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Puzzle piece The CAARE Lab works to identify behaviors and movements associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and how they relate to each other. We also work to increase the global knowledge and understanding of ASD and disparities in services.

Assessing ASD Knowledge and Stigmas

Assessing ASD Knowledge and Stigmas

  • Validating a new measure of ASD knowledge titled, The Autism Stigma & Knowledge Questionnaire (ASK-Q) in cross-cultural contexts
  • Assessing ASD knowledge or stigmas of ASD in low- and middle-income countries such as Tanzania, Mongolia, and China.
  • Using implicit and explicit measures to examine ASD stigmas and the negative impact

Researchers

Harrison, A.J., Paff, M.L., & Kaff, M.S. (2019). A Follow-up Examination of the Psychometric Properties of the Autism Stigma and Knowledge Questionnaire (ASK-Q). Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 57, 28-34. Harrison, A.J., Bradshaw, L.P. Naqvi, N., Paff, M.L., & Campbell, J.M. (2017). Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Autism Stigma and Knowledge Questionnaire (ASK-Q). *Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(10), 3281-3295. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-017-3242-x Harrison, A.J, Slane. M.M., Hoang, L., & Campbell, J.M. (2017). An International Review of Autism Knowledge Assessment Measures. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice. Advance online publication, 21(3) 262-275. DOI: 10.1177/1362361316638786 Harrison, A.J.†, Bisson, J.B. †, & Laws, C.B. † (in press). Impact of an inclusive postsecondary education program on implicit and explicit attitudes toward intellectual disability. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. *† Note: All authors made equal contribution to this manuscript

Examining Local Service Use Disparities

Examining Local Service Use Disparities

  • Identifying factors (individual, interpersonal and community) that contribute to an underutilization of early childhood learning services (early intervention and early childhood special education) in local schools.
  • Assessing factors that contribute to disparities in ASD assessment and treatment services

Researchers

Harrison, A.J., Long, K.A., Tommet, D.C., & Jones, R.N. (2017). Examining the role of race, ethnicity, and gender on social and behavioral ratings within the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(9), 2770-2782

Developing and implementing interventions and assessment approaches to reduce disparities

  • Implementing interventions among non-English-speaking parents and teachers to help increase knowledge of behavior modification strategies that can be used to improve child functional outcomes using verbal didactics, pictorial handouts, interpreters, and strategy modeling. Assessing the efficacy of these interventions using the ASK-Q.
  • Developing individual and community intervention approaches to address low ASD knowledge and stigmas in low-income countries.

Researchers

Harrison, A., Long, K.A., Manji, K.P. & Blane, K.K. (2016). Development of a brief behavioral intervention for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders in Tanzania. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 54(3), 187-201. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1352/1934-9556-54.3.187. Harrison, A., Zimak, E., Sheinkopf, S.J., Manji, K. P., Morrow, E.M. (2014). Observation-centered approach to ASD assessment in Tanzania. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 52(5), 330-347.

Examining social attention impairment in ASD

  • Examining cross-cultural differences in social attentional processes
  • Assessing how distinct social attention behaviors may relate to one another.
  • Examining the cascading effects of social attentional impairments, especially joint attention (JA), on various domains of functioning using eye tracking, large, shared data sets, and behavioral coding.
  • Identifying causal mechanisms that lead to the differential development of social attention in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Researchers

Harrison, A.J., Lu, Z., McLean, R., & Sheinkopf, S.J. (2016). Cognitive and adaptive correlates of an ADOS derived joint attention composite. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders. 29, 66-78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2016.07.001 Johnson, A. L., Gillis, J., & Romanczyk, R. (2012). Quantifying and correlating social behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders using eye-tracking methodologies, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6, 1053-1060.

Participate in Research

Autism Stigma Study

We are looking for young adults (age 18 and older) with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, Asperger's syndrome, or pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified to participate in our study. Participation involves an in-person interview intended to examine the way that having autism spectrum disorder may impact young adults. This process will take about one hour, and all participants receive one $30 Target gift card for their time.

Contact Us!

Are you a Parent of a Child Age 6 or Younger?

We are conducting a study about family experiences accessing early childhood education. We will ask parents or primary caregivers to:

  • Complete several questionnaires
  • Take part in a face-to-face interview with a researcher

Participation will take no more than two hours and will be scheduled at your convenience. This can take place at UGA or in your home. We want to make participation easy for you! Each participant will receive a $30 gift card for their time.

Contact Us!

Autism Clinical Services at UGA

School Psychology Clinic

The School Psychology Clinic in the College of Education provides comprehensive autism spectrum disorder diagnostic evaluations as well as psychoeducational evaluations.

Learn More About Our Evaluations

UGA students and adults with ASD can find several groups (peer support and social and life skills) during fall and spring semesters every year as part of UGA RISE, an initiative of the UGA CAARE Lab in partnership with the UGA Disability Resource Center. Please email us to find out when and where our groups meet and with any questions.

UGA RISE

Peer Support Group This group is a free-form discussion-based group that serves as a peer support group where individuals with ASD can express their concerns to other adults with ASD.

Social and Life Skills Group In this group, we assess the needs of the group members and develop lessons on specified topics of interest. Topics have included social skills, budgeting and money management, relationships and dating, organization, self-esteem, and academic skills.

Campus Coaches Campus Coaches is a part of UGA Resources Inspiring Student Excellence (UGA RISE) initiative. Campus Coaches pairs a UGA student with ASD with a veteran UGA student who will assist their peers on activities such as navigating campus areas, navigating public transportation, social skill advancement (e.g., communicating with friends and professors) or just to meet occasionally for coffee or a slice of pizza. Any interested UGA undergraduate students with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder can participate. To learn more or sign up for the program, please send an email with the following information:

  • What kind of help are you looking for?
  • What is the best way to contact you (email or phone or text)?

More Information

School Psychology Clinic
706-542-4265
Email: scpsycl@uga.edu

Peer Support/Social and Life Skills Groups
Email: caarelab@uga.edu

Campus Coaches
Email: campus.coaches@uga.edu

Community Resources

We have assembled a list of professionals in the Athens area that provide services such as ABA services, diagnostic services, and other therapy services.

View a list of providers

The CAARE Lab Team

Portrait of Ashley Johnson Harrison

Ashley Johnson Harrison

Lab director and assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology (School Psychology)

Portrait of Madison Paff

Madison Paff

I am a doctoral candidate in the educational psychology program with an emphasis in school psychology at the University of Georgia and am currently completing a year-long internship at the Munroe-Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. I graduated from Presbyterian College in 2014 with a B.S. in applied mathematics and a B.A. in Spanish, and I attained my M.A. in educational psychology from the University of Georgia in December 2017. Some of my research interests include families accessing early childhood services, mental health literacy, and autism spectrum disorders. I love to travel and to learn about other cultures, and once I graduate, I hope to continue to work with and serve diverse populations.

Portrait of Yvette Bean

Yvette Bean

I am a doctoral student in the educational psychology program with an emphasis in school psychology. I have a Bachelors of Arts degree in psychology from Elon University and a Master of Arts with a concentration in clinical psychology from Towson University. My research interests include attention and cross-cultural assessment and intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder. I enjoy horseback riding and dancing. Once I graduate I would like to work with children with developmental disabilities in a school or clinical setting.

Portrait of Hannah Durham

Hannah Durham

I am a doctoral student in the school psychology program. . I graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2016 where I received my BA in Public Health and minor in Psychology. My research interests include cross-cultural perceptions of autism, assessment, and disparities within early intervention. Once I graduate, I would like to work with children with disabilities in either a school or clinical setting.

Portrait of Sydney Erickson

Sydney Erickson

I am a double major in biology and psychology, emphasizing on neuroscience, and a minor in Spanish. I have had experience with children with Autism through volunteer opportunities as well as an internship in a special education pre-k classroom. I am very interested in community outreach and have served as a member of the executive board for Special Olympics at UGA for two years. I love having the opportunity to research in the realm of autism, more specifically disparities in accessing special education disability services, as a part of the CAARE lab. In the future, I hope to become a pediatrician and serve as a resource to children and families with autism as well as other developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Portrait of Gina Thomas

Gina Thomas

I am a doctoral student in the School Psychology program. I graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in neuroscience. My broad research interests center around cross-cultural assessment and school readiness for children with autism spectrum disorder. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling and petting puppies. Once I graduate, I would like to continue researching and working with children with disabilities.

Portrait of Anna Gerald

Anna Gerald

I am a health promotion and behavior major with an emphasis in health services and a premedical intent. I am involved with volunteering at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center and Compassionate Care Hospice. My research interests center around combining the use of eye tracking equipment and impact of cultural influences to study social attention behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorder. In the future, I hope to continue working with children through either pediatrics or obstetrics.

Portrait of Sahaj Bhimani

Sahaj Bhimani

I am a psychology major with an emphasis in neuroscience and a biology minor with premedical intent. I am pursuing research at UGA with the hopes of increasing my psychology knowledge outside of the classroom. My passion for ASD research stems from my drive to lower disparities in access to health care of all types.

Portrait of Ayah Ibrahim

Ayah Ibrahim

I am psychology major emphasizing in neuroscience and minoring in Arabic on a premedical track. I am interested in the availability of treatment and care for individuals with mental health issues. I am involved in volunteering at Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital, the Palestine Children's Relief Fund (PCRF) and a Girls on the Run coach. I hope to continue to work with children as I pursue a career in pediatrics as well as volunteering on pediatric missions with the PCRF.

Portrait of Raiyan Arman

Raiyan Arman

I am a biology major with emphasis in neuroscience from Buford, GA. I have hopes of going into the medical field as either a psychiatrist or as a sports medicine specialist. My interest in ASD research sprouted from my brother's diagnosis of ASD as a young baby. The disorder always intrigued me because there isn't a plethora of information on this mental disorder and I also desire to learn more about it. In this research lab, I will be able to delve into the logistics behind ASD and how to increase awareness of the disorder itself.

Portrait of Hope Williams

Hope Williams

I am a human development and family science major with a certificate in disability studies. I am involved with Athens Church and UGA CHAARG. I have had experience with children with autism through involvement in special olympics, nannying, and as the director of a summer camp for children with disabilities. I am excited to work in the CAARE lab to learn more about bridging the gap between diagnosis and early intervention services. I aspire to become a pediatric occupational therapist and serve children with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

In Loving Memory

Brianna Cochran

November 30, 1994 – March 25, 2015

Brianna Cochran Brianna was an undergrad research assistant in the CAARE lab. She loved working with kids and planned to be a pediatric surgeon. She enjoyed traveling and learning about the world. Brianna was truly a lovely young woman, inside and out. Her vibrancy, kindness, and extraordinary gift for making others feel special will be something that we will miss every day.

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