Are you interested in participating in our research?

The purpose of our research is to understand how children learn language, why some children (including those with autism) may have trouble learning language, and what we can do to make language learning easier for these children. Our studies are designed to be fun and engaging. Children watch short 'movies,' answer questions, and play games with members of our team.

We are currently looking for families to come visit us at the Lingo Lab. We would like to invite children with autism, ages 2 to 5 years old, to participate! If you are interested, you can sign up directly through our website, or contact us at


General Information

Q: What is the purpose of the research going on in the Lingo Lab?

A: The purpose of our research is to understand how children learn language, why some children (including those with autism) may have trouble learning language, and what we can do to make language learning easier for these children.

Q: What ages are you currently recruiting?

A: We are looking for children with autism and children with typical development from 2 to 5 years of age.

Q: I am interested in learning more.  What should I do next?

A: Call us at (517) 884-8869 or email us at  We will tell you more about the study, determine whether your child is eligible, and answer any questions you may have.

Q: My child may have autism, but he/she does not yet have a formal diagnosis. What should I do?

A: Call us at (517) 884-8869 or email us at We will get you connected with the right resources.  

Q: What if my child speaks more than one language?

A: Due to the nature of our study, we are unable to enroll participants who speak (or hear) languages other than English.  Please contact us for more information about eligibility.

Visit Information

Q: How does the study work?

A: Children will play 'games' with an examiner that involve talking, listening, pointing, and following directions. Children will also watch short 'movies' that present pictures and sounds. (These are the experimental language tasks). They will be offered play and snack breaks as needed. Parents will complete several background questionnaires about their child's development and current abilities. Click here for more information on what to expect when you visit us. 

Q: Will I be with my child during the study? 

A: Yes.  We want to make sure that both you and your child are comfortable during your visit.  Other family members are welcome to sit in a room across from the testing room, where a TV monitor will allow them to see what is happening in the testing room. 

Q: Can I bring my other children with me?  

A: We are happy to accommodate your family's schedule and needs, including arrangements for other children.  There is a separate room for children to play in across from the testing room, and we will provide free child care for the duration of your visit. 

Q: How long will we be there?

A: The study involves visiting the lab on two separate days.  Families can expect to spend several hours at the lab each time. The specific length of each visit will vary, but you can be assured than we will get through things as quickly as possible!

Q: How do we get to the lab?

A: The Lingo Lab is located in the Oyer Speech and Hearing Building, at 1026 Red Cedar Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824.  Click here for all of our contact information. 

Q: Where can we park?

A: There is a parking lot at the Oyer Speech and Hearing Building, where the lab is located.  We will give you a guest parking pass upon arrival. 

Q: What if my child is uncooperative during the study?

A: We understand that young children can be unpredictable.  If your child becomes uncooperative at any time in the study, we are happy to take breaks or move on to another activity that makes them feel more comfortable.  We want this to be a positive experience for you and your family!

After Visit Information

Q: How will the findings from this study be used?

A: We will periodically update families about the study's findings via our website. We will also present our findings at conferences and in scientific journals. We are also interested in discussing our findings with parents, teachers, and clinicians.

Q:  What will you do with my information?

A: The information that is collected during your visit will be de-identified, so that it is no longer associated with personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, email). Families of children with autism will be offered a written report describing the results of the evaluation.

Q: Will we be compensated for our time?

A: Yes. Your family will receive a minimum of $10/hour for you participation.  Your child will also receive a free book as a "thank you" for their help with our study.

Q: I'd like to tell other families about the Lingo Lab.  Is that okay?

A: Absolutely!  Our flyer is available to download here.  You can also share our website URL ( or pass along our contact information.