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May 28, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

Vanderbilt Recruiting Families for New Research

Receive developmental information about your child, including results, recommendations and referrals.

Would you like to help us learn more about younger siblings of children with autism? A Vanderbilt research study would love to talk to you…

  • if you are the parent of a child with or without Autism
  • if your child has a younger sibling who is 12-18 months old
  • if you would like more information about your younger child’s development.

Participating families come to the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center for a series of appointments when they are between 12 – 18 months old, to complete developmental assessments and other experimental tasks. They return 9 months later when they are between 21 – 27 months old and again after their third and fifth birthday.

Your younger siblings will receive developmental and language testing and psychological testing for autism. You will receive developmental information about your child, including results, recommendations and referrals if appropriate, all at no cost.

Participants will be compensated $20 per hour. Each appointment takes about 2 – 3 hours. Families can expect to receive $40 to $60 per appointment. Families will additionally receive a onetime $50 bonus for completion of all visits, at the first study time point.

About the Vanderbilt research study

The Sensory Project in Infant/Toddler Siblings of Children with Autism (Project SPIS) will help us understand how infants who are at higher risk for developing autism respond to sensations, like lights, touch and sounds, and how those responses to simple sensations relate to other skills like communication. This study may help us to better understand early signs of autism.

For more information, call 615-397-4492, email or visit


About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.