Tag Archives: autism

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Anxiety Grant Funded by the National Institute of Health!

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In September 2016, Dr. Jane Roberts was awarded funding by the National Institute of Mental Health for the project entitled: Emergence, Stability and Predictors of Anxiety in Fragile X Syndrome.  It is the first longitudinal developmental study of the early features of anxiety in very young boys with FXS contrasted to boys diagnosed with ASD (non-FXS) and typical controls.  The study analyzes the age which initial features of anxiety can be detected and the stability and prognostic value of these early symptoms.  Our lab is eager to start work on this exciting new project!!


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Infant Grant from NIH approved for Extension!

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In 2011, Dr. Roberts was the recipient of a five year NIH R01 grant entitled “Emergence and Stability of Autism in Fragile X Syndrome.”  In this study, Dr. Roberts and her team analyzed the behavior of infants who were at high risk for developing autism. She has now been awarded 3.1 million dollars from NIH to follow-up of these infants and track their development into their preschool years!  With this new award, the team at the Neurodevelopmental Lab will be able to follow the development of the infants from 9 months-of-age to 5 years-of-age and identify which features during infancy were predictive of  developmental delays in the infants at high risk for developmental impairments.  This information will then be translated to efforts targeting early identification and treatment.


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Jessi Scherr Interning

Jessi Scherr accepted postdoc at Nationwide Children’s Hospital!

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Jessi Scherr has accepted a two -year postdoctoral research fellowship at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus Ohio specializing in clinical research of assessment and treatment practices of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Neurodevelopmental Disabilities. Her research interests include the examination of biobehavioral factors related to development, social-emotional functioning, and cognition.   Contratulations Jessi!!


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Alexis Ruber receives SURF award

Alexis Ruber Receives SURF Award

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Alexis Ruber received a Science Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) award. Alexis will examine eye contact during a social interaction among mothers of children with fragile X syndrome and mothers of children with autism. The study also aims to examine the relationship between sympathetic arousal, measured by skin conductance, and eye contact in these groups. Congratulations, Alexis!


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Publications and Presentations Updated

Publications and Presentations Updated

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Our list of publications and presentations for 2015 has been updated based on our activities over the past year. Check out any of the links to see what we’ve been researching!


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Alexis Brewe named a Magellan Scholar

Alexis Brewe named a Magellan Scholar

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Alexis Brewe was named a Magellan scholar in Spring 2015 and awarded a grant for her project on analyzing social play behaviors, such as “showing” and initiating joint attention, as early indicators of autism in high-risk infants. Congratulations, Alexis!


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Dr Jane Roberts Faculty Profile

Dr Jane Roberts Faculty Profile

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The University of South Carolina College of Arts and Sciences features Dr. Jane Roberts profile on their website. Read Dr Jane Roberts Faculty Profile to hear more about her research on the early diagnosis and treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities.

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Jessi Scherr Interning

Jessi Scherr Interning at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

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Jessi Scherr got selected to complete her doctoral internship at a top APA accredited internship site at Nationwide Children’s Hospital with an emphasis in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.  She is looking forward to continuing her clinical training in assessment and intervention with children and families that are influenced by developmental disabilities, as well as gaining experience with clinical research.


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recruiting mothers in sc

Recruiting Mothers in SC

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We’re Recruiting Mothers in SC! We are currently recruiting mothers of typically developing children for  our mother study.

Participants are compensated for their time. Participation in the mother study takes about 3 hours. It involves completing some interviews and questionnaires about family experiences.

Please contact Dr. Jessica Klusek by email or by phone at (803) 777-5676 if you have any questions or are interested in participating in this mother study.

This mother study focuses on understanding the range of experiences, thoughts and preferences, and communication styles that families with and without children with disabilities experience. We hope our results will help us learn the best ways to support families who have children affected by developmental disorders such as autism and fragile X syndrome. By recruiting mothers in SC, we hope to hear the wonderful stories from the moms in our community.


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jessica klusek awarded

Dr. Jessica Klusek Awarded NIH Grant

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In January 2014, Dr. Jessica Klusek was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F32) by the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders to support her research on families of children with autism and fragile X syndrome. This parent study will examine communication styles used by parents of children with autism and fragile X syndrome, with a focus on the role of anxiety and arousal. The results of this work will help her better understand families’ experiences and inform the ways that various communication styles may influence family and child outcomes.

For this parent study, Dr. Jessica Klusek is currently recruiting:

  • Mothers who have a child with fragile X syndrome
  • Mothers who have a child with autism
  • Mothers of typically developing children
  • Women who have the FMR1 premutation (i.e., who are “carriers” of fragile X)

Participants are compensated for their time. Please contact us by email or by phone at (803) 777-5676 if you have any questions or are interested in participating in this parent study.

Participation in the parent study takes about 3 hours. It involves completing some interviews and questionnaires.


Learn how you can take part in our research