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Two Studies at the University of North Carolina

Autism Research – Early Signs Monitoring


Your child can be monitored from infancy for biological and behavioral characteristics associated with autism.

This study is funded by the National Institutes of Health under the direction of Dr. Joseph Piven. We are searching for 100 participants in the South Eastern US who meet the following criteria:

– Are between 0-12 months of age (parents who are expecting may also be eligible)

– Have an older sibling diagnosed with autism

Once a family is enrolled in this study, they will travel to Chapel Hill, NC, for a comprehensive series of developmental, non-invasive assessments completed on the infant sibling at the 6, 12 and 24 month time periods. Also, during this trip the infant will receive an MRI scan while they sleep.

There is no cost for family participation. All travel and lodging costs are reimbursed by the study, and any services the study provides are at no charge to the family. Families will receive feedback on the assessments and each MRI scan. The family will also receive $50 for each assessment completed and $50 for each MRI scan completed on the infant sibling. To learn more about this research project please visit

Tactile Information Processing Study – Adolescents and adults (ages 12+) with high-functioning autism (Autistic Disorder or Asperger’s Disorder)

This study will conduct assessments to measure how individuals with and without autism recognize touch. Learning about how people with autism recognize tactile input may lead to improved clinical assessment and contribute to the development of effective treatments for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Study participants will sit comfortably in a chair at a table and rest their hand on a table where stimuli will be delivered. A small vibrating tip will be carefully applied to the skin on the hand and forearm. Participants will be asked to tell us whether or not they feel the touch of the vibrating tip. They will also be asked to complete brief questionnaires.

Participants will receive $25 per hour for participating in this study (a minimum of $50). Transportation and parking costs will be paid for.

For more information, contact Kristin Burgess, Research Assistant, Allied Health Services at 919-843-2628.

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