Help Move the Science of Autism Forward. Join a Study.

From developing new treatments to understanding the earliest signs of autism, research is critical. Yet, Autism Speaks reports that only 5 percent of families who are affected by autism participate in research. Help us improve the science behind the treatment and diagnosis of autism by joining a study today.


Infant Sibling Autism Study

This study uses tiny cameras to track a baby's eye movements. This helps clinicians see how a baby focuses on pictures and movies. Babies with autism tend to focus on a person's mouth and body, as well as items in the scene.Call 404-785-7600 or email marcusresearch@choa.org to join.

Who can be a part of the study?

We need pregnant moms, or moms who have a baby younger than 3 months old and an older biological child who is:

  • Diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) 
    OR
  • Typically developing with no family history of ASDs

There is no cost to families who take part in the study, and there are many benefits to families, including compensation for your participation. Call 404-785-7600 or email marcusresearch@choa.org to join.


Home Recordings of Infant Speech Study

What is this study about?

Problems with communication are one of the core features of ASD, beginning within the first year of life. Research suggests that social engagement with caregivers in early infancy is one of the key factors mediating the development of speech.

Project II will map out the development of vocal engagement in autism during the first two years of life, and together with Project I will test whether social engagement in infancy predicts speech and language outcomes. Call 404-785-7600 or email marcusresearch@choa.org to join.

Want to join?

We need pregnant moms, or moms who have a baby younger than 3 months old and an older biological child who is:

  • Diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)or
  • Typically developing with no family history of ASDs

If so, your baby may be eligible for this study at Marcus Autism Center. Call 404-785-7600 or email marcusresearch@choa.org to join. 


A Randomized Clinical Trial of Guanfacine on Treating Hyperactivity and Impulsiveness in Children diagnosed with PDD and Autism

The Marcus Autism Center is recruiting subjects to examine the effectiveness of the drug Guanfacine in reducing hyperactivity and impulsivity of children ages 5 - 14 with Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD).

Who can be a part of the study?

  • Are between ages 5 - 14 and are currently enrolled in at least a half-day structured school program
  • Have a diagnosis of PDD (Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, or PDD-NOS)
  • Current (medication-free) Clinical Global Impression Severity scores for PDD greater or equal to 4 on ADHD symptoms
  • Current (medication-free) score of  greater than 24 on the parent-rated Hyperactivity subscale of the Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC)
  • A mental age of at least 18 months as measured by the age-appropriate form of the Stanford-Binet V Intelligence test or by the revised Leiter or by the Mullen
  •  A rater confirmed presence of clinically significant: distractibility, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity; present for at least six months, before age 7 years

Contact Marc Badura (marc.badura@choa.org) at 404-785-9467 to sign up for the study.


Randomized Trial of Parent Training in Young Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)

The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effectiveness of Parent Training (PT) in reducing irritability and noncompliant behavior in children with PDD. As part of this study, your child will undergo a variety of assessments including, but not limited to, medical history, intelligence and noncompliant behavior. You will be randomly assigned (i.e., by chance) to either PT or a Psychoeducational Program (PEP).

In both treatments, you will be part of an extensive, 6-month set of one-on-one sessions with a therapist, including monthly assessment visits. Afterwards, there will be a 3 month and 6 month follow-up visit. Compensation will be provided as small payments to offset travel expenses during visits.

Who can be a part of the study?

Children between 3 years 6 years old and are currently enrolled in a structured school program, who: 

  • Have a diagnosis of PDD (autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder or PDD-NOS)
  • Are currently on a stable intervention plan where there are no scheduled changes in intensity of treatment for the next six months
  • Medication free or stable on medication with no changes in the past six weeks and no scheduled changes for the next six months.

If you would like more information about this study, contact Marc Badura 404-785-9467 or Karen Bearss, Ph.D., at 404-785-9544. If you would like to be contacted about this study, please register.


Toddler Study

This study sees how toddlers with—and without—developmental delays look at people and their environment. 

Who can be a part of the study?

  • 18 to 28 - month-old children with developmental delays, including ASD  
  • 18- to 28- month-old typically developing children

There is no cost to families who take part in the study, and there are many benefits to families, including compensation for your participation. Contact Cheryl Rhodes at cheryl.rhodes@choa.org or call 404-785-9491.