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College of Arts and Sciences

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For Families

The CAN Research Center wants to connect with you and your family! We study cells, circuits, brains, behaviors, and how to deliver interventions. Our goal is to help families and people with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Austim Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, intellecutal disability, learning disorders, and genetic syndromes (Fragile X Syndrome, Down Syndrome).

How can you get involved?

We offer study opportunities for people across the lifespan. Particpating in a study gives you opportunities such as:

  • Monetary compensation, such as a gift card
  • Some studies offer a free diagnostic assessment or developmental report
  • Opportunities to contribute to research that will improve the lives of families

Upcoming Community Events

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Neurodiversity Among Us

Saturday, April 6

The Early Social Development (ESD) lab and Akoma Cares are hosting a family day for neurodiverse individuals. The event will feature fun, sensory friendly activities such as a silent disco.


Autism's Got Talent!

Saturday, April 20

Join us for our third annual Autism's Got Talent Virtual talent show for kids and teens on the spectrum! Families can submit a pre-recorded video or perform live over Zoom.

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AutismConnect 2024

Tuesday, April 23

The CAN Center and the SC Deparment of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) are hosting AutismConnect, a gathering for individuals, families, and professionals in the autism community. Learn about resources, research, and support networks.

What does it mean to join a study?

Joining a study gives you the opportunity to be a part of the research process and help us learn about neurodevelopmental disorders. 

What is the study process?

  1. Email to get connected with the research study that's right for you and your family.
  2. A researcher in the lab will contact you with more details about what you should expect, what you should bring, etc.
  3. Studies can take place at the University of South Carolina Columbia campus, your home, or be done virtually. The study location depends on the study you are participating in.
  4. When the study begins, a researcher in the lab will greet you, introduce the lab, and provide you with any documents you may need to complete.
  5. After your participation, a researcher will let you know how to receive compensation, such as gift cards, and these will be provided to you.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.