Meet with one of the researchers for 1-2 hours.
  • Meetings can be either in-person or via telehealth.
  • Gas cards will provided to caregivers who meet face-to-face with the researchers.

Contact:
Email Janelle Bacotti at the University of Florida

Study ID: IRB202002887 Date Approved: 12/02/2020


UF Health Center for Autism & Neurodevelopment
(UF Health CAN) Housing Survey

Purpose: This study aims to collect information on the housing needs for individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) and their families. This information will be used by UF CAN and other organizations in measuring, defining, and sharing information about the housing needs and support services needed for adults with developmental disabilities in the State of Florida, in order to help them transition more independently into affordable and inclusive housing of their choice.

Who is eligible to participate in the survey?
Individuals 18 years or older, Living in Florida, and Diagnosed with a developmental disability
OR
Caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities living in Florida

What do you need to do?

• Click the survey link

• Answer the 21 questions listed on your computer, tablet, or phone. (Should take about 10 – 15 minutes to complete.)

For more information about this research study (approved 06/07/2021), contact Carla Schmidt or Ann-Marie Orlando.
Study ID: IRB202100150 Date approved: 06/07/2021


Sleep Concerns?

The Behavior Analysis Research Clinic (BARC) at the University of Florida is evaluating sleep patterns and problem behavior in children.

  • Required that the child not co-sleep.
  • Preferred that the child attends a clinic for ABA therapy, but not required.
  • All sleep analyses conducted in the home.

For more information email llloveras@ufl.edu.


Social Skill and Autism

If you or your child exhibit difficulties with social skills and would like to learn strategies to make improvements in this area, consider enrolling in our study!

Individuals diagnosed with autism often exhibit difficulties with day-to-day social interactions that could have a profound impact on their life.

The purpose of the current investigation is to identify possible social skill difficulties you or your child exhibit and to teach strategies to make improvements in these areas using various positive reinforcement-based procedures.

Procedures will include brief, 5 to 10-minute sessions lasting no more than 60 minutes per day. Because all individuals have different skill deficits, duration of participation will vary, but will terminate upon mastery of the target skills or after 4 months elapse. You or your children may withdraw from the study at any time.

Participants will not receive compensation.

Location
Telehealth appointments once or twice a week for a duration not to exceed 4 months.

Are you or your child eligible?

  • Must have a diagnosis of autism.
  • Must be between 3 and 25 years of age.
  • Must be able to vocally communicate.

If you’re unsure if you or your child meet the requirements, call or email Catherine Kishel, M.Ed., BCBA, Study Coordinator, or call 352-273-2184.
Study ID: IRB202001291


Problem Behavior and Autism

If your child exhibits mild to moderate problem behavior and you would like us to evaluate the function of everyday consequences of that behavior, consider enrolling in our study!

Individuals diagnosed with autism often exhibit problem behavior that is disruptive to themselves and others.

The purpose of the current investigation is to evaluate the function of common, everyday consequences of the problem behaviors of children with ASD.

Procedures will include brief, 5 to 10-minute sessions lasting no more than 30 minutes per day. Because all individuals have different problem behaviors, duration of participation will vary, but will terminate upon completion of the evaluation or after 2 months elapse.
You or your children may withdraw from the study at any time.

Participants will not receive compensation.

Location:
In person appointments at the UF Health Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment 1-3 times per week for a duration not to exceed 2 months.

Is your child eligible?

  • Must have a diagnosis of autism.
  • Must be between 3 and 18 years of age.
  • Problem behavior must not be severe (e.g. head-directed self-injury; dangerous aggression)

If you’re unsure if you or your child meet the requirements, call or email Catherine Kishel, M.Ed., BCBA, Study Coordinator, or call 352-273-2184.
Study ID: IRB202101280 Date Approved: 7/30/2021


DOES YOUR CHILD GRIND THEIR TEETH DURING THE DAY?

The Behavior Analysis Research Clinic is evaluating assessment and treatment strategies for teeth grinding while awake.

Requirements:

  • Diagnosis of ASD
  • Ages: 2-13 yrs
  • Must engage in teethgrinding while awake

Contact:
Savannah Tate
tatesavannah@ufl.edu

Study ID:IRB202000522 Date Approved: 6/16/2021


Cooperation with Medical Procedures

The Behavior Analysis Research Clinic is currently conducting a study designed to evaluate the most effective ways to increase cooperation with medical procedures such as immunization shots or blood draws in individuals with autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders. 

  • Must have a history of restraint, problem behavior, or noncomplicane in the context of medical procedures.
  • Must be able to attend weekly or biweekly appointments at UF CAN. 

Participants will not receive compensation.
Please contact llloveras@ufl.edu for more information.

Study ID: IRB202102414


Project Phoenix

Transition-aged adults between 18 and 24 with an autism diagnosis needed for this study.

What is Project PHOENIX?
Participatory, Human-centered Equitable, Neurodiverse, and Inclusive XR seeks to engage in design-based research to create advanced virtual reality technology systems and tools which will enable inclusive research and development of immersive learning technologies in collaboration with autistic research participants.

Study Goal
Investigate the usability and user experience of a 3D virtual environment we have designed and developed for supporting co-design and collaborative research with autistics stakeholders in Virtual Reality (VR).

How Can You Help?
If you choose to participate, we will ask that you complete three sessions:
1. Training: Learn to use the software
2. Walk through a gallery to learn about VR software for autistic people.
3. Walk through another gallery to learn about VR software that might be useful for autistic people Interested in helping us improve our virtual reality environment?

Please contact Dr. Matthew Schmidt at matthew.schmidt@coe.ufl.edu

Study ID:IRB202102310 Date Approved: 10/26/2021


Solution Talk with Parents of Children with Autism

Do you have a child with autism?
Has the pandemic caused stress?
If so, our free support group is for you!
Gift cards upon participation.

  • Participate in a supportive group
  • Learn to identify and develop strengths
  • Explore strategies you can incorporate into family life

Virtual Groups: Wednesdays starting 3/30/33 at 3:30pm for 10 weeks

Contact us to learn more: Dr. Pei-Fen Li at pli@nova.edu or the Brief Therapy Institute at 954-262-3030

This is a research study about parents and main caregivers of children with autism being conducted under the direction of Dr. Pei-Fen Li.
Department of Family Therapy, Nova Southeastern

Study ID:IRB#2019-384


ASD Literacy Study Survey

Have a K-6th grade child with autism? We’d love to hear from you about your child’s reading and writing instruction before and during the COV-19 pandemic! 

This research project is fully online, and families from across the United States are encouraged to participate.
This is an online survey that will take 60 to 75 minutes to complete.
Families will receive a $25 gift card compensation for participation.  
Your perspective is important to us as we hope to learn more about literacy instruction during a worldwide pandemic!

Survey Link

If you have any questions, please contact:  
Nancy McIntyre, PhD Assistant Professor School of Communication Sciences & Disorders College of Health Professions and Sciences University of Central Florida nancy.mcintyre@ucf.edu   

Matthew Zajic, PhD Assistant Professor Intellectual Disability/ Autism Program Department of Health & Behavior Studies Teachers College, Columbia University mcz2114@tc.columbia.edu


Sensory Intervention in Boys with Autism

What’s the study about?

Greater than 80% of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience sensory differences that make it difficult for them to fully participate in meaningful everyday activities. In this research study, we will use MRI and behavioral methods to assess how sensory interventions might change sensory brain structures, allowing us to better predict which sensory interventions might work best for whom.

What will happen in the study?

The study is for boys aged 6-8 years old diagnosed with autism by a physician, psychiatrist, neurologist, or psychologist. Over a 12-week period, families in the experimental group will attend intervention sessions twice a week. The intervention will be administered by a licensed Occupational Therapist and will include playing on swings, scooter boards, climbing equipment, bolsters, and large carpeted barrels. The 12-week sensory intervention may improve your child’s communication, reciprocal social interactions, repetitive behaviors, and/or restricted interests. As a thank you for participating, families will receive up to $120.

Contact the Sensory Development Lab for more information.