About the LifeSPAN ASD Lab

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The Lifespan Symptom Profiles, Achievements & Needs in Autism Spectrum Disorder (LifeSPAN ASD) Lab is led by Dr. Vanessa H. Bal.

Dr. Bal's research aims to advance understanding of the aging population of adults with ASD. By emphasizing a lifespan perspective, the lab encompasses four broad research areas:

  1. Defining meaningful achievements and specific needs of adults with ASD;
  2. Characterizing how ASD symptoms manifest across the range of cognitive and language abilities at varying developmental stages across the lifespan;
  3. Identifying behavioral, biological and contextual factors that affect longer-term adult outcomes;
  4. Developing clinical services to support autistic adults.

Across these areas, research in the lab strives to develop and refine methods to assess and quantify individual strengths and challenges. This includes projects evaluating both biological and behavioral approaches that may be useful in screening and diagnosis, tracking of symptoms across development, and evaluating response to treatment. By emphasizing a multidimensional, lifespan perspective, this work aims to delineate relationships between dimensions of social-communication, language, cognition and emotion in the context of neurodevelopmental disorders in order to inform the development of targeted interventions that capitalize on individual strengths in order to promote well-being for individuals with ASD across the lifespan.

Dr. Bal also leads the RCAAS Psychological Services Clinic, which provides clinical assessment and treatment services. For more information, visit our Resources Page.