||PROFILE — Catherine Lord
Area: Clinical, Developmental
Alternate Address: 2243 East Hall
Major research interests are autism and related developmental disorders.
Current studies include:
- A longitudinal study of two cohorts of children referred for possible diagnosis of autism and developmentally delayed controls at age two. The sample is now in late adolescence. We are looking at changes in diagnostic features and academic achievement as well as family well-being.
- Development of diagnostic instruments for autistic spectrum disorders, including direct observation and parent interviews. The major question is what are the social, communication and behavioral deficits that distinguish children with autism from children with other disorders, how are these deficits affected by development and experience, and how can we measure them reliably during brief observations and/or through parent accounts? Our current emphases are on developing diagnostic instruments for toddlers and adolescents and adults with limited verbal skills, as well as creating standardized ways of assessing spontaneous use of language in preschool and school age children.
- Genetics and pathophysiology of autism. Our role in collaborative studies of the molecular genetics of autism and neuroimaging studies has been help quantify the nature of deficits related to the neurobiological measures. We are just embarking on attempts to see if we can shorten existing diagnostic instruments to make them appropriate for large scale screenings particularly for genetics projects.
- Evidence- based treatment of core deficits of autism. We are currently part of 5 different multi-site randomized controlled trials: a low intensity study of a parent-implemented treatment of communication deficits in toddlers with autism; a high intensity comprehensive treatment of autism in toddlers that combines the Denver model, ABA and TEACCH in a structured fashion to individualize treatment, a focused treatment of joint attention in preschool children, a comparison of peer-implemented, web-based and group treatment of social skills in verbal school age children with autism and a pilot project creating a communication treatment specifically developed for low income families of toddlers and preschool children with autism.
- Anderson, D., Oti, R., Lord, C. (2009). Patterns of growth in adaptive social abilities among children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 1019-1034.
- Luyster, R., Gotham, K., Guthrie, W., Coffing, M., Petrak, R., DiLavore, P., Pierce, K. & Lord, C. (2009). The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – Toddler Module: A new module of a standardized diagnostic measure for autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 1305-1320.
- Gotham, K., Pickles, A., & Lord, C. (2009). Standardizing ADOS scores for a measure of severity in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 39, 693-705.
- Lord, C. (2008). Yes we can! Choose Science in Autism, Review of P. Offit, False Prophets. Science, 322:5908 1635-36.