Family Studies

Parenting and Language Learning in Young Children with Down Syndrome


If you have a child with Down syndrome between 2 and 5 years of age, you and your family are invited to participate in a research study conducted by Dr. Audra Sterling at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin – Madison.

The purpose of this study is to learn more about the relationships among parenting, social interactions, and language learning in children with Down syndrome. 

If you decide that you and your family would like to participate in this study, we will ask you to complete questionnaires related to your child’s development and daily behaviors, as well as your marital relationship and overall health.  We will come to your home and record your family as you interact during different daily activities, such as during making a snack together, playing and reading a story.  During our visit, we will also complete developmental assessments through interacting with your child.  Additionally, we will request that you use our audio recording device to record 1-2 evenings for three hours before bedtime.   Your family will be compensated $50 for your time.

If you are interested in this study or would like to learn more, please call the Study Coordinator at (608)263-5145 or email

PI: Audra Sterling, PhD
Key words: Down Syndrome, Family Studies, Parents, Speech and Language Development

Working Together: Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder


We are looking for families to participate in a study about programming for young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  The study has two goals:  1) promote the development of advocacy and social skills in young adults with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD),  2) enable families to support their adult children in achieving educational and employment goals.

To participate, individuals with ASD must meet the following criteria

  • the adult must provide ASD diagnosis documentation (either from a health care or educational professional)
  • the adult with ASD has not been diagnosed with an intellectual disability
  • the adult must be 18-30 years old
  • the adult must live at home with his or her parent(s)
  • the adult works less than 10 hours per week
  • the adult spends less than 10 hours a week in degree-seeking post-secondary education program

To find out more, please contact Renee Makuch at the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (608) 262-4717 or

PI: Leann Smith DaWalt, PhD
Keywords: Autism, Family Studies