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Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Young Children with Autism Sought for Two Treatment Studies at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Autism Center

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 12, 2010 – The Autism Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has been awarded two National Institutes of Mental Health grants totaling nearly $1.33 million to conduct two studies – one aimed at treating sleep disturbances in young children with autism and the other a structured parent-training program aimed at reducing autism-related behavioral issues.

Led by Cynthia Johnson, Ph.D., director of the Autism Center at Children’s Hospital and principal investigator of both studies, the Treatment of Sleep Disturbances in Young Children with Autism study is a three-year pilot to evaluate the effectiveness of behavioral parent training in the improvement of sleep disturbances in children ages 2 to 5 years who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

Also led by Dr. Johnson, the Randomized Trial of Parent Training for Young Children with Autism is a five-year, five-site study to evaluate the effectiveness of structured parent training compared with a psychoeducational program in children ages 3 to7 years who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. This study will evaluate improvements in the child’s noncompliance with requests, overall behavior and daily life skills as well as the effects on the core symptoms of autism and parental stress.

For more information about either study, contact Kelley Sacco in Children’s Hospital’s Autism Center at (412) 692-8404 or kelley.sacco@chp.edu.

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