Do you have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and are 18-21 years old? If so, you may be able to participate in a research study to help find out if a new program called Emotion Awareness and Skills Enhancement (EASE) can help young adults with ASD manage their emotions. Compensation provided.
Many young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty controlling their emotions, but there are currently few therapies available to help. The purpose of this study is to find out if a new program called Emotion Awareness and Skills Enhancement (EASE) can help adolescents with ASD better manage their emotions. The EASE program involves counseling and mindfulness training for children with ASD, along with parental support.
COULD THIS STUDY BE RIGHT FOR YOU?
- Ages 18-21
- Diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder
- Have an IQ of 75 or above
- Fluent in the English language
- Parent or caregiver also willing to attend part of some of the sessions
WHAT PARTICIPANTS CAN EXPECT
Participation in this study involves an initial 2-2.5 hour visit to see if you are eligible to participate in this study. If eligible after screening, you will be assigned a counselor and randomly assigned (like the flip of a coin) to one of two therapy programs, either the EASE Program using mindfulness to bring awareness to emotions and giving the participants tools to deal with those emotions, or Supportive Therapy using evidence-based treatments to target any problems the child may have with the exception of emotions. Both programs involve 16-20 weekly sessions with a counselor that last 45-60 minutes each. These sessions can take place either in-person or via telehealth.
You and your parent or caregiver will be provided with online resources, and will be asked to complete questionnaires and assessments at multiple points throughout the study. There is also an optional EEG component to the study where the participant will wear a cap to measure their brain’s electrical activity and play games.
IRB:STUDY20110317B - sIRB-EASE (Emotional Awareness and Skills Enhancement) Program: A Clinical Trial
MEET THE RESEARCHER
Carla A. Mazefsky, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Mazefsky is a graduate of the Virginia Commonwealth University where she received her PhD in Clinical Psychology. She received her postdoctoral training at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics. Dr. Mazefsky’s research interests include emotion regulation as a critical mechanism in autism spectrum disorders.