I recently read about a research project on a local parenting list-serve that was looking for participants, ages 7-8 years old. As a PhD drop out (literally, not figuratively) I have a soft spot in my heart for research and my interest is always piqued when it involves children.
My son, Esperto is a participant in the project and I wanted to spread the word- for a few reasons:
1) I think everyone should read research, participate in it and talk to people who do research. Research eventually impacts everyone’s lives in very concrete ways, so we should all be aware of what it’s like to be involved in research, even if it’s on a small scale.
2) I am aware that research studies often do not have a wide variety of backgrounds represented (race and socioeconomic class backgrounds specifically), unless those demographics are explicitly stated as important in the research design. So I try to let everyone- and especially those from underrepresented groups know about different research studies and opportunities that come to my attention.
3) As my son participated in the first half of the project, in talking with the doctoral students who designed the study, I found out that they need more participants. So I wanted to help out!
Esperto enjoyed his first session. I sat in a nearby room and read a book when I wasn’t cooing at two adorable toddlers who were hanging out there with their caregivers. Esperto was able to take breaks whenever he needed (they provided snacks) and he was
stoked as hell very excited to earn some money. Although I tried to stress the importance of his contribution to the project, he was most excited about the financial incentive. What can I say? For two hours of his time he earned more than his weekly allowance- even after he put some into savings!
Here is the info from the head researcher:
“In short, we are looking for children between the ages of 6 and 12 who have normal hearing and speak English as their primary language. They can have language or academic problems or be developing typically. We are also looking specifically for 7-8 year olds with high functioning autism.
365 Fifth Avenue, Room 7410
New York, NY 10016