We will recruit early intervention providers (EIPs) from Georgia. Each EIP will identify four toddlers 18 to 24 months of age with red flags for ASD, based on an observational screening tool, and invite families they serve in Part C early intervention who meet eligibility criteria. Once identified by an EIP, toddlers must meet eligibility criteria that includes:
EIPs will be recruited from Part C early intervention systems and will be randomly assigned to one of two treatments—early social interaction (ESI) intervention or business as usual (BAU). Each EIP will identify four toddlers with early signs of ASD over two years of participation in this project. Children will be assessed at baseline, at the end of the 9-month intervention, and for follow up nine months after intervention.
For EIPs, this study is designed to learn more about the effectiveness of using ESI intervention strategies to coach families whose children are showing early signs of autism or other developmental delays. You will learn more about early childhood development, early red flags for autism and communication delays, strategies for working with families, and empirically based intervention strategies. The study results may be used to help others in the future. You may also receive continuing education units and will be compensated for your time.
For families of children with ASD, this study is designed to learn more about methods of early intervention for young children with a risk of ASD. Your child may display positive outcomes as a result of the strategies you learn. In addition, families will be compensated for their time during evaluations at the Marcus Autism Center.
Principal investigator: Dr. Jennifer Stapel-Wax