Navigate Up

UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Telephone: 412-877-1656

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

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |