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USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Sensory adapted dental rooms significantly reduce autistic children’s physiological and behavioral stress during teeth cleanings >
June 2, 2023

Autism Community and Partners Diversity, Access, Equity Health and Wellness Research

Results of USC–CHLA study of 162 autistic children show that safe and feasible adaptations to the clinic environment created more relaxed, less anxious dental care experiences.

By Mike McNulty In the SADE research clinic at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, sensory adaptations to the environment were shown to significantly reduce autistic children's physiological and behavioral stress during dental cleanings. (Photo by Phil Channing) New results from a study led by USC…

International study shows link between brain age and stroke outcomes >
April 7, 2023

Faculty Research

A USC-led team of researchers find that brain age, a neuroimaging-based assessment of global brain health, may play a role in post-stroke outcomes and could potentially help identify people at risk for poorer outcomes.

A new study lead by a team of researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC shows that younger “brain age,” a neuroimaging-based assessment of global brain health, is associated with better post-stroke outcomes. The findings could lead to better ways to predict post-stroke outcomes and…

Mitigating on-the-job stress: Stress mapping with artificial intelligence >
March 29, 2023

Faculty Health and Wellness Research

USC Chan’s Shawn Roll leading interdisciplinary team on $1.1M National Science Foundation grant for managing, mitigating on-the-job stress.

By Mike McNulty for The Explorer Journal 2023 (Illustration by master1305/Adobe Stock) The World Health Organization has called stress the “health epidemic of the 21st century” — and that was before the Covid-19 pandemic. While a highly personalized phenomenon, job-related stress is…

Four new, early-stage projects selected for internal research funding >
February 3, 2023

Autism Community and Partners Faculty Pandemic Research

Aims of projects include increasing social connections in mental health clubhouses, improving return-to-work, developing trauma-informed framework for minoritized families of autistic girls and better understanding autistic sensory strengths

Three projects have been selected for the upcoming funding cycle of the Responding to Society’s Post-pandemic Occupational Needs (ReSPONs) Initiative, the USC Chan Division’s seed grant mechanism for early-stage projects that address the intersecting pandemics — COVID-19, systemic racial…

Study highlights barriers, facilitators to telehealth occupational therapy for autistic children during the pandemic >
January 17, 2023

Autism Community and Partners Pandemic Research

Qualitative research explores perspectives of occupational therapists, clinical administrators and caregivers.

By Mike McNulty Telehealth became an essential way for occupational therapists to work with clients during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, nearly three years after the March 2020 stay-at-home orders, researchers from USC Chan’s Disparity Reduction and Equity in Autism Services (DREAmS) lab published…

Study finds 3 percent of children have elevated sensory issues that seemingly worsen throughout early childhood, a pattern strongly linked to autism >
December 29, 2022

Autism Faculty Research

By following more than 1,500 children over six years, USC-led study helps confirm sensory features are an early behavioral marker of autism.

By Mike McNulty Figure 1 from the article showing identified Class types and their respective trajectories. (Figure courtesy of Chen et al.) New results from a USC-led study reveal that 3 percent of all children have elevated sensory traits which seemingly worsen as they grow from infants/toddlers…

Karla Ausderau honored with 2022 Patricia Buehler Legacy Award for Clinical Innovation >
November 18, 2022

Alumni Awards Events Lectures and Talks Research

Karla Ausderau (Courtesy of Karla Ausderau) Karla Ausderau MA ’00, PhD ’09, associate professor in the occupational therapy program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and two-time USC alumna, was awarded the division's 2022 Patricia Buehler Legacy Award for Clinical Innovation. Ausderau…

Study pinpoints three brain regions displaying telltale patterns in autistic individuals >
November 14, 2022

Autism Faculty Research

USC scientists are first to identify patterns of white matter connectivity exclusive to core autistic symptoms, pointing out potential flaw in previous autism neuroscience research.

By Mike McNulty Correlational tractography analysis by Aziz-Zadeh and colleagues revealed group differences in multiple tracts throughout the brain. (Courtesy of Lisa Aziz-Zadeh) New study results from an international research team led by USC scientists have identified a signature pattern of white…

Study identifies social, motor skills patterns unique to autistic children >
July 4, 2022

Autism Research

Findings help clarify relationships between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Coordination Disorder

By Mike McNulty (Photo/Adobe Stock) Results from a new study published in Autism Research show that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) each have their own distinct patterns of social and motor skills, which also overlap in some instances. The results also…

Analysis of more than 82,000 autistic children’s healthcare usage data finds sex, race, ethnicity disparities >
April 29, 2022

Autism Community and Partners Research

Findings provide new insights and elicit new questions for understudied autistic groups.

By Mike McNulty (Photo/Adobe Stock) A new analysis of data collected from more than 82,000 autistic children across seven years reveals significant differences in their healthcare utilization according to sex, race and ethnicity. Results of the study led by Assistant Professor Amber Angell and its…

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