In the Child Neurodevelopment Research Lab we conduct research about cognitive and psychosocial functioning of children with particular genetic conditions. Our research includes (1) 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. (2) treatment research, examining the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for use with children with specific rare genetic conditions. 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 neurofibromatosis type 1
Projects with planned and current data collection include:
- Adolescent Outcomes in Neurofibromatosis Type 1: Attention, Social, and Academic Functioning
- Neural Underpinnings of Attention in Children with NF1 (using ERP approaches)
- Evaluation of Measures of Attention for Young Children with NF1
- Treatment Development Study of Behavioral Play Therapy to address fear and anxiety in young children with Williams syndrome
- Effectiveness of a Telehealth Group for Improving Peer Relationships for Adolescents with NF1
Projects with current manuscript-writing 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)
- Aggression among children with Duplication 7q11.23 syndrome
- Psychopathology among children with Duiplication 7q11.23 syndrome or Williams syndrome
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 (if interested), 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 or neurofibromatosis type 1. 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 planning to take a new student during the current admissions season, to begin in the 2021-22 academic year.