START-Play is a project aimed at better understanding the development of early movement and learning skills and ways that these skills might be advanced. It is funded by the US Department of Education and is actively seeking families in the greater Pittsburgh, PA, Newark, DE, Richmond, VA, and Seattle, WA areas.
The program enrolls children 7-16 months of age who are able to sit only briefly or who cannot yet move in and out of the sitting position on their own.
The project offers all children and their families ongoing developmental assessments by and access to experts in child development. Assessments look at all areas of development, including movement, thinking, and language development. Families consistently tell us they really enjoy seeing their children grow and change as they engage in the same tasks across time.
The program aims to track developmental change for some children in response to their ongoing interventions or activities. For others, it offers 3 months of intervention aimed at improving early sitting and reaching skills.
It offers conveniently scheduled visits to match families’ busy schedules.
It offers families the option to choose the most convenient location for visits, in their homes or in our university facilities.
Participation involves allowing our project team members to visit with you and your child at 5 points in time across the span of a year for developmental assessments.
For families who receive the START-Play intervention, it also involves allowing our team members to visit with you and your child twice weekly for 3 months for provision of the intervention activities.
Are you enrolling typically-developing infants (i.e., babies without any motor delays)?
No. We are not recruiting typically-developing babies at this time.
I want to participate. How do I know if my baby is eligible?
To be eligible to participate, your baby must:
Am I compensated for participating?
Yes. For each completed assessment visit, you will be given $20 (or $100 for all 5 visits). Also, your baby will be given a toy at 3 of the assessment visits.
Can I still participate if I don’t want the therapist or assessor to come to my house?
Yes. We encourage the project to be done in the home, but we can arrange for any assessment or therapy sessions to be performed at one of our labs.
What will the therapist do with my baby if they receive the START-Play intervention?
A START-Play therapist will play with you and your baby in a way that will challenge your baby’s thinking and movement skills. Activities will be tailored to each baby and the therapist will gradually advance the difficulty to help your baby grow. Each session will last about 45 minutes and is meant to be fun for you and your baby.
Will you need to have access to my baby’s health information?
Yes, however you will be providing all medical information and always have the right not to answer any questions. All of your baby’s information will be kept confidential at all times and only trained research professionals will access it. If you and your baby participate, all information and data relating to your baby will be identified by only a number, and not your baby’s name. Also, if you ever decide to withdraw from participation, you will be free to do so at any time.
The START-Play Project is open to families living in the greater Pittsburgh, PA, Newark, DE, Richmond, VA, and Seattle, WA areas who have children 7-16-months old who have trouble sitting for extended periods or cannot yet move in and out of sitting on their own.