Multimodal imaging of early neural signature in autism spectrum disorder

Inna Fishman, PhD; San Diego State University


Study Start Date: 9/1/2015
Study End Date: 12/30/2018

We are recruiting families with toddlers (18-24 month old) who had just received a diagnosis of Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, to take part in the NIH-funded brain imaging studies. We will ask you to visit an MRI research center, where we can obtain images of your child's brain, while she or he is naturally asleep. The scans will take place late in the evenings when your child is usually asleep. It has been shown that kids can sleep successfully (and peacefully) in the MRI machine. Thus, while this method is completely non-invasive and safe, it can provide us with critical information about how your child's brain is developing at this critical period when autism symptoms first emerge. You will be compensated for your time and efforts. We will also ask you to return for a similar visit when your child is about 3 year old, and again when they are about 4-5 year old, for which you will also be compensated. 

Twins 2

Brian O’Roak, Raphael Bernier, Eric Fombonne

206-221-2147 (UW)

Study Start Date: 07/01/2014

Study End Date: 08/31/2017

​The twins-2 study explores genetic differences among identical twins, of whom at least one twin has a diagnosis of ASD, and their parents. We are looking for identical twin pairs ages 4 and up in which at least one twin has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Participation includes delivery of saliva and blood samples, and answering questionnaires. In person visits to our lab are not required for participation!

Postsecondary Resilience Education Program 

Rachel Hall

919-677-0102 ext. 514

Are you the parent of a child with a high functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD), Asperger’s syndrome, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS  who is a high school student preparing to transition to a post-secondary education setting such as a university or a community college within a few years?

Would you like to participate in the development of a computer-based program designed to help individuals with HF-ASD transition to college with improved success?

Click here to read more and apply.

Experiences of Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in a Mindful Parenting Course

Joanna Kennedy, M.A. & Steven Hickman, PsyD



Study Start Date: 1/11/2015
Study End Date: 5/1/2017

This study is exploring the experiences of parents of children with ASD in a Mindful Parenting Course offered by the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. Participants take the 8-week Mindful Parenting Course alongside community members (i.e. parents not involved in the research), and will receive a 50% discount on the course fee for participating in the research. In addition to taking the 8-week course, participants will meet with the researcher once before the course begins and once after the course is over to complete research measures and an interview. Participants should be the parent or primary caregiver of a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder between the ages of 3 and 12. In addition, they should not have previously taken a Mindfulness course.

Social Participation and Quality of Life in Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder 

Dr. Yan hua- Huang, Sabrina Setareh, Laura Silver, Ashley Wynne, Grace Yim, Lisa Yee

P: 310-243-2136

Click here for study approval document.

The purpose of this study is to explore the quality of life of young adults with high functioning ASD. While there are studies on quality of life on adults with ASD, these studies have been taken place in foreign countries such as Germany and Taiwan. The findings will be helpful due to the need for occupational therapists to improve interventions to improve social skills of young adults with ASD. This study will be confidential and no names or personal information will be asked. We are hoping to have a total of 70 participants who meet the following criteria:

1. Adults between ages 18-35 
2. Diagnosed with ASD
3. Able to legally consent for themselves 

Unstuck and on target

Andy Jin, 3C Research Assistant

(919) 677-0102 ext. 583


Click here to download flyer.

Are you a parent of an 8-12 year old child with Autism Spectrum Disorder without an intellectual disability?  Does your child report experiencing problems with flexibility, planning, and/or organization?  If so, you may be eligible to participate in a research study to provide feedback on a software program for parents that provides advanced training on how to apply an evidence-based curriculum, Unstuck and On Target, at home.

If eligible and chosen to participate in the study, all participants will be asked to complete the following research activities online. These activities are expected to take approximately 2 hours and you’ll have 2 weeks to complete these activities. If participants complete the following research activities, they will receive a $75 Amazon gift code for their participation.

1.    Complete a survey of demographic information
2.    Access and complete tasks on the software prototype
3.    Review website examples of future software development
4.    Complete a product evaluation to provide feedback on the prototype and website examples.

Following the completion of the online research activities, we will ask you to participate in a brief phone call about your experiences with the prototype lasting no longer than 45 minutes.

In order to learn more about the study or to determine if you are eligible to participate in this study, please visit this link:

If you have any questions about this research, please contact Andy Jin, 3C Research Assistant, via e-mail at or via phone at (919) 677-0102 ext. 583.

Sleep and Hormone Patterns in Infants With and Without a Family History of ASD    

Gena Glickman, PhD; Elizabeth Harrison, PhD; Karen Dobkins, PhD; and Marc Taylor, PhD

We are recruiting families with new infants who also have an older child with Autism because we want to know how sleep, hormones, and behavior change over the first year of life in children with and without a family history of autism. The first lab visit would occur when your infant is 3 months old, and will include some questionnaires and a play-based assessment of development. At each lab visit we will give you some materials to take with you to help monitor the sleep and circadian rhythms of your baby at home for the next week. These include a watch-like device and some swabs for collecting saliva. You will be compensated at the end of the week upon returning the materials to us. There will be two more similar visits and at-home follow-ups within the next year, for which you will also be compensated. We may also ask to do a developmental assessment for your older child.

Click here for more information.

Click here for study abstract.

Click here for NHRC Review Board Recommendation.

Research is the key to improving our knowledge about possible causes of autism and helping to identify effective treatments. The following researchers are seeking participants to assist in their studies.

If you are seeking funding sources to conduct a study,
click here for more information about the Autism Society San Diego Bernard Rimland Memorial Research Grant.

If you are seeking participants for studies relating to ASD (must be IRB approved) and would like your information to be posted, please click here for submission guidelines.

Below is a list of researchers seeking participants for their studies.

Research Studies

Autism & Injury
Ariane Myers-Turnbull, MA

I am currently recruiting participants for a project that is examining why children with autism are injured more often than children without autism. To participate you must be a mother of a child who is between the ages of 3 and 7 years old and who has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (i.e. autism, Asperger’s, pervasive developmental disorder). 

Concludes 3/2/2018

The Autistic Brain Over 45: The Anatomic, Functional, and Cognitive Phenotype - 1

Ralph-Axel Müller, Ph.D. & Ruth Carper, Ph.D.

(619) 594-0176

We’re looking for adults age 40 to 65 years who have Autism Spectrum Disorder or Asperger’s Syndrome to participate in a new research study in San Diego, California.

This project will fill a large gap in our current knowledge of ASD with virtually nothing known about brain and behavioral changes after age 40. Participants will take part in cognitive testing and an MRI scan. Volunteers must live in the San Diego area, be able to follow verbal instructions, and be able to hold still for an MRI scan. Participants will be paid for participating.

This project is conducted by Dr. Ralph-Axel Müller of San Diego State University through a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Integrity and Dynamic Processing Efficiency of Networks in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Dr. Ralph-Axel Mueller


Study Start Date: 8/10/2014

Study End Date: 4/30/2019

​The goal of this study is to compare the brain development between children with ASD and typically developing children before, and during, adolescence. If you know a child who is 7 - 17 years old, and is typically developing OR has a diagnosis of ASD, they may be eligible for this study. Participation involves a diagnostic and cognitive assessment, an MRI scan, and possibly an MEG scan for children 12-17 years old. There is no sedation or medication involved. Families are generously compensated for all the visits (between 2 to 4 visits, over the course of several weeks). We also share an image of your child’s brain with you!

Video Game-Based System for Training Attention and Eye Movement in ASD

Dr. Jeanne Townsend, PhD & Dr. Leanne Chukoskie, PhD


Study Start Date: 09/18/2014

Study End Date: 12/31/2017

​Brief Study Description/ Participant Criteria: Attention and eye movement work together to help us understand and react to our environment. These skills are important for learning and for daily functions like talking with friends, crossing the street safely, and driving a car. This study uses video game and eyetracking technology to train attention and eye movements in ASD. Participation will involve 2 or 3 visits (about 3 hours each) for testing and instruction in our UCSD lab and playing training games at home for 6-8 weeks. Participants will be compensated for time in the lab as well as game play at home. If you are interested in participating in this project and meet the qualifications below, please contact us and we will be in touch shortly with more information.

    1. Age 9-25
    2. Diagnosed with ASD
    3. No major medical/neurological conditions (e.g., seizures, brain injury)

Social Experiences of Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Toward an Understanding of Communication

Allison Brenneise


Study Start Date: 1/15/2017

Study End Date: 6/1/2017

​The main purpose of this study is to learn more about the social experiences and relationships of young adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) from the perspective of the young adult. By engaging in interviews with young adults with an ASD, I hope to learn what young adults think, feel, and want in and about social relationships and to gain an understanding of the ways and means young adults with an ASD communicate. By engaging in interviews with key support people, I hope to better understand the ideas and methods they use to support their young adults in their social experiences. To be included in this study you must be 18 to 35 years old, have a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder, be willing and able to be interviewed as a participant in a research study that is audio taped. You might be asked to show evidence of your autism spectrum diagnosis. To be included as a key support person, you must have been selected to serve in that role by a young adult with an ASD.

Participant agency and self-determination guide my study and my values. In addition to their own interview, participants will be asked to identify a key support person for me to interview. The purpose of that interview, is not to fact check what the young adult says to me in a confidential interview, but will be used to gain insight toward improving the interview experience for the participant. Participants are welcome to communicate in their preferred communication style and may have a support person present , if they so desire. It is important to me that participants are valued and heard. 

Serving as the voice and resource to the San Diego autism community.

UCSD Autism Center of Excellence Study

Erin Bower Clinical Coordinator, 
UCSD Study of Infant Development and Autism Center

P: (858) 534-6906, F: (858) 534-3500

The UCSD Autism Center of Excellence is seeking individuals with a professional diagnosis of autism to join a new online study, the largest autism research community ever created. By joining, you can help autism researchers uncover causes and study potential treatments. Learn more and sign up to be contacted when the study launches nationally on April 21st.

Attention Differences in Persons with ASD and their Family Members

Alan Lincoln, Ph.D., MSCP, BCBA-D and Shamayne Brown, M.A. 

Neuroscience Center of Alliant International University

858-635-4068 or

Verbally fluent children with ASD between the ages of 8 and 16 and both of their biological parents are invited to participate in a new study examining attention skills. This study will follow recently published work that showed ¬both the male sibling of a child with ASD and the child with ASD demonstrated similar attention abnormalities. This provides an important clue to the development of a better understanding of the genetic basis of ASD. This new study will examine trios, the child with ASD, and the mother and father. If one or both parents shows evidence of the attention difference we observed in children with ASD, we will have one of the first clear examples of a non-ASD core deficit that is experienced in first degree family members. Following with genetic analyses could potentially lead to a better understanding about the basic etiology of ASD.

Families of a child with ASD are invited to participate in this research taking place at the Neuroscience Center of Alliant International University under the supervision of Alan Lincoln, Ph.D., MSCP, BCBA-D and Shamayne Brown, M.A. 

Study Requirements
To participate in this study, both biological parents and your son must participate. Your family must be able to come to the Neuroscience Center at Alliant International University in San Diego, California. Participation for you and your son’s other parent involves: 

  • Completing questionnaires about yourself. This should take about 25 minutes.
  • Completing a brief standard cognitive measure. This should take about 30 minutes.
  • Completing a computer task. This should take about 30 minutes. 

Participation for your son:
• Will require your child to complete the brief standard intelligence measure. This should take your child about 30 minutes.
• You will be asked some background questions about your child and will be asked to complete forms related to your child’s skills, abilities, and behaviors. This should take you about 25 minutes.
• Your child will then be shown how to play the same computer games you will be shown and asked to play them as best he can. This should take about 30 minutes. 

We will try to accommodate your schedule as much as possible. Family members may come to the lab on different days if necessary. Some individuals may be excluded from participation in the study on-site. If your child is excluded, he will receive a $5.00 cash gift for his participation in the preliminary assessment. Upon the completion of participation in this study, each child will receive a $20.00 cash gift. Parents will each receive a $10 gift card upon completion of their participation. If a parent is excluded, he or she will be given a $5 gift card for participation in the preliminary assessment. You may also receive, upon request, results of your performance and/or your child’s performance. 

If you are interested in participating, please contact us at 858-635-4068, or by email: or Thank you in advance for your time and assistance. I look forward working with you and your family soon.