Multimedia Tool for Psychology Graduate Student ASD Assessment Training

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43MH081370-01
Agency Tracking Number: MH081370
Amount: $223,250.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
DUNS: 037879132
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (919) 420-1978
Business Contact
Phone: (919) 755-1809
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Summary Autism is a developmental disorder which causes impairments in the functioning of children and can have devastating effects on individuals and their families. Early diagnosis is a critical factor in ameliorating the affects of autism on children's social and communicative functioning. The recent discovery of the relatively high prevalence of this disorder has accentuated the demand for diagnostic services and consequently the need for increased access to quality training on this topic in the graduate and continuing education of professionals working with children. Innovations in multimedia computer technology and improvements in the ease of access to computer-based programs and videos via the Internet hold great promise for enhancing current clinical training methods and increasing access to current research-based information for clinicians and educators. We propose an innovative new resource called DiagnoseFirst to help university psychology students learn to better identify the markers for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Due to the limited amount of data regarding training specific to autism diagnosis in young children, the initial research project will compare the effectiveness of traditional' psychology graduate training materials with the proposed video multimedia presentation on psychology graduate students' abilities to accurately differentiate young children with ASD from normal children and children with other disorders often confused with ASD. Analysis of variance will be used to test the research hypothesis that video combined with text guidance will provide an enhanced learning experience over present university training methods for identifying the subtle symptoms of autism. If the initial data supports the use of multimedia presentation of clinical information about the behavior manifestations of autism in young children, the researchers will pursue additional funding to evaluate a more comprehensive training program that can be used to not only identify autism, but separate the differences in behaviors within the autism spectrum for children of all ages. The expected goals of the larger research program include evaluating effectiveness of multimedia training materials in terms of how the material is presented, evaluating the variance in training programs in different geographical areas of the country and thus the expected variance in services to children in those areas, and continuing to develop the most appropriate use of computer technology to disseminate information about autism. This project will improve training for future clinicians of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Using a combination of multimedia videos and content guidance, a product called DiagnoseFirst will combine training programs developed over the last 40 years by the University of North Carolina TEACCH Center with Internet delivery technology to help university psychology students learn to better recognize ASD behaviors.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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