Evelyn Klein in Speech-Language-Hearing Science actively conducts research projects with Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum (Director of the Selective Mutism Anxiety Research and Treatment Center) investigating children who have selective mutism. While selective mutism is not an autism spectrum disorder but rather an anxiety disorder, there is some overlap in populations. Both undergraduate and graduate students from La Salle University's SLHS Program have been involved in this research and have presented at local and national conferences over the past two years.
A number of faculty in the Psychology Department have active research projects related to autism. Sharon Armstrong has completed a research project on preschool children, investigating language ability, theory of mind, and level of autism. She is devoting her upcoming sabbatical to research on language, categorization, and theory of mind within an ASD population. Jennifer Block-Lerner has an active research agenda related to mindfulness/acceptance-based behavioral, and coping skills for families impacted by ASD. Diana Montague studies behavior patterns of children with ASD, and Patricia Wilson has active projects devoted to sleep behavior and perception and reaction to odors in the ASD population. All of these researchers actively involve undergraduate and graduate students in their work.
The potential for expanded scholarly study of issues related to autism is great. Little work has been published at the boundaries between the La Salle disciplines interested in this project. As just one example, it is easy to envision how scholars from Education, Psychology, Speech-Language-Hearing Science, and Religion could make a significant impact on the state of religious education across an array of religious traditions.