Joint Media Engagement among Autistic Children and Families

Research Study

Are you the parent/guardian of a child age 3-8 on the autism spectrum in the Boston area?

Researchers at Northeastern University want to understand how your child uses media and technology with their family members, whether it’s a little or a lot. The information from this study could help parents/guardians and clinicians understand children’s unique needs, as well as help producers and designers create better media and technology for children on the autism spectrum and their families.

We are looking to recruit parents/guardians (over the age of 18) who have a child with a diagnosis of autism, autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).

We are asking parents/guardians to allow us to interview them at home for about 90 minutes about their child’s use of media. This will be a one-time interview. At the end of the interview, parents/guardians will be given a questionnaire to fill out to provide the researcher with background information about their family. It should take about 10 minutes to fill out.

Within the following month, that same researcher will observe the child and at least one family member doing a media or technology activity that they enjoy doing together, either at home or outside the home. The observation will last for 30-90 minutes, the length of which will depend on if the child needs to take any breaks and the type of activity.

Participating families will receive a $30 CVS gift card after completing both the interview and observation portions.

Parents/guardians can contact Dr. Meryl Alper by phone at (818) 856-0165 or by email at if they have questions or are interested in participating in the study.