Big answers come in small packages

There’s so much expectant parents want to learn about their babies. We do too. We want to discover how children respond to their mother’s voice even before birth.

By participating in this unique study you will:

  • Receive a free 4D ultrasound of your baby.
  • Get valuable developmental feedback as your baby grows—up to age 3.
  • Gain access to leading-edge interventions and treatments for developmental concerns.
  • Help Marcus Autism Center understand how babies develop and learn.
  • Make a difference in the lives of kids with autism today and tomorrow.

What is the purpose of this research?

We want to discover how children begin to respond to their mother’s voice and other sounds around them, even before birth. This research will help develop new methods for early identification and treatment for babies at risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Who can participate?

Marcus Autism Center is looking for pregnant moms who have already had a clinical ultrasound scan as part of an existing medical program of prenatal care, in addition to an older biological child who is either:

  • Diagnosed with autism or
  • Typically developing with no family history of autism

What is involved?

In order to enroll you in our study, our team will ask:

  1. That you answer questions about your family’s medical history
  2. That your primary care physician give written permission for us to conduct an ultrasound

We will ask you to visit Marcus Autism Center five times during our study:

  • First visit: One to two months before you are due to give birth, we will make audio recordings of you reading out loud.
  • Second visit: Thirty-five weeks into your pregnancy, a licensed obstetrician and certified sonographer will carry out an ultrasound examination to assess your baby’s health. We will measure your baby’s heart rate and movement while we play sounds through a loudspeaker. You will be able to watch real-time movies of your baby displayed on our four-dimensional (4D) ultrasound scanner.
  • Third, fourth and fifth visits: At 12, 24 and 36 months after your baby is born, clinicians will perform tests to find out whether your child may have autism or a related developmental disorder. You will get feedback on your child’s development.

What are the benefits in participating?

There are many reasons to take part in research. You will help others who are living with autism and aid scientists in detecting the condition earlier.

There are also benefits for your family:

  • Free 4D ultrasound
  • Clinicians monitor your child’s progress during the study and provide support and direction when appropriate.
  • If your child shows signs of autism or a related disorder, or if you have any concerns about your child’s development, you will be able to meet with a clinician and receive recommendations for early intervention.

The study is free. As a token of our thanks, families will be compensated for taking part in our research. If your primary care physician gives permission, you will also get a free DVD of your ultrasound session to keep.

Join the study

Email us or call 404-785-7600 and say you’re interested in the Prenatal Ultrasound Study.