Kessler Foundation Seeks Children and Adolescents for Brain Injury and Autism Research

EAST HANOVER, N.J., Oct. 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Kessler Foundation, a global leader in rehabilitation research, and Children’s Specialized Hospital, the nation’s leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children facing special health challenges, are actively recruiting research participants with brain injury or autism.

Following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), children often experience long-term difficulties in cognitive, emotional, social, and behavioral functioning. Children with a TBI commonly have difficulties with social functioning and relationships that persist for years after their injury. The ability to recognize and respond to the emotional states of others is important in everyday interactions and maintaining successful relationships. Although emotions can be communicated through various mechanisms, facial stimuli are often used in research, as emotions are largely communicated through facial expressions.

“Impairments in perceiving emotions from facial expressions may act as a barrier for successful social functioning.” said Helen Genova, PhD, of Kessler Foundation, principal investigator of the study. “Compared to work in adults, there are fewer studies evaluating emotional processing deficits in the pediatric population. Studying these deficits is needed in order to improve quality of life for children with TBI or autism.”

Examination of Emotional Processing in Children with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Autism

Researchers are enrolling participants in this study examining emotional processing in two groups of children: pediatric TBI and Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC). Researchers will also look at the relationships between emotional processing abilities and social and emotional functioning in these two groups.
Participation involves one visit to Kessler Foundation or Children’s Specialized Hospital, both located in New Jersey, to complete several assessments of cognitive, social, and emotional function. Testing will take two and a half to three hours. If a participant is unable to complete testing at one sitting, the assessment can be divided over two days.
To be eligible, participants must be 7-18 years old, and have been diagnosed with either TBI or ASC. We are also looking for children to volunteer as healthy control subjects for this study.
About Children’s Specialized Hospital

Children’s Specialized Hospital is the nation’s leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children from birth to 21 years of age facing special health challenges — from chronic illnesses and complex physical disabilities like brain and spinal cord injuries, to developmental and behavioral issues like autism and mental health. At thirteen different New Jersey locations, our pediatric specialists partner with families to make our many innovative therapies and medical treatments more personalized and effective…so children can achieve more of their goals. To help, or find more information: call 888-CHILDRENS; visit; Facebook:; Twitter:; YouTube:; LinkedIn:’s-specialized-hospital
About Kessler Foundation: Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research to improve cognition, mobility, and long-term outcomes – including employment – for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs to expand opportunities for employment of people with disabilities. For more information, visit;;
To enroll or learn more about this study, contact our research recruitment specialist, Justin Stanley, at 973-243-6812, or at

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

CONTACT: Justin Stanley