In the Child Neurodevelopment Research Lab we conduct behavioral phenotyping research, describing of the social, emotional, and cognitive strengths and weaknesses of children with particular neurodevelopmental disorders, to lay groundwork for genotype-phenotype investigations. We incorporate approaches from the fields of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, child clinical psychology, and child neuropsychology.
Our current projects focus on three populations:
- Children and adolescents with Williams syndrome
- Children and adolescents with Duplication 7q11.23 syndrome
- Children and adolescents with neurofibromatosis-1
Current projects include:
- Longitudinal study of cognitive, social, and emotional difficulties in children with neurofibromatosis-1 beginning in early childhood (cognitive and preacademic abilities, motor functioning, attention and executive difficulties)
- Social functioning of children with neurofibromatosis-1 and overlaps with autism spectrum symptomatology.
- Socio-communicative difficulties of children with Williams syndrome, with a focus on the issue of possible “diagnostic overshadowing” in Williams syndrome
- Autism spectrum symptomatology, anxiety, and aggression among children with Duplication 7q11.23
- Emotion regulation and executive functioning in children and adolescents with Williams syndrome, measured by neuropsychological tasks, parent, and teacher report.
- Developing interventions for young children with Williams syndrome to support optimal psychosocial functioning.
Training and Mentorship:
Graduate students in the Child Neurodevelopment Research Lab typically have research and clinical interests related to child neuropsychology, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and/or social and emotional development in atypical populations. Students in the lab emerge from their studies with child neuropsychology assessment training, autism spectrum disorder differential diagnostic skills, manuscript-writing experience, and grant-writing experience. The depth of experiences in each of these areas is tailored according to student interests and depending on the nature of the studies at any given time. There are also opportunities for training and experiences in cognitive-behavioral interventions for children with Williams syndrome. I am particularly interested in students who enjoy tackling research questions and intend to continue to blend research and clinical work in the future.
Dr. Klein-Tasman is not planning to take a new student during the current admissions season, to begin in the 2020-21 academic year, but expects to take a new student in the next admissions season to begin in the 2021-22 academic year.