Infant Early Prediction

We are actively enrolling infants under 6 months old with an older, Full sibling with Autism

The IBIS Network recently received a $9.5 million grant from NIH to replicate our previous study of brain and behavior development in infants at risk for developing autism. The goal of our new study is to identify the symptoms of autism at an earlier age. 

You and your infant will travel to one of our locations at 6-, 12-, and 24-months of age for developmental testing, an MRI during natural sleep, and a brief electroencephalogram (EEG). LENA language recordings will take place at 6-, 12-, and 18-months of age. Your family will be reimbursed for all travel related expenses and compensated for participating. Your family will also complete online questionnaires at 9- and 18-months of age with compensation.

IBIS Recruitment Form

To be contacted about our study, please fill out this form and someone from our team will be in touch with you.

About the Study

Who Can participate?

  • Infants under 6 months old with at least one older, full sibling diagnosed with autism
  • Expectant parents are encouraged to contact us
  • Don’t have a child with autism but you would like to help? We also need infants with an older, full sibling with typical development for our control group

Where can you participate?

The Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS) Network is a group of researchers across the United States investigating brain development in developmental disabilities. The IBIS Network has locations in Chapel Hill, NC; Minneapolis, MN; St. Louis, MO; Seattle, WA; and Philadelphia, PA.

What is involved in an In-Person Visit?

Before Visit– Complete Telephone Screenings
– Return consent forms
– Telephone interviews to arrange travel at your convenience
Day 1– Families arrive at their study site and check in to hotel
– Arrive at testing site for MRI scan
– Return to hotel after scan
Day 2– Arrive at study site for developmental assessments in morning
– Lunch break
– Participate in optional electroencephalogram (EEG) in afternoon
– Second scan attempt in evening (as needed)
Day 3– Travel home
After Visit– Submit receipts for meals and travel expenses
– Pediatric neuroradiologist reviews MRI scans (you receive this report)
– Receive check reimbursing for study expenses and at least $125 for participating
– Receive results report summarizing your child’s developmental assessments
– Plan to come back for visit when infant is 12-months old

Parts of the Project


  • MRI will allow us to study the structure, function, and connections in different areas of infant brains
  • Your infant will have an MRI at 6-, 12-, and 24-months old
  • The MRI is done during natural sleep without sedation
  • We will send your family copies of the scanner sounds so that you can practice for your infant’s scan


  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) or brain wave test is a way for us to study the dynamics of neural networks and measure electrical activity in infant brains
  • The EEG will take around 20 minutes
  • Your infant will wear a mesh cap with small sensors that measure brain signals while a staff member blows bubbles, videos and sounds are played, and images are shown

Behavioral Assessments

  • Infants will perform developmental and cognitive assessments at their 6-, 12-, and 24-month old visits
  • Assessments include measures for learning skills, language development, attention, problem solving, fine and gross motor skills, and communication
  • Your family receives a report summarizing the results of the behavioral assessments at each visit


  • Questionnaires will be completed for the study when your infant is 6-, 9-, 12-, 18-, and 24-months old
  • Questionnaires help us to understand medical, IQ/adaptive behavior, social-communicative behavior, temperament, autism symptoms, and language for both your infant in the study and your child with autism
  • Parents are also asked to complete questionnaires about themselves and their spouse


  • Upon study entry, you will be asked to complete an interview called the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications Interview (ELSI)
  • This interview will ask you about your thoughts, feelings, and opinions surrounding an autism diagnosis
  • This interview is only completed once

Lena Language Recording

  • Language samples will be collected when your infant is 6-, 12- and 18-months old
  • LENA language recording devices will be mailed to your family at each time point with instructions for use
  • Your infant will wear a small recorder for two days at each visit age
  • Recordings do not need to be on consecutive days but should be on days that your infant spends most of their time at home

Contact Us

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Emma Davis
(267) 425-1151

Washington University
Lisa Flake
(888) 845-6786

UNC Chapel Hill
Cloie Dobias
(919) 843-1331

University of Minnesota
Camile Borja

University of Washington
Katie Emmons
(206) 685-8404