For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Connecting the Dots

connecting the dots logo 

This study aims to explore how screening and surveillance helps children with autism in the long run. Results from this study will empower providers with evidence-based procedures to detect ASD, optimize care for patients, and improve long-term outcomes. We are now enrolling primary care providers that care for toddlers within a 60-minute drive of Drexel University/30th Street Station Philadelphia, UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, CA, and University of Connecticut (Storrs). This study is part of Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) Network, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health

The facts                                                                                                                                         

  • 1 in 68 children will be diagnosed with autism
  • Early intervention improves outcomes
  • Diagnosis of ASD in toddlers is accurate, but the average age of diagnosis of ASD is after age 4

What we are asking                                                                                                                   

  • Agree to be randomized to either a usual care or an experimental condition
  • Usual Care: document and follow your usual care strategies for detection of ASD
  • Experimental: follow study guidelines to detect ASD in patients 16-48 m old


  • Allow the study team to screen all children at 48 months
  • Providers and staff participate in brief ASD education (may confer CME credit)
  • Staff is willing to provide information about check-ups billed in specified months


  • Opportunity to receive CME credit or educational session certificates
  • Eligible patients have access to diagnostic and treatment services from the study team
  • If we learn that specific strategies are helpful, we will share with ALL providers at end of study

Get more information                                                                              

Contact your local research team to speak by phone or schedule a meeting in your office.

drexel logo


AJ Drexel Autism Institute

Katherine Sand – Coordinator
(T) 215-571-4824

Diana Robins, PhD
(T) 215-571-3439
3020 Market St, Suite 560
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3734
(F) 215-571-3187        

uconn logo


University of Connecticut

Kirsty Coulter – Coordinator 
(T) 860 486 5767

Deborah Fein, PhD
(T) 860-486-3518
406 Babbidge Road, U-1020 Storrs, CT 06269-1020
(F) 860-486-3680

UC Davis logo


UC Davis MIND Institute

Marie Rocha – Coordinator
(T) 916-703-0356

Aubyn Stahmer, PhD
(T) 916-703-0254
2825 50th Street
Sacramento, CA 95817
(F) 916-703-6060

This research is conducted by a researcher who is a member of Drexel University

IRB Approved: Human Research Protection Protocol # 1607004653A003 Approval Date: 11/21/17 Expiration Date: 7/23/18

If you're the parent of a toddler, please consider taking the flyer to your child's pediatric provider and encouraging them to join the study.

Download the Connecting the Dots Recruitment Flyer

Contact Dr. Diana Robins