Dr. Caitlin Hudac and Dr. Mengya Xia received a National Institute of Mental Health grant to study brain processes and eye movement patterns when adolescents look at faces.
Their goal is to understand how different aspects of face processing are related to real-world social skills and other parts of biology (including puberty). This grant will be used to train undergraduates in research, including how to use and analyze eye tracking and electroencephalography (EEG) data, ethics, and scientific implications. Be on the lookout for more information as they launch this study!
Dr. Susan White, CYDI Director, has been featured in a Wall Street Journal article on helping kids going back to school
The Center for Youth Development and Intervention and the Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic at the University of Alabama is conducting a research study to evaluate the challenges and adaptations made by caretakers/families of individuals with ASD and the clinicians and researchers who provide services for those with ASD and their families. We are seeking to understand more information about unmet needs/changes that could be made in the case of future widespread natural/manmade disasters to better serve and inform the types of supports needed for families of individuals diagnosed with ASD as well as the clinicians and researchers who work with this population on a regular basis.
If you are a caretaker/parent of a child with ASD or a professional who works with individuals with ASD (e.g., therapist, psychologist, teacher, researcher, etc.) we would like to invite you to participate in a short survey. The survey should take you approximately 20 minutes. If you would like more information concerning the research, please email email@example.com or phone 205-348-3438.
CYDI Director, Susan W. White, PhD, along with Brenna B. Maddox, PhD, and Carla A. Mazefsky, PhD, experts in ASD research, edit a new Oxford Handbook. The "Oxford Handbook of Autism and Co-occuring Psychiatric Conditions" will be published soon and compiles and summarizes the latest research in the area. Publication of an Oxford Handbook is an intense process and a great accomplishment. We congratulate all three editors on their achievement.
In late November, many of our CYDI students and faculty alike attended the ABCT Convention held in Atlanta, GA. We are so proud of all who presented and received awards at this great convention!
All graduate students and one undergraduate student in Dr. Susan White's lab attended the conference, including Grace Lee Simmons, Alexis Brewe, Nicole Capriola-Hall, Josh Golt, and Jessica Smith. All of Dr. Brad White's graduate students also attended the conference: Breana Dede, Meagan Heilman, and Rebecca Revilla.
Check out the list below to see what everyone was up to:
3rd year graduate student in Dr. Susan White's Lab, Grace Lee Simmons presented at the Special Interest Group Expo. Her poster was entitled "Social Cognition and Social Anxiety as Predictors of Functional Impairment in Youth with Neurodevelopmental Disorders." Grace Lee also served as chair for the symposium "Participatory Action in Research: Building Interventions From the Ground Up."
Alexis Brewe, 2nd year student in Dr. Susan White's Lab, presented at the Special Interest Group Expo. Her poster was entitled "Client-Therapist Alliance and Its Relationship to Treatment Outcomes in Clients with Autism."
Jessica Smith, senior undergraduate student in Dr. Susan White's Lab, presented her poster entitled "To Adhere or Not to Adhere: The Importance of Standardized Confederate Behavior" at the Special Interest Group Expo.
Rebecca Revilla, 1st year graduate student in Dr. Brad White's Lab, presented her poster entitled "Social Information Processing Biases and Aggression in Young Adults: Moderation by Implicit Aggressiveness."
Nicole Capriola Hall, 4th year doctoral student, both presented her work and received an award at ABCT. Nicole received the Autism Special Interest Group "Student of the Year" Award. Nicole also presented a poster entitled "Associations Between Social Anxiety Severity and Visual Attention Towards Eye Regions of Emotional Faces: Insights from Eye-tracking."
Breana Dede, graduate student in Dr. Brad White's Lab, presented at the Convention on her work "Emerging Psychopathic Traits in Youth: What Roles Do Fearless Temperament and Specific Parenting Behaviors Play."
Meagan Heilman, graduate student in Dr. Brad White's Lab, presented a poster about "Psychopathic Tendencies and Facial Emotion Recognition."
Dr. Brad White, faculty member at the CYDI, also presented his work "A Preliminary Investigation of Facial Affect Sensitivity Training for Young Children with CU Traits."
CYDI Director, Dr Susan White, was honored with the Autism Special Interest Group "Mentor of the Year" Award and presented at many symposia during the conference. Some of the topics she presented on included a clinical roundtable discussion "Adaptations for Assessments and Increased Impact of Evidence Based Treatments for Individuals With Autism Spectrum and Co-Occurring Disorders," "Act Well Your Part: Using Theater to Disseminate Evidence-Based Practices to Treat Core Deficits in Autism Spectrum Disorder," and "Participatory Action in Research: Building Interventions From the Ground Up." She also served as a discussant of the "The Treatment of Anxiety in Autism Spectrum Disorder (TAASD) Trial: Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes" symposium.
All in all, we had a great time in Atlanta and enjoyed presenting our research and learning about others! Check out our Facebook to see more pictures and highlights.
Nicole Capriola-Hall, 4th year student in Child Clinical, was awarded the APF grant! Congratulations to Nicole!!!
Title of her project is "Validation of Gaze Indicators of Attention Bias: Insights from Cross-Modal Measurement," and her award is given to her by the American Psychological Foundation (APF) and the Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology (COGDOP) Harry and Miriam Levinson Scholarship. Check out the flyer to see how to get involved in her study! We are so proud of you, Nicole!
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization focused on high quality education for children and youth with exceptionalities with more than 22,000 members. Within CEC, the Division of Research (DR) advances research across all areas of disability and giftedness. The DR recognizes one Distinguished Early Career Research Award annually to a scholar who has made outstanding scientific contributions within 10 years following receipt of a doctoral degree. The award is co-sponsored by the Hammill Institute on Disabilities and is presented at the DR reception held during the annual CEC Convention.
Dr. Sara McDaniel has been named the recipient of the DR 2020 Distinguished Early Career Research Award. She received her doctorate in 2011 in special education from Georgia State University, and completed Internships at Vanderbilt University and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Southeast Division. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education and Multiple Disabilities at the University of Alabama. Dr. McDaniel is one of the most promising young scholars in the area of emotional and behavioral disorders. Her emerging focus on reducing youth violence and racism and discrimination is gaining considerable recognition in the United States. She has published extensively in journals, such as the Journal of Applied Psychology in Schools, Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Behavioral Disorders, and Elementary School Journal. She has also published multiple book chapters, and makes numerous presentations yearly at national conferences. Additionally, she has been able to secure a highly competitive R01 grant from the National Institute of Health: Youth Violence Prevention Interventions that Incorporate Racism/Discrimination Prevention. This project is a 5-year randomized control trial of Coping Power versus Comping Power+, which includes racism and discrimination content. SWPBIS will be leveraged to include much-needed adaptations. Dr. McDaniel’s scholarly accomplishments are particularly impressive in light of the service she provides to the fields of special and general education.
EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT!
Dr. White and colleagues recently published an article showing that their college transition readiness program for students with ASD was effective. Check out the article to learn more about supporting college students with ASD! Results from this randomized controlled trial of the Stepped Transition in Education Program for Students with ASD (STEPS) showed that secondary and postsecondary students demonstrated improvements following participation in STEPS.
Read the article to find out more about the program and findings: https://autismcluster.ua.edu/uploads/1/1/9/9/119949731/improving_transition_to_adulthood_for_students_with_autism_a_randomized_controlled_trial_of_steps.pdf
Congratulations to Dr. Andrea Glenn for receiving a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institute of Health (NIH), as a co-PI for the study “A Mindfulness and Peer Mentoring Program to Improve Adherence to Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders.”
Dr. Glenn is a part of an interdisciplinary team that is examining the feasibility and acceptability of the program, as well as its effectiveness in reducing relapse and cravings.
We are so proud to have you at the CYDI, Dr. Glenn!
Check out the flyer to find the show times, and make sure to come to Tuscaloosa Academy to see what the SENSE team has been working hard on all summer! See you at the theater!