The PuzzleMouse Project – Harvard Medical School needs YOUR help with their Research!

This week I was contacted by Jena Daniels, the Clinical Project Coordinator in Dr. Dennis Wall’s lab at Harvard Medical School, who asked if I could help get the word out about a research project in which they currently need parent participation! (aka Harvard needs YOUR help!) Please consider taking a moment to read about this important study, titled The PuzzleMouse Project, and participate if you possibly can! They are seeking caregivers of children between the ages of 14 months and 7 years with and without a developmental delay. It will take only minutes to participate, but will help ensure families everywhere get the attention they need as early and often as they need it. Also consider sharing the information with friends and family who have young children! Thank you! ~Genny (In Lieu of Preschool)

The PuzzleMouse Project: Harvard Medical School Developmental Delay / Autism Research Project

puzzlemouse project

Do you have a child who is between 14 months and 7 years of age? If yes, our team at Harvard Medical School would love your help with our developmental delay research project. Our goal is to bridge the gap between the first signs of a developmental delay and an appointment with a diagnostic specialist.

Currently, families wait an average of 13 months for an autism diagnosis. It requires extensive behavioral analysis by highly trained professionals and takes up to four or more hours. In minority and financially disadvantaged communities, the delay between first concern and diagnosis averages even longer.

At the Wall Lab, we’re developing machine-learning methods that could help reduce this unacceptable delay. We are testing the effectiveness of our technology through our PuzzleMouse Project. This project asks parents to complete a short questionnaire and upload a brief video of their child interacting with others in a natural environment – for instance at home or on a playdate.

puzzlemouse project

From this information, our machine-learning methods produce risk assessments in minutes rather than hours. Based on our preliminary analyses, it has an accuracy greater than 92 percent when compared to a gold-standard clinical diagnosis.

If the accuracy is confirmed through further testing, we see great potential for using the assessment to shorten the time between initial concern and early intervention for autism. Detect early. Intervene early!

We are now just months away from completing a mobile version of our system for rapid detection of autism. But we need your help! Please consider participating in our study by following this link to our website. Whether or not your child has been diagnosed with autism or is at risk for autism, you can make a difference for countless children and families going through the diagnostic process in the years to come.

puzzlemouse project

Just to summarize, your participation will include:

Submitting a short survey: You will complete ten questions about your child’s day-to-day behavior.

Uploading a 2- to 5- minute video: It should show your child in a social situation such as a birthday party, playdate or even a day at the park with your family.

Thanks so much!

Read more about Dr. Wall’s award-winning PuzzleMouse Project here.

puzzlemouse project

The Wall Lab team: working on ways, by looking at genes and behaviors, to bring solutions to families.

Click here to be taken to The PuzzleMouse Project!

(Thank you!! Please share!!)

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!