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Current Projects

Below you'll find a list of our current research.

Doreen Arcus

  • Autism prevalence and toxic emissions
  • Beliefs about autism in a nationally representative sample
  • Autism spectrum, executive function, theory of mind, and risk taking behavior in college-aged males
  • Students with disabilities in high school and college.
  • Students with disabilities, implicit bias, and the school-to-prison pipeline

Monica Galizzi

  • Interdisciplinary examination of the health care experience of those with autism spectrum disorder with Ashleigh Hillier and Kianna Ferrante.
  • Financial literacy among adults on the autism spectrum with Ashleigh Hillier and Joseph Ryan.

Ashleigh Hillier

  • Program evaluation of the Asperger/Autism Network’s (AANE) LifeMap program. This project is a collaboration with a community partner AANE to evaluate their life skills coaching program for adults with autism spectrum disorders.
  • Mentoring program for UMass Lowell students registered with Disability Services. This project evaluates the efficacy of a student-to-student mentoring program for UMass Lowell students registered with Student Disability Services (SDS).
  • College students with autism spectrum disorders: Parent perspectives. This study seeks the perspectives of parents’ of adolescents and young adults (age sixteen and older) on the autism spectrum to explore their concerns and expectations of their son / daughter going to university.
  • “Connections” support group for UMass Lowell students with ASD. This project is a collaboration with UMass Lowell's Student Disability Services office to run and evaluate a support group for students with ASD.
  • Academic outcomes among students registered with Student Disability Services. This study compares academic outcomes for students registered with Disability Services who are taking their coursework online vs. in person.
  • Attitudes towards exercise among those with the autism spectrum disorder. This study aims to investigate attitudes towards physical exercise, as well as participation in exercise, among young adults on the autism spectrum, and how this compares to typically developing peers.
  • Experiences of individuals who identify as ASD and LGBTQI. This study aims to gather information about the experiences of those who identify as having an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and also identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, or Intersexed (LGBTQI).

Brenna Quinn

  • Teachers as Pain Collaborators is a project aiming to explore how teachers and specialists of children with mild to profound IDDs decide to present or refer students to the school health office.

Rocio Rosales

  • Component Analysis of Job Interview Training for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder:
    • This study evaluated the effects of different components of a training package (written instruction, video self-evaluation, verbal feedback), to teach interview skills to young adults with ASD. A follow-up study will evaluate the effects of behavioral skills training to teach the same set of skills.
  • Computer-Based Training to Teach Implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS):
    • This study evaluated the effects of a computer-based training program to teach implementation of PECS to college students interested in working with individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Evaluation of Bilingual Tact Instruction:
    • This study evaluated the impact of teaching a small set of functional vocabulary words in two languages (in English and in their home language) to children with a documented disability that come from a bilingual home.
  • Cultural Barriers Impacting Service Delivery for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder:
    • This study aimed to highlight cultural barriers impacting service delivery for Latino families that have a child that is six years or younger, and a diagnosis of ASD.
  • Support Services for Families that have a Child with ASD (0-6 years old). In collaboration with NFI Family Resource Center of Lowell, this service project provides a play group for children with ASD and a parent support group for their caregivers.

Richard Serna

  • Development of an onscreen “virtual child” for training practitioners in early intensive behavioral intervention in ASD.
  • The use of robots as therapeutic agents for children with ASD.
  • Potential barriers to treatment services for Spanish-speaking families with a child with ASD.
  • Assessment of auditory discrimination abilities for children with ASD.
  • Assessment of pain in children with developmental disabilities.
  • Gaze patterns of faces in individuals with ASD.
  • Eye-tracking studies of difficult-to-distinguish teaching stimuli.

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