Research

Research

Overview

The Koegel Autism Center's primary research goal is to develop and test new autism interventions designed to improve the lives of individuals, parents, and families affected by ASD.  Most of our research projects offer intervention or support services at no cost to participating families.  All research participation is voluntary.  The center and its researchers has received past funding from state agencies, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Education, Autism Speaks, Organization for Autism Research, the Autism Science Foundation, and private donations.

We are now recruiting for the following studies...

Pivotal Response Treatment App

Do you sometimes wish there were easier ways to learn about and implement effective autism treatments at home with your child?

The UCSB Autism Center will soon be recruiting families to participate in a research study that evaluates the use of a smartphone app to teach caregivers an early social communication intervention for children diagnosed with autism (1 - 4 1/2 years).

Click here to learn more about the PRT App Research Study

To learn more about the research study click on the link above to take you to the research study page!

 

OTHER RESEARCH PROJECTS (RECRUITMENT CLOSED)

Remote Learning Support Study

We are offering virtual coaching for parents to support their child during remote learning.

Over the course of 6 sessions, parents will receive coaching in  motivational strategies to enhance their child’s remote learning experience. The program will be individualized for each parent and their child’s needs during remote instruction.

To be eligible, students must be required to participate in remote learning (e.g. fully online; hybrid schedule; independent study) for some portion of their school week.

If interested, please contact Samantha Poyser (skpoyser@ucsb.edu) for further information.

 

Telehealth START Program for Individuals with ASD

Recruitment Closed (Active Waitlist)

We are offering 10 weeks of a no-cost multi-component social club to qualifying young adults with autism spectrum disorder as part of a research study! This online club combines a motivating environment to acquire social experience and targeted lessons to improve social skills and understanding.

Young adults will participate in a virtual program that features peer-facilitators, self-tracking of key skills, fun activities, social outings, and weekly interactive lessons. Young adults must be able to communicate using full sentence phrases and meet other criteria to qualify. They also must be able to meet via Zoom at least twice a week. All research participation is voluntary.

For more information, please contact us at autism@education.ucsb.edu or call 805.893.2049.

ASSESSING SERVICE NEEDS DURING COVID-19 RESEARCH PROJECT 

Brief Parent Survey During COVID-19

Encuesta Breve Para Padres, Madres y Cuidadores Durante El COVID-19

WHO? Parents of an individual (aged 2 or older) diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder can participate by completing this brief survey.

WHY? Your answers will provide helpful information to autism researchers and service providers to better support you and your family during COVID-19 and beyond.

A list of nationwide resources is offered alongside the survey. You will be entered into a drawing to win 1 out of 10 $25 Amazon gift cards.

For more information, please contact us at autism@education.ucsb.edu or call 805.893.2049.

 

Remote Parent-Child Interaction Therapy

WHAT? UCSB’s Koegel Autism Center is offering online time-limited PCIT services at no-cost to qualifying families of children with autism spectrum disorder as part of a research study. This program will teach you to manage your child’s difficult behaviors and promote a number of adaptive skills using a play-based approach. The intervention consists of 10 parent education sessions, where you will receive personalized in-vivo coaching from trained doctoral graduate students who are supervised by experienced clinicians.

WHO? Families of autistic children (aged 2-5) who employ the use of sentences or short phrases to communicate. Access to a computer or smartphone, secured internet and Bluetooth headphones is needed for participation.

All research participation is voluntary.

For more information or to schedule an eligibility check, please contact the UCSB Koegel Autism Center by emailing autism@education.ucsb.edu or calling 805.893.2049

 

INFANT/TODDLER RESEARCH PROJECTS

 

Autism Early Intervention Project

Recruitment Closed 

With funding from Cottage Hospital’s Research Institute, the UCSB Koegel Autism Center is now recruiting families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ages 12 months to 59 months) for a research study focused on parent-child interactions and autism intervention.

Eligible families will receive multiple developmental assessments, record parent-child play videos while wearing special sensors, and receive 12 months (8 hours/week) of a motivation-based, personalized treatment that focuses on improving social engagement and language.

Families will be compensated $50 for each of three developmental assessments: one at intake, after 6-months, and after 12-months.  They will also receive $20 each time for parent-child videos taken after 3-4 and 8-9 months. Children must have an existing diagnosis of autism and have minimal language use (i.e. be nonverbal or use only single words with less than 20 functional words). Parents must commit to participating in a weekly 2-hour parent intervention training session and be at home for three 2-hour clinician-child sessions.

Please email autism@education.ucsb.edu or call 805.893.2049 for more information

 

ADULT RESEARCH PROJECTS

 

START Program for Young Adults with ASD

Recruitment Closed 

We are offering 20 weeks of a no-cost multi-component social club to qualifying young adults (ages 18-25) with autism spectrum disorder as part of a research study! This club combines a motivating environment to acquire social experience and targeted lessons to improve social skills and understanding.

Young adults will participate in a program that features peer-facilitators, self-tracking of key skills, fun activities, social outings, and weekly interactive lessons. Young adults must be able to communicate using full sentence phrases and meet other criteria to qualify. They also must be able to travel to the UCSB campus at least once a week.

Young adults will be compensated with a $20 gift card for participating in the project’s intake process, even if they do not finish or decide not to continue with the social club. All research participation is voluntary.

For more information, please contact us at autism@education.ucsb.edu or call 805.893.2049.

 

 

Social Knowledge For Individuals With Limited Language (The SKILL Program) 

Recruitment Closed 

UCSB's Koegel Autism Center is offering 10 weeks of a no-cost multi-component social club-like workshop to qualifying young adults (ages 18-25) with autism spectrum disorder and limited conversational language as part of a research study! This club combines a motivating environment to acquire social experience and targeted lessons to improve social skills and understanding.

Young adults will participate in a program that features peer-facilitators, self-tracking of key skills, fun activities, and weekly interactive lessons.

Young adults must have a diagnosis of autism and some vulnerabilities with language use in order to qualify for this project. They must be able to understand and use multiple word phrases, but they do not need to be able to engage in social conversation.  They also must be able to travel to the UCSB campus at least once a week.

For more information and to be added to our waitlist, please email us at autism@education.ucsb.edu or call 805.893.2049.

 

SELFI Project: A Social Media Training Program for Adults with ASD

Recruitment Closed 

The Koegel Autism Center is offering a program designed to improve online social communication skills for adults with ASD. The program targets these skills through a personalized intervention aimed to help individuals become more comfortable and confident using social media and other forms of online communication.

The program will run for 8 weeks at no cost. The program involves one-on-one sessions with a clinician once per week for 50 minutes.

Adults between the ages of 18 and 35 years are invited to participate. They must also be able to travel to the UCSB campus at least once a week.  All research participation is voluntary.

For more information or to schedule an intake, please contact us at autism@education.ucsb.edu or call 805.893.2049.

 

PARENT & FAMILY RESEARCH PROJECTS

PEACE Group for Parents (Parent Education and Community Experience)

Parenting a child with ASD presents many unique challenges. Come meet other parents who share your experiences, learn tools and strategies to cope with stress, and learn how to navigate public support systems and resources. Childcare will be provided by trained undergraduate and graduate students. The group is offered at NO CHARGE to families. Parents who wish to be enrolled must be willing to commit to all scheduled meetings.

Due to COVID-19, the next cycle has been postponed.

For more information, please contact us at autism@education.ucsb.edu or call 805.893.2049.

 

Online Social Motivation Survey

We are currently recruiting for a survey study for adolescents and young adults (ages 12-30) with autism and their parents.

The purpose of the project is to evaluate the effectiveness of a new measure intended to obtain reports of social skills and motivation. These responses will help develop a new program that monitors the progress of individuals who are receiving autism-related services. Participation should take about 5 minutes for each person and all surveys are collected online.

If you have any questions, please contact autism@ucsb.edu.

 

Online Pivotal Response Treatment Project

We are recruiting for an online PRT training program to help parents improve the language and social skills of their young children with autism spectrum disorder.  Study participation will involve a free 6-week online course. Eligible families should have a child with ASD between the ages of 12-48 months and concerns about their language development.  Families will complete online PRT modules and submit 5-minute videos of parents implementing the strategies with their children.

If you are interesting in participating in this study, please contact autism@ucsb.edu or call 805.893.2049.

Homework Project

*Is your child between the ages of 5-14 years of age and enrolled in school?
*Are they having difficulties completing academic tasks during homework time?
*Do you have concern about their academic progress?

If so, your child may be eligible to participate in a research study to increase your child’s motivation during academic tasks. You may be present for all intervention sessions.

Contact Samantha Poyser at skpoyser@ucsb.edu for more information

 

Daily Living Skills Project for College Students with Autism

We are offering 8 weeks of no cost services to qualifying full time college students with autism spectrum disorder as part of a research study! The program combines a behavioral intervention and a peer mentor program to improve daily living skills needed for success in higher education. The program features peer-mentors, self-tracking of key skills, fun activities with a peer mentor, and weekly-individualized lessons with a master’s level clinician.

WHO: College students between the ages of 18 and 25 years must have average cognitive functioning and be full-time students in a higher education setting. They must also be able to travel to the UCSB campus at least once a week. College students must have a parent or former caregiver who is willing to complete a confidential online form asking about their child’s social, communication, and daily living skills.

WHEN: Please contact the research investigator below to schedule your intake session today!  All research participation is voluntary.

Please contact autism@ucsb.edu for more information or to schedule an intake! 

REACCH Project: An Infant-Toddler Playgroup for Parents with Developmental Concerns

The REACCH (Rewarding Engagement And Communication in CHildren) program is a playgroup for infants ages 9-24 months. This 10-week program, for parents and infants, is designed to support early social development. REACCH focuses on supporting social engagement through the use of motivating play activities and behavioral principles. This program is designed for infants falling slightly behind expected milestones in social development. Target areas include: gesture use, eye contact, shared enjoyment, vocalizations, and emerging play skills.

To be eligible, families should have a child between the ages of 9 and 24 months, have concerns about your child's social or language development AND/OR have an older child with an autism diagnosis, and have the ability to travel to UCSB's Koegel Autism Center on a weekly basis for 10 sessions.

Qualifying for this group does not mean that an infant will go on to receive an ASD diagnosis.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact autism@ucsb.edu