We are a Vanderbilt University Medical Center team dedicated to understanding more about sleep, health, and wellbeing in children, adolescents, and young adults on the autism spectrum and intellectual and development disabilities. Please take a look at our current and future projects, learn more about our research team, and read past and present peer reviewed publications, presentations, and books.  

Current Projects

  • Vanderbilt/Wellpoint I/DD Provider Training Program

    We are implementing a novel training program for clinicians (physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, licensed clinical social workers, and psychologists) who care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We offer case-based presentations and mini-lectures, while developing a community of practice. This project is an ECHO project. We will post our results once published. A resources page is found here.

  • ASSERT: All StakeholderS Engaged in Research Together

    The ASSERT project seeks to engage people on the autism spectrum, with Down syndrome, or with other intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD) along with caregivers, clinicians, and researchers. Our goal is to build an online learning community where these stakeholders learn about research together in a way that is collaborative and multidirectional (all learners gain knowledge from each other). Through this project, stakeholders will “assert” themselves and make their voices heard as they work together as partners in research to improve health outcomes. More information can be found at this link. You can also email us at assert@vumc.org. We are grateful to our Advisory Council and our ECHO participants.

Previous Projects

  • Setting and Pursuing Self-Determined Goals

    We have developed a multimedia Toolkit to assist adults on the autism spectrum, and those who support them, in setting and pursuing self-determined goals. This work is supported by the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation and the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Malow's work is also supported by an endowment from Dr. and Mrs. Michael Burry. For more information, please click here.

  • ECHO Telehealth Program For Medical Providers Caring for Adults on the Autism Spectrum

    We have developed and are testing a novel training program for medical primary care providers (physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants) who care for adults on the autism spectrum. We offer case-based presentations and mini-lectures, while developing a community of practice. This project is supported by the US Department of Defense. We will post our results once analyzed. For more information, please click here.

  • At Home Sleep Toolkit for Parents of Children with Autism

    We have completed an on-line study in which an at home sleep toolkit was provided to parents of children with autism. This was very well received during the COVID-19 pandemic. We found that improvements in sleep habits resulted in better sleep patterns. Parent satisfaction with the on-line toolkits and study procedures was high. Our results have been published here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34367682/

    The on-line sleep toolkits are available here for free: https://www.autismspeaks.org/tool-kit/atnair-p-strategies-improve-sleep-children-autism

  • Behavioral Sleep Education in Communities

    Our behavioral sleep education in communities study, funded by the American Sleep Medicine Foundation, found that sleep education, provided to families by trained community therapists, makes a difference in child sleep and daytime behavior, as measured by parent surveys and actigraphy. Caregivers showed appropriate understanding, comfort, and implementation of the curriculum. We are appreciative to all of the families, therapy practices, and pediatric practices that participated. Our results have been published here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34394709/