Blocks and Toys on Shelf
Father and Mother playing with kid

Joint Engagement Project

Dr. Ousley has implemented two single-case design studies1,2 evaluating the effects of a parent-implemented play-based intervention with children with autism and other developmental delays (e.g., William’s Syndrome). The original outcomes that were measured were parent strategy use and child social communication. The SCADD Lab is reevaluating the data to understand if there were collateral effects on joint engagement between the parent and child. Shelby and Nyah are working hard on this project!


1 Ousley, C. L., Raulston, T. J., & Gilhuber, C. S. (2022). Incorporating Video Feedback Within a Parent-Implemented Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Intervention Package via Telepractice. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. 42(3). 246–258.
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2 Ousley, C. L. (2022). Coaching Parents of Young Children with Autism and Minimal to No Vocal Speech in Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Strategies Using Strength-based Video Feedback. [Doctoral dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.
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Woman holding clipboard up to child

Partnering with Nebraska Families: Accessibility and Success of Early Intervention

The SCADD Lab and The Learning Lab (run by Dr. Susan Loveall) will soon be evaluating the perceptions of families in Nebraska who have a child that is currently receiving, or has previously received, Early Intervention services. The goal of our joint-lab project is to understand how Early Intervention can become more accessible and successful for families in Nebraska and across the nation. If you are interested in participating (as a family or research assistant) please contact Dr. Ciara Ousley or Dr. Susan Loveall.

Girl reading book

Embedding AAC within Playtime and Storybook Reading

Dr. Ousley has received grant support curtesy of Layman Seed funding through the Nebraska Foundation to evaluate how communication supports can be embedded within playtime and storybook reading following an NDBI framework. Up to 10 young children (ages 2 to 5) with autism and/or communication delays will come into the SCADD lab for the study beginning in Spring 2024. Hannah and Mallory will be focusing their time on this project. Abbie is also on this project through UCARE funds.


1 Click here to learn more about the project: Research Explores Technology to Support Speech Among Children with Autism

Group of kids

Athletics Project

Dr. Ousley (former student athlete at Nebraska) and Jenna Rogers (current student athlete at Nebraska) are working together to analyze the perceptions of student athletes and parents of children with disabilities through numerous focus groups of parents and student athletes. Results will then be formed into a training for student athletes to support their interactions with folks with disabilites. Jenna is taking the lead role on this project via UCARE funds to provide training on how youth with disabilities can be integrated through sport. Hannah and Katie Ericson are assisting with the data validation and interpretation.

Kids and parents playing on floor

Literature Review on Family-Implemented NDBIs

Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBIs) are empirically-supported interventions that blend the sciences of developmental psychology with applied behavior analysis. Most NDBIs capitalize on training and coaching families of young children to support the social, communication, and play skills of the child. Dr. Ousley is working with Dr. Veronica Kang out of University of Maryland to evaluate all family-implemented NDBI research to understand the demographic information of family members who have implemented these interventions in the research literature. Hannah and Rylie are working hard and becoming experts on NDBIs through this project!