Over the past 20 years, the rate of autism has steadily grown.
Today, autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in America.
Iowans, we need your help!
We are the Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Laboratory at Northwestern University. We research language and other abilities associated with autism, fragile X, and related conditions. We also investigate their associated genetic, environmental, and neural features.
The causes of autism are complex, but genes play a key role. We’re working to clarify the nature of the communication challenges in autism, and investigating how some subtle language patterns might run in families and be tied to the genes involved in autism.
We’re recruiting individuals with autism or fragile X syndrome, along with their parents, grandparents, and siblings – as well as people without autism and their families – for a study of patterns of language and social skills, and developmental similarities among family members.
We’re especially interested in families who grew up in Iowa, because we have an established relationship with the University of Iowa where we can access [with permission] family members’ standardized test scores.
We use the standardized test scores to relate the current performance of children with autism with their family members’ childhood skills. We’ve seen general trends of distinctively imbalanced patterns of development in language versus math/sciences.