Research Study
Join a compensated study at Children's Hospital Los Angeles aimed at improving early diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder.
Visits Conducted in
Los Angeles, CA
Have A Child With
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Have OR Expecting a Baby
Key Study Information
About this research study:
By joining this study, you could help researchers develop new ways of diagnosing autism in infancy.
Our research is focused on creating tools to understand development in babies who have an older sibling with autism. In the future, these tools may help with early identification of risk for autism and provide opportunities for early intervention.

We will study your baby's brain activity and how your baby explores the world with their eyes when your baby is 3, 6, 9, and 12 months old. When your baby is between 18-24 months, he/she will be evaluated by a licensed psychologist for autism
Meet the Team
Sahana Nagabhushan Kalburgi, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Sahana’s research focuses on brain development in premature infants and infants at high risk for autism spectrum disorders. She uses electroencephalogram (EEG) to study changes in brain network activity. Sahana received her doctoral training at Vanderbilt University and has a background in molecular and clinical neuroscience.
Pat Levitt, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer, Vice President and Director, The Saban Research Institute
Simms/Mann Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Pat’s research focuses on how the brain develops in infants in order to promote healthy learning, emotional and social behavior. He is a grandparent of 5, enjoys jump rope competitions with his grandchildren, and playing ball with his two dogs.
Aidee León Lúa, BA
Research Assistant
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Aidee studied psychology at UCLA and worked at a daycare center with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, sparking her interest in early infant development and inspiring her to become a child psychologist. She lives in Los Angeles and likes hiking.
Additional Information
Why is this study being done?
Researchers hope to better understand how babies develop in the first year of life to help create new ways for early detection of autism.
Is this study for me?
You may qualify for this study if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are currently pregnant OR have an infant less than 12 months old
  • You have an older child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder
What will happen if I participate in the study?
If you choose to participate in the study, the following visits will occur for you and your children.

For your family, the study involves:
  • (1) visit for 2 hours with you and your older child who has a diagnosis of autism to complete questionnaires, measure child's brain activity, attention, and movement. We will also collect a cheek swab and poop sample, but this is optional. This visit may happen anytime before or during your baby's 12-month visit.
  • Up to (4) visits to CHLA in the first year, for 30 minutes each to complete questionnaires and measure baby's brain activity, attention, and movement. We will also collect a cheek swab and poop sample, but this is optional.
  • (1) remote visit at 15 months to answer questions about baby's development.
  • (1) visit to CHLA between 18-24 months, up to 4 hours, for evaluation of baby for autism
Will I be paid for being in this research study?
To thank you for your participation, you will receive $50 gift cards after each in-person visit and a $25 gift card for the remote visit (up to $325 total). Your transportation costs will be covered and age-appropriate toys will be provided for your baby and your older child!
Will it cost me anything to participate in this study?
There is no cost for you to participate in our research program.