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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

Effects of self-generated experiences on social cognitive development in young children with autism

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Landa, Rebecca

Description

Description

This randomized clinical trial is designed to address Autism Speaks' priority of developing and evaluating novel interventions for core autism symptoms. The study will assess the efficacy of a novel intervention targeting core deficits of social orienting, face processing, understanding others' action intentions, anticipating others' actions in social contexts, and engaging in socially synchronous behavior. Specific aims are to examine: 1) malleability of social cognitive deficits; 2) treatment effects at bio-behavioral (eye tracking) levels, reflecting improved social information processing; and 3) moderators of intervention effects: bias to social stimuli and biological human motion preference. Children aged 24-30 months with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) will be randomized into the Social Enhancement Intervention+Parent Education or Parent Education only condition. The Social Enhancement Intervention emphasizes child initiation and self-generated action, which are linked to cognitive, social, and language development. Three major intervention ingredients designed to heighten attention to social stimuli include: 1) child-directed input characterized by repetitious, high amplitude actions and facial expressions; 2) providing children with input and action-based experiences characterized by audio-visual synchrony; and 3) self-generated engagement with face components through specially selected toys and face images. Behavioral and biobehavioral outcome measures will be administered at pre- and post-intervention, and at 5-month follow-up. It is expected that treatment effects will be greatest on behavioral measures, with modest gains on biobehavioral measures. Greater treatment response is expected in children with greater pre-intervention bias toward social stimuli and preference for biological human motion. The findings promise to shed light on whether improvement in social functioning represents compensatory mechanisms, or also occurs at more automatic levels of information processing, indicating neuroplasticity of typical mechanisms. One study outcome may be the establishment of an intervention that enables children with ASD to more effectively and efficiently process social information, improving social success and quality of life. Thus, a preventative intervention would be available, thwarting the tendency of children with ASD to miss relevant social cues and enabling the use of such cues to elicit more social learning opportunities for themselves.

Funder

Funder

Autism Speaks

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

149997

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2011-2014

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 4SF. Launch randomized controlled trials of interventions including biological signatures and other measures to predict response, and monitor quality of life and functional outcomes in each of the following groups: o Five trials in infants and toddlers by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $30,000,000 over 5 years. o Three trials in school-aged children and/or adolescents by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,000,000 over 5 years. o Three trials in adults by 2014. IACC Recommended Budget: $18,000,000 over 5 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Effects of self-generated experiences on social cognitive development in young children with autism (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Kennedy Krieger Institute

State/Country

State/Country

Maryland

Project Number

Project Number

7746

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Effects of self-generated experiences on social cognitive development in young children with autism | 0 | 2011 | 7746
Effects of self-generated experiences on social cognitive development in young children with autism | 149967 | 2012 | 7746
Effects of self-generated experiences on social cognitive development in young children with autism | 149998 | 2014 | 7746
Effects of self-generated experiences on social cognitive development in young children with autism | 0 | 2015 | 7746

 
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