Current Research Projects
On this page you will find recruitment information about the Spiral Foundation's current research projects. If you have any questions about past or current Spiral Foundation research projects, or are interested in participating in any of the studies detailed below, please contact our Research Assistant Alison Teasdale at research@thespiralfoundation.org and (617) 969 - 4410 ext. 267. You may also contact our Executive Director Teresa May-Benson at tmaybenson@thespiralfoundation.org and (617) 969 - 4410 ext. 240.
Currently Recruiting
Feasibility and Effectiveness of the Sleep’n Sync Program
The Spiral Foundation has been engaged by Sleep’n Sync, LLC to investigate the effectiveness of one of their commercially available products in helping children to overcome problems with flexibility. Spiral will also be investigating the feasibility of conducting the study to determine the possibility of conducting larger effectiveness studies in the future.

The Sleep’n Sync Flexibility I program is designed to help children overcome functional problems of flexibility, handling frustration or anger, or learning what to do to help prevent themselves being bullied. The program uses audio of a female speaking positive messages (including strategies) over engineered background music which is played to the child while they are sleeping. The principals of hypnotherapy, positive statements and openness of the subconscious mind while sleeping reportedly allow the child to access strategies provided when encountering stressful situations when awake.

Children participating in this study will be aged 7-14 years with known flexibility problems. Participation in the study will involve a 2-week pre-baseline, 8 weeks of listening to the Flexibility program, a 2-week post-baseline and a parent meeting over a 12-14 week period. Parents will be asked to recruit a teacher or other non-relative caregiver to complete several short measure and questionnaires on the child’s behaviors before and during the study. Parents and children will also complete pre and post measures and weekly surveys. To be eligible to participate families must have the ability to activate the program to play through two speakers while the child sleeps.

Families can be provided with the results of all standardized assessments at the conclusion of the study and children and teachers will receive small gift cards as a thank you for participation.

Contact research@thespiralfoundation.org with questions or to learn more about how to participate in this study.
Play Skills and Praxis in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing Peers
The Spiral Foundation is looking for families of young children to participate in a research study examining the relationship between children's motor coordination skills and social play in young children. To be eligible for this study children must be between the ages of 3.0 to 6.0 years and either have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or be typically developing.

Families who agree to participate will visit the Spiral Foundation at 74 Bridge Street in Newton, Massachusetts where they will meet with a research team member. The parent will be asked to complete two questionnaires while the researcher completes four short motor assessments and conducts two fifteen minute play sessions with the child. The child's assessments and play sessions will be videotaped for later scoring.

Contact research@thespiralfoundation.org with questions or to learn more about how to participate in this study.
Inter-Rater and Test-Retest Reliability of the Sensory Integration Clinical Observations
The Sensory Integration Clinical Observations (COs) are a structured set of observations of postural, vestibular, and motor coordination skills.

The Spiral Foundation is currently seeking families with children aged 4 to 12 years to participate in this research study. Families would visit the Spiral Foundation at 74 Bridge Street in Newton, Massachusetts on two occasions approximately 2 to 4 weeks apart. On the first visit parents will complete the parental consent and a short demographics form. On both visits an occupational therapist will complete the complete the Clinical Observations with the child. Parental consent generally takes 15 to 30 minutes; completion of the Clinical Observations takes approximately an hour.

To be eligible for this study children must be aged 4 to 12 years, have no neurological motor coordination problems, no uncontrolled seizure disorders, no mental health diagnoses involving psychosis (e.g. bipolar disorder or schizophrenia), and must be able to understand sufficient English as to follow simple instructions.

Contact research@thespiralfoundation.org with questions or to learn more about how to participate in this study.