This study will investigate whether a behavioral intervention can improve social communication skills in infants with TSC, with the overarching goal of lessening symptomatology related to ASD. Research has shown that early intervention improves cognitive and behavioral outcomes in children with atypical development. The proposed intervention adapts a parent-mediated intervention that has successfully improved outcomes in toddlers with idiopathic ASD. In addition to testing the primary effects of this early intervention on developmental outcomes of infants with TSC, we also will use electrophysiological (EEG) methods to examine low level visual processing, face processing and resting state EEG oscillations prior to and after intervention
Eligibility for Participation
• Infants between 12-36 months of age who have a clinical diagnosis of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC)
• English is primary language
Participation requires attending parent-mediated behavioral intervention classes at Boston Children’s Hospital. Participants will come into the lab for daily (Monday through Friday) 60 minute intervention sessions for a two week intensive intervention period, followed by visits once a week for 60 minute sessions for 10 weeks. Participants are also given behavioral assessments before entry into behavioral intervention, after exiting intervention, and at a follow up visit.
Infants with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) are at high risk for neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability (ID). In a recent prospective study of infants with TSC, we found that as early as 6 months of age, infants demonstrated delays in non-verbal behaviors critical for the development of social communication skills, and that by 12 months these delays generalized to both verbal and non-verbal cognition. Moreover, a decline in non-verbal cognition over the second two years of life predicted the development of ASD. Based on this clear evidence of early delays, we propose to investigate whether a behavioral intervention can improve social communication skills in infants with TSC, with the overarching goal of lessening symptomatology related to ASD.