Family and Provider Experiences of Autism-Focused Early Intervention Services
In this project, Dr. Edmunds and COLAB researchers want to understand the factors that affect Part C early intervention providers’ access to and use of evidence-based interventions for social communication and autism. For example, pre-existing familiarity with some parts of these interventions may suggest a modular or adaptive training approach. Providers’ preferences, daily work schedules, or organizational constraints might also impact the kinds of training methods that would be most effective. We also want to understand families' experiences with early intervention services, and the areas in which they may need more support.
In this project, Dr. Edmunds, COLAB researchers, and collaborators at Boston Children’s Hospital aim to understand how to best measure to what degree meltdowns in autistic toddlers and preschoolers are due to variations across all children in frustration tolerance, versus emotional dysregulation specific to the demands of navigating the world with autism (e.g., difficulty with transitions, sensory sensitivities, communication challenges). We also aim to evaluate whether survey and in-person structured observational measures of emotion regulation are better than existing measures, and whether they are feasible and acceptable for young autistic children and their families.
In this project, Dr. Edmunds and COLAB researchers are using publicly available information to understand what differences there are between Part C programs across all 50 states, as well as the degree of difference between the programs. We hope to gain a better understanding of the accessibility and regulation of these programs across different states. It may be that barriers to training in new interventions differ across states because of their different characteristics.
Infant-Toddler Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors Inventory (IRRBI)
The overarching goal of the IRRBI study is to improve how well we can gather information to measure “restricted and repetitive behaviors” (RRBs; i.e., special interests, repetitive behaviors, sensory differences, and need for sameness) during clinical assessment of young children with possible autism. To do so, a checklist called the Infant-Toddler Restricted and Repetitive behavior Inventory (IRRBI) was developed to be used as a guideline for observation and parent inquiry. Our study adds the IRRBI to traditional diagnostic evaluations that occur in the COLAB as well as in other research labs and clinical sites in Columbia.