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The UA-ASD Clinic staff and collaborative researchers are committed to conducting research that improves our understanding of autism, the experience of families who have a family member diagnosed with Autism and investigating ways to improve treatment for children/adolescents and their families. Additionally, we seek to understand other associated features, symptoms, and stressors related to autism.

Autism Cluster

The UA-ASD Clinic is a part of The University of Alabama’s Autism Cluster. This is a unique collaborative approach to autism research within the Departments of Communicative Disorders and Psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences and the Department of Special Education & Multiple Abilities, and the Educational Neuroscience Initiative in the College of Education.

Recent advances in autism research have revealed important findings related to genetics, identification, and intervention. The purpose of the UA Autism Cluster is to help bridge this research-to-practice gap.

We aim to improve outcomes for people with autism and their families by facilitating collaborations among researchers with the expertise required for the complete, interdisciplinary approach necessary to address these specific gaps.

Specific Areas of Research

Our research focuses on the following:

  • Understanding relations between family functioning, stress, outcomes among families of children/adolescents diagnosed with autism or an autism spectrum disorder.
  • Understanding outcomes for siblings of children diagnosed with autism, as well as understanding the quality of life for those diagnosed with autism and their families.

If you are interested in participating in any of these research studies, please call the research lab at (205) 348-3130 or email the clinic

Peer-reviewed Research Articles

The following are examples of published research articles that have been completed through the services provided by the clinic or by clinic staff and collaborators over the past 2 to 3 years.

  1. White, S., Stoppelbein, L., Scott, H., & Spain, D. (2021). It took a pandemic: Perspectives on impact, stress, and telehealth from caregivers of people with autism.  Research in Developmental Disabilities, 113.
  2. Spain, D., Mason, D., Capp, S., Stoppelbein, L., White, S., & Happe, F. (2021). This may be a really good opportunity to make the world a more autism friendly place: Professionals’ perspectives on the effects of COVID-19 on autistic individuals.  Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 83, (101747)
  3. *McRae, E., Stoppelbein, L., O’Kelly, S., Fite, P., & Greening, L. (2019). Predicting Child Behavior: A Comparative Analysis between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.  Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28, 668-683. 

Conference Presentations

The following is a list of conference presentations that have been completed through the services provided by the clinic over the past 2 to 3 years.

  1. Wofford, K., Stoppelbein, L., Spain, D., & White, S. (2021).  Treating individuals with autism during the COVID-19 PandEmic: the COPE Study.  Poster presented at the 20th Annual Alabama Autism Conference.
  2. Stoppelbein, L., & Schwartz, J. (2020).  The Changing Landscape of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Alabama.  Invited presentation at the Alabama Chapter for the American Academy of Pediatrics 2020 Spring Meeting and Pediatric Update.
  3.  Scott, H., Stoppelbein, L., Spain, D., & White, S. W. (2020).  Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on People with Autism: The COPE Study.  Poster presentation at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Annual Convention, Philadelphia, PA.
  4. Scott, H., Stoppelbein, L., Spain, D., & White, S. W. (2020).  Insights from COVID-19: As Shared by Caregivers of People with Autism.  Presentation at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) Annual Convention, Philadelphia, PA.
  5. Southern, B., Healy, M., McRae, E., & Stoppelbein, L. (2020, February).  Hardiness and parenting stress among parents of children diagnosed with ASD.  Poster presented at the 19th Annual Alabama Autism Conference.  Tuscaloosa, AL.