Post-pandemic, so much healthcare-related assessment is taking place remotely. This can be much more convenient for families with a child who has a neurodevelopmental disorder, but we need to know how the information from a remote assessment compares to an in-person one.

This project aims to do just that: Compare how a child performs on a series of speech, language, and motor assessments in our lab and remotely, at home. We hypothesize that children will perform at least as well when they are in a familiar place like their home.

Children with neurodevelopmental or genetic diagnoses (including autism) between the ages of 2 and 18 are welcome to participate. Families will come to the Motor Development Lab at Boston University for a 2-hour in-person visit where children will participate in a series of motor and spoken-language assessments. Motor assessments will include walking back and forth on our “magic carpet”, which records each of their footsteps, playing a “flamingo game” by balancing on one leg, and putting coins into a piggy bank. Spoken language assessments will include watching a preferred video while we record children’s facial movements, attempting to repeat a set of 8 syllables, a picture-naming task, and trying some tongue-twisters. The specific spoken-language tasks for each child will be selected based on their verbal ability, so everyone has a just-right challenge. The in-person and remote assessments will be audio- and videotaped for later analysis.

At the end of the in-person assessment, families will receive $25, and we’ll make two Zoom appointments. One will be for parents to complete a set of questionnaires about their child’s history and current skills, and the other will be to complete the same spoken-language and motor tasks they just finished at home, via Zoom. Once the two remote sessions are complete, families will receive another $75 and a personalized report if they would like. Parking will be free for the in-person session.

Inclusion criteria:
1. Child has a diagnosis of a neurodevelopmental or genetic condition from a qualified professional (includes autism).
2. Child is between the ages of 2 and 18.
3. The main language of the child’s family (spoken >50% of the time) is English.

Exclusion criteria:
1. Poorly controlled seizure disorder.
2. Inability to participate in testing.