Enroll in a CAR Study

Learn how you can help with a new
Autism, ADHD, Anxiety & Depression study.

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Enroll in a Study.

Advances in understanding autism and related disorders are only possible as a direct result of the participation of individuals and families.


However, finding study participants is one of the greatest challenges researchers face. Simply put – scientists cannot make real progress without your help. We need you!


Studies Currently Enrolling:

Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Study

ECHO is a nationwide research program whose mission is to improve the health of children for generations to come. The goal is to learn how the environment affects children’s health and development, and how it interacts with genetic information. The environment includes things that children may experience throughout their lives and even before they are born, like the air they breathe, foods they eat, interactions with other people, and the neighborhoods where they live. Children ages 5-11 and a biological parent are invited to participate. The study involves one visit, with in-person and remote components, in which the child will complete a cognitive assessment and body measurements, and both the child and parent will complete questionnaires and provide bio-samples (saliva, blood, hair, and toenails).

For more information:
Hunter Carney
IBIS@chop.edu

Epilepsy Study

The goal of this study is to understand the brain responses of children with Autism and how they differ from those with Epilepsy. Participants are asked to:

1. Visit the Roberts Center for Pediatric Research. Your child will complete a number of tests to measure their motor and problem solving skills. Parents will be asked to complete a few questionnaires about their child's development.

2. Visit the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Your child will complete non- invasive brain imaging.

Participants will be compensated for their time in the study and may receive verbal feedback from the study psychologist summarizing their cognitive testing.

For more information:
Kimmie Konka
KonkaK@email.chop.edu

Floreo Focus Groups

The purpose of this research study is to understand how individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their parents feel about police officers. We are seeking teens and adults aged 18+ with a confirmed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and, parents and caretakers aged 18+ of individuals aged 12+ with a confirmed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. We are particularly interested in the perspectives of individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups, such as people of color and folks who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. You'll be asked to complete one anonymous 15-25 minute online questionnaire. You will be compensated for your time.

For more information:
Aili Hauptmann
hauptmanna@chop.edu

Floreo Focus Groups Police Survey

The purpose of this research study is to understand how police officers feel about interacting with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We are looking for police officers who regularly interact with civilians. You will be asked to complete one anonymous 15-20 minute online questionnaire. You will be compensated for your time.

For more information:
Aili Hauptmann
hauptmanna@chop.edu

Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS)

We are currently enrolling infants aged 6 months in the Infant Brain Imagine Study (IBIS). This study seeks to understand the key differences and similarities in brain development between infants whose siblings do and do not autism. Participants will be asked to make 3 visits to CHOP over time to complete cognitive and behavioral testing and a non-invasive MRI. Participants will be compensated for their time and receive a written feedback report.

For more information:
Hunter Carney
ibis@chop.edu

Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) Down Syndrome

The study’s goal is to increase our understanding of how the brain is affected in infants with and without Down Syndrome. This may in turn provide clues that could eventually help identify therapeutic targets for intervention for individuals with Down Syndrome. Infants with Down Syndrome between the ages of birth to 12 months old and infants with typical development between the ages of birth to 6 months old are invited to participate. Expectant mothers are encouraged to contact us. You will be asked to travel to CHOP when babies are 6, 12, and 24 months old. Infants will complete developmental testing and an MRI scan (during natural sleep without sedation). Reimbursement for study related expenses and compensation for your visits will be provided.

For more information:
Hunter Carney
ibis@chop.edu

Neural Correlates of Simulated Driving

We want to measure brain response to driving tasks, like turning and braking, using a simulator and brain scans. We’re trying to understand any differences in participants who are typically developing, have an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, or have undergone neurosurgery. We hope to identify safety concerns as well as inform treatment to help with the driving process. We are looking for people 12-17 years old with autism and without autism. We will complete a questionnaire and medical/research record review to see if you're eligible for our study. If eligible, you will be asked to come to CHOP for two 4-6 hour visits. You will complete non-invasive brain imaging and driving simulation during one visit and cognitive, behavioral, sensory and motor testing during the other visit. You will receive compensation and free parking for your participation.

For more information:
Sophie Goldin
goldins@chop.edu

Sensory Processing in ASD

The purpose of this research study is to understand how children with autism spectrum disorder process touch compared to children without autism. Children between 6-10 years of age with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder OR are typically developing are invited to participate. Your child will be asked to complete tests to measure their sensory behaviors, language, and problem-solving skills. Your child will also complete non-invasive brain imaging. Your child may watch a silent movie while they lie in the scanner and are presented with various sensory stimuli. Parents will be asked to complete a few questionnaires about their child's development. The findings of this study will help improve interventions for autism spectrum disorder. Participating families will receive compensation for their time and a small toy for the child. Free parking will be provided at each study visit.

For more information:
Syama Patel
patels60@chop.edu

Toddler Brain Development Study

We are conducting a study to understand brain development in infants that are typically developing compared with young children who have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Diagnosis. We will use new non-invasive brain imaging methods developed for infants and young children. We are asking typically developing infants and children between the ages of 2 to 5 years to participate. By conducting brain imaging scans of brain activity in infants, toddlers, and pre-school children we will see how brain processes change across development. We will eventually use this information to better understand brain processes in children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. We will pay you for your time in the study. In addition, your child will receive a small gift.

For more information:
Yuhan Chen
infantMEG@email.chop.edu

TUNE IN (Training to Understand Emotions and Interactions)

The goal of this research study is to test the effectiveness of a new treatment program to improve social functioning in adults with autism spectrum disorder. Adults age 18 years or older with autism spectrum disorder who can attend weekly sessions for this 6-month program are eligible. You will be asked to participate in interviews and fill out questionnaires to assess autism symptoms, social understanding, and social skills. You may also (50% chance) be asked to attend weekly meetings including individual meetings with a research staff member, group meetings with staff and other study participants, and finally weekly volunteer work sessions. The weekly participation will last approximately 6 months and will occur online via teleconferencing software. It is possible that participation in this study may improve your comfort and skill in many types of social situations. Compensation will be provided.

For more information:
James Rankin
james.rankin@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Vocal Biomarkers

The goal of this research study is to identify unique characteristics in the way kids and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) speak in comparison to typically developing peers. We are looking to partner with children and adolescents ages 6-17 with a confirmed diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and typically developing children and adolescents. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all study activities may be completed from home. Participants will be asked to complete questionnaires, as well as weekly language-based activities 7 times. You will receive compensation for your participation. Upon request, you will receive a clinical report detailing assessment results.

If you are interested in participating in the study or want to learn more about it please contact Maggie Rose Pelella at CARLanguageLab@chop.edu or call (267) 425-1157.

For more information:
CAR Language Lab
CARLanguageLab@chop.edu

VR Intervention to Improve Police Safety

We are looking for teens and adults ages 12 and older with autism spectrum disorder to participate in a research study to test whether virtual reality (VR) could be a useful way for people with autism to practice interacting with police officers. Participants will be asked to make one to four virtual study visits, participate in either VR intervention or a treatment- as- usual condition, and complete questionnaires and talk about experiences. Participants will receive compensation for participating. 

For more information:
Alison Russell
russella2@email.chop.edu

Social Coordination

How we communicate – our body language, tone, expression – says just as much as our words. This study compares how people with different backgrounds and medical conditions use language and non-verbal methods to interact. We are looking for children between the ages of 12 and 17 to participate along with their parents. Typically developing children as well as children who are diagnosed with ADHD, Anxiety Disorder, Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, or Oppositional Defiant Disorder are invited to participate. You will complete one longer visit or a few shorter virtual visits, where you will meet with our clinicians and research team. During this visit you will play games and talk with our research staff. All participants will also receive a full psychological work-up, including behavioral testing for ADHD, anxiety, autism, and mood disorders. The study also includes a full psychological evaluation by a CHOP expert as well as IQ screening and clinical feedback and guidance, free of charge. Participants will be compensated for their time and travel.

For more information:
CARmotorlab@chop.edu

Infant Social Development Study

The Center for Autism Research is enrolling 1-year-old children for a study on the development of social communication skills in children who have an older sibling. Participants are asked to make two visits to CHOP which involve comprehensive evaluation and completion of easy motor behavior tasks. Participants will receive compensation for their time and a written feedback report. 

For more information:
CARearlysocialstudy@email.chop.edu
Father daughter

SPARK

We are enrolling any individual with autism spectrum disorder and their parent(s) into the nation’s largest autism study, called SPARK. The goal of SPARK is to speed up autism research and find the genetic causes of autism. All participants enroll online at www.sparkforautism.org/CHOP and then provide a saliva sample via kits that are mailed to the home. Families who return the saliva collection kits will receive compensation and access to free webinars and an interactive and informational dashboard.

For more information:
267-769-8163
SPARK@email.chop.edu

Evaluating Transportation among Adolescents (ETA) Study

The purpose of this study is to learn more about the experience of teens and young adults on the autism spectrum and their parents as they make decisions about transportation, including driving. This study is open to autistic teens and young adults ages 16 – 21, who do not yet have a learner’s permit or driver’s license, and a parent. Participants will be invited to complete up to 6 web-based surveys over the course of two years, where they will be asked about their experiences, perspectives, and decisions regarding transportation and driving. No in-person visits are required. They will receive compensation for their participation. The information collected in this study may benefit future families with teens on the autism spectrum, and all young drivers.

For more information:
autismetastudy@email.chop.edu

What Do You Eat?

The goal of this research study is to develop an online questionnaire about what youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) eat and how it impacts their daily lives. Youth and their parent(s) will complete a questionnaire about food and eating habits online. Parents will complete an additional child background and medical history questionnaire online. Participants will be paid for their time with an Amazon online gift card. For more information or to enroll, please visit the What Do You Eat study page.

For more information:
WhatDoYouEatStudy@email.chop.edu