The Shaffer Lab is dedicated to gaining a better understanding of neurobehavioral conditions and partnering with families to improve the daily lives of those impacted, particularly in the area of emotion dysregulation.

Regulating Together, Funded by the Department of Defense

We are examining how well a group intervention works for treating emotion dysregulation in autistic youth. Children ages 8-12 and their caregivers will participate in one of two group treatment programs, either for emotion dysregulation or for executive functioning skills, and attend several study visits before and after the group intervention.

Project Details

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Reaching the African American Community, Funded by Simons Foundation

This study is a partnership with Lockland School District as well as Rockdale Academy Elementary School and Autism and WE, a local support group for African American families who have an autistic child. The study will include community activities, educational sessions, family nights out and finally a day camp. Participants will also complete a saliva sample and be enrolled in the SPARK study (see below).

Project Details

  • More Information: To learn more, email autism@cchmc.org.
  • Collaborators: Emory University, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Nationwide Children's Hospital
  • Community Partners: Autism and WE, Lockland School District, Rockdale Academy Elementary School
  • Funding: Simons Foundation

SPARK, Funded by Simons Foundation

SPARK (Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge) is a national autism research study designed to speed up research and advance our understanding of autism to help improve the lives of autistic individuals. This study is funded through the Simons Foundation and we have been a site for the past 6 years.

Project Details

  • More Information: Learn more about our SPARK study.
  • Related News: Study on autism, genetics goes to the next level. Read more from Local 12.
  • Funding: Simons Foundation
  • Outcomes: To date, 4,000 participants have enrolled from Cincinnati. Additionally we have increased access to research through home visits for a diverse group of participants, particularly ones who need more support in their daily lives.

Effectiveness Trial of the Early Social Interaction (ESI) Model using Mobile Technology for Toddlers with Autism Identified from Early Screening in Primary Care

This study will examine an early intervention platform that is completely virtual- from recruitment to treatment- and its effectiveness at improving outcomes for toddlers with ASD. This platform, Early Social Interaction Mobil Coaching deploys individual telehealth sessions with coaching and feedback in conjunction with online tools and resources.

Project Details

  • Collaborators: Florida State University, Emory University, Cornell University, UCLA, University of Pennsylvania, Rush University, and Seattle Children’s Hospital
  • Funding: National Institutes of Health

Quadrant Biosciences with Autism Speaks

This study will measure small molecules in saliva which may help us to learn more about autism and our ability to diagnose it at an earlier age.

Project Details

PATH to Discovery funded by Autism Speaks

PATH is focused on understanding underlying causes of autism through genetics and metabolomics.  Your family’s participation in PATH will help researchers make new discoveries and that could lead to personalized healthcare and improved quality of life. This study is funded by Autism Speaks.

Project Details

  • More Information: To learn more, email autism@cchmc.org.
  • Collaborators: Autism Care Network
  • Funding: Autism Speaks

Canine Assisted Regulating Together, Funded by the National Institute of Health

Our canine study is aimed to learn more about Regulating Together and canine assisted therapy for 8-15 year olds with autism spectrum disorder and emotion dysregulation. Participants will receive up to $185 for attending research visits and 5 week treatment at no cost. Caregivers will also attend weekly treatment with their children.

Project Details

  • More information: please contact mya.jones@cchmc.org or 513-517-1509
  • Collaborators: Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Northeastern University
  • Funding: National Institute of Health