What if we could diagnose autism or language delays before a child’s first birthday?
Although there is some knowledge available about the cause and treatment of these disorders, we still have much to learn. The Infant Sibling Project—a joint collaboration between Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston University—aims to identify very early risk markers for language impairment or autism spectrum disorders. Currently, children are not usually diagnosed until they are 18 months of age or older. Identifying high risk infants at this early stage would allow for early intervention to begin much sooner than is currently possible, greatly increasing the potential for such treatments to have a lasting, positive impact.
To achieve these goals, the project depends on area families who are willing to volunteer. They are looking for infants (age 12 months or younger) who have an older sibling with either a language impairment or an ASD. Parents who are expecting a new baby are also welcome to enroll. Babies in this project will be monitored closely for signs of autism or language impairment; they will be seen a few times during their first two years and for a follow-up at age three. Scheduling is flexible and based on each family’s needs. Travel and parking expenses are fully covered, and there is free childcare for any siblings who may come along with you to study visits. Participating parents are compensated for their time, and children receive small thank you gifts at each visit.
For more information, please contact Vanessa Loukas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-455-7238.