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Currently Recruiting Projects

Treatment for Youth with Autism and a Specific Phobia

We are interested in the treatment of specific phobias for children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Please contact Caroline or Hannah at (540) 231-8276 or email if you would like more information.


Treatment of Fear of Dogs in 4 to 7 year old Children

We are beginning a new study at the Virginia Tech Child Study Center and are looking for interested participants!

This treatment research study is for 4-7 year old children with fears of dogs that are interfering in their lives. Parents will be provided with a book which has been designed to assist young children in becoming more comfortable around dogs. Parents will meet with a clinician who will teach them how to read the book with their child and do activities at home to improve their child’s fear. If the child’s fear level remains high, parents will be offered the opportunity to come in to the clinic for additional treatment.

Treatment is offered at no cost and families will be compensated for completing pre-treatment and follow-up assessment sessions.

If you are interested in participating in this study please call the Child Study Center at 540-231-8276 or e-mail for further information.


Novel Treatment for Social Anxiety

Researchers at Virginia Tech are enrolling participants for a treatment study for young adults with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Participants will receive a new computer-based intervention with automated performance feedback. The goal of the intervention is to help people improve their ability to recognize and accurately interpret social signals in other people. We think that improving emotion recognition to positive cues might contribute to better social function. 

Participantswill be offered an experimental treatment (at no cost) and be compensated up to $80.00.  

Eligibility requirements: 

·     Adults between 18 and 29 years of age 

·     Have a SAD diagnosis or strongly suspect SAD 

If you decide to be in this study, you will take part in one to two assessment visits to first confirm that you are a good fit for the study that will last approximately two hours. If eligible, you will complete six treatment sessions during which you will wear a HoloLens (i.e. virtual reality headset) to interact with a computerized program, like in a video-game. The HoloLens fits securely around your head and projects images to participants in a mixed reality setting. In mixed reality, objects from the physical and virtual worlds are merged and seen together. As seen in the image below, while wearing the HoloLens, you can see a projected image of a person sitting at a physical table. The first session will last approximately 30-45 minutes and the remaining sessions will last 15-20 minutes. 

If you are interested in participating or would like more information please contact the Child Study Center at (540) 231-8276 or at


ASSET: Treatment for Teens with Autism

The Psychosocial Interventions Lab at Virginia Tech is conducting a study of a new treatment for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who struggle with handling their emotions. We are enrolling 12-17 year olds with an ASD diagnosis and IQ of 80 or higher who also have difficulties with their emotions. The program involves individual sessions, online resources for parent and teen, and at home practices for the teen. There is no cost for this program and we offer payments for completing the assessments.

To receive more information please email [] or call us [540-231-8276].


Stepped Transition in Education Program for Students with ASD (STEPS)

Young adults who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) without co-occurring intellectual impairment face a fairly unique set of challenges as they transition out of secondary school. These students are often quite capable of succeeding in higher education and many of them have interest in pursuing advanced degrees, but the nature of their disability and associated deficits (e.g., poor time management and poor self-regulation) may impede success. Individualized, appropriately timed, and developmentally sensitive transition and support services may promote optimal outcomes for these young people. The goal of this NIH-funded project is to develop a comprehensive program to promote successful transition of students with ASD from high school to post-secondary education.

Utilizing a participatory process approach to program development, STEPS seeks to meet the self-identified needs of all central stakeholders including the student with ASD facing transition, the student’s parents or guardians, and the student’s secondary and post-secondary school. The curriculum itself is multifaceted in content and implementation. The STEPS content modules are individualized for each stakeholder and offered via in-person training, campus immersion experiences, and online and printed materials. STEPS is more than just teaching about the transition process. It targets improved self-regulation (SR) and self-determination (SD) in young people with ASD, as these constructs are associated with quality of life and positive adult outcomes with respective to college adjustment and functional behavior.

If you would like to complete the survey, please send an email to 

Project website:

Phone: 540-231-8276


Brain imaging study for Adults with ASD

Recruiting adults between 18-55 years of age with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder.

What the Study Entails:  up to two visits to our lab:  an interview (approximately 2 hours long) and a brain scan to study social reward (approximately 1.5 hours).  Participants will be compensated between $20-50.

For more information and to determine eligibility, please contact the Social Clinical Affective Neuroscience at Virginia Tech ( or call us at (540) 231-8504


Support Group for Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

In collaboration with Yale University School of Medicine, the Virginia Tech Autism Clinic will be offering a new support group in February 2014 for siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)!

  • The study will be held in Blacksburg, and is for children (7-17 years old) with a sibling with an ASD, such as autism, PDD-NOS, or Asperger’s.
  • Group participants must not have an ASD diagnosis.
  • This group for siblings is designed to increase your child’s knowledge of ASD and improve his/her relationship with his/her sibling with ASD
  • Groups will consist of 4-8 children, grouped by similar ages.
  • The group will consist of ten 90-minute sessions, plus a pre-treatment screening and a post-treatment assessment.
  • Screenings for eligibility will begin in January.
  • Day and time will be determined by group consensus.
  • There is no cost for support group services.

Thank you for considering participating in our study!

See the attached flyer for details.  If you are interested in participating, please contact  Marika Coffman at, or at the VT Psychological Services Center at (540) 231-6914.


Facial Emotion Recognition Intervention for Children with ASD

WHY:The goal of this study is to assess the feasibility of an attention modification intervention to attenuate deficits in facial emotion recognition and expression in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

WHO: We are enrolling children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), 9 to 12 years of age, who may show difficulties recognizing facial expressions.

WHAT:5 week, 10 session computer treatment. Parent and child will also be asked to complete three assessment sessions during the course of the treatment. Participants will receive $20 per assessment session, in addition to $20 for completing all treatment sessions, for up to $80 total.

WHERE: Child Study Center at Virginia Tech

CONTACT: Andrea Trubanova Wieckowski email:; phone: 540-231- 2024