Infant Brain Imaging Study

University of Washington Autism Center



The University of Washington Autism Center (UWAC)


Stephen R. Dager, MD

Stephen R. Dager, MD

Doctors Stephen R. Dager and Annette Estes, researchers at the University of Washington and Children’s Hospital, want to learn more about brain development in young siblings of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  The information gained in this study may improve methods of early detection and improve intervention for infants who may be at risk for developing autism and lead to better outcomes for these young children and their families.

Description of study:

This study will involve infants with older siblings with ASD and their caregivers. Assessments of infant behavior and development and brain imaging studies using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) will be conducted at four time points between 3 months and 24 months of age for each participating child. The research will take place at the University of Washington Autism Center (developmental assessments) and Seattle Children’s hospital (MRI).

Inclusion criteria:

Your family may participate if they have:

    • A child who has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder AND,
    • A younger sibling 6 months old or younger

Exclusion criteria:

Not Specified. Please contact the researchers and/or institution directly.


  • Cognitive, social, and developmental assessments at the University of Washington Autism Center for 6-month-old siblings of children with an autism spectrum disorder and comprehensive follow-up evaluations at 12-months and 24-months of age.
  • Developmental screening for the older sibling.
  • Completion of questionnaires and phone interviews for parents.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging at Seattle Children?s Hospital.

Q. What is the time commitment for participation in the study?

A. You will be asked to complete several questionnaires, respond to a number of questions over the phone and participate in assessment visits at the UW Autism Center when your infant is 6, 12, and 24 months old. At each time point, the questionnaires will take approximately two hours, each phone call lasts approximately two hours, and we will ask that you schedule 1-2 one hour visits to the Autism Center. You will also be asked to bring your child to Children’s Hospital for an MRI scan at each age point (6, 12, and 24 months). Each completed MRI scanning session takes approximately 1 hour.

Q.What will my family get out of the study?


  • All families will receive developmental evaluations of their infant at each time point along with a detailed clinical report.
  • All families will receive advice regarding intervention services individualized for your infant if appropriate.
  • Information regarding your children’s developmental profile that can be used in educational planning.
  • Advice and referral information regarding your children’s development and behavior.
  • Compensation for parking and a $75 check at each age point.

Q. What are the risks to participating in this study and what safeguards are in place to minimize any risks?

A. This study is approved by a human subjects committee at Seattle Children’s Hospital and all efforts are made to minimize any potential risks. Psychological and behavioral testing of your child may reveal difficulties with language, mental processing or socialization, as well as a diagnosis of an ASD at 24 months of age, that will be reported to you with appropriate follow-up recommendations. Similarly, although no clinically significant brain structural findings are expected, all MRIs will be evaluated by a board-certified pediatric neuroradiologist, and you will be informed of any clinically significant findings with appropriate follow up recommendations.

Principal Investigator(s) :

  • Stephen R. Dager, M.D.
  • Annette Mercer Estes, Ph.D.

    Annette Mercer Estes, Ph.D.

    Annette Estes, Ph.D.

Additionally, the project involves autism researchers at 3 other academic institutions throughout the United States.

Location(s) :

Contact Details :

To learn more about this study, please contact Research Study Coordinator, Nickora Lewis at 206-543-2125, or call toll-free at 1-800-994-9701

University of Washington and Children’s Hospital,
Infant Brain Imaging Study,
Box 357920, Seattle, WA 98195
phone: 1-800-994-9701

Additional IBIS information available at:

Known Funding Sources :

Privacy Notice:

  • Not Specified. Please contact the researchers and/or institution directly.

Printable Material:

IBIS Brochure

IBIS Flyer


About Dan Yedinak

Dan Yedinak is an Information Technology consultant, volunteer Web Administrator for the Autism Research and Resources of Oregon, and an Autism Advocate.
This entry was posted in Research. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Infant Brain Imaging Study

  1. Pingback: – News and Updates | Autism Research and Resources of Oregon

Comments are closed.