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Early Childhood Behavior Lab

About Us

Our research interests focus on the field of child development and developmental disabilities, with a particular interest in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ASD-related developmental disabilities. Our research goals emphasize on four aspects:

  • Epidemiologic research for Taiwanese infants and toddlers with ASD regarding their core symptoms of ASD, co-occurring developmental disabilities and long-term developmental outcomes.
  • Development of reliable and valid screening instruments that can be used for detecting Taiwanese infants and toddlers at risk for ASD.
  • Investigation of early motor markers in the core symptoms of repetitive and stereotypic movements for ASD.
  • Development of an effective ASD early intervention program for Taiwanese families who affected with ASD.


Director: Yen-Tzu Wu, PhD, PT

MS student: Yu-Ching Yang

Research Projects

  • Screening and Follow-Up for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Taiwanese Toddlers

In recent years, the increasing prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) revealed that more children affected by ASD are in need of early identification and intervention. However, there is still a lack of valid screening instruments used for detecting Taiwanese children at risk for ASD, and understanding their core symptoms and developmental functioning in early childhood. The purpose of this study is therefore to translate the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-up (M-CHAT-R/F) which is one of the most widely used ASD screening instruments internationally into Mandarin Chinese, and to examine its utility and psychometric properties for the screening in Taiwanese toddlers. Furthermore, this study will continue to longitudinally follow-up for developmental and behavioral functioning in screen-positive toddlers for ASD by using standardized developmental assessment tools, and to compare the differences with those in typical developing toddlers. In addition, in order to help understand the core symptoms of repetitive and stereotypic movements in ASD, toddlers’ behavior (e.g., measures of rate and direction of turning, latency to approach and time spend near the periphery or the objects et al.) during a free play situation will be examined via automated behavior tracking device. The results can provide quantitative and dynamic information toward understanding the nature of developmental deficits in ASD.

  • Pivotal Response Training for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Distance Learning Program for Professional

Studies have shown that providing children with early assessment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intervention is associated with their positive cognition, adaptive behavior, and enhanced language development. Pivot response training (PRT) is an early intervention model for children with ASD that has emerged in the United States over the past decade, and numerous studies have shown excellent results from PRT intervention. PRT, based on the concept of applied behavioral analysis, assists children in broadening their scope of change by modifying their pivotal behaviors including motivation, responsivity to multiple cues, and social initiations. The primary objective of this research is to establish an empirical PRT intervention model by first developing a PRT distance-learning method suitable for medical and healthcare professional in Taiwan and then implementing the intervention with ASD children. We will examine professionals’ PRT learning results and the PRT intervention outcome for the children with ASD.


  1. EthoVision XT 10 Automated behavior tracking system
  2. Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised with Follow-up (M-CHAT-R/F)
  3. Mullen Scale of Early Learning (MSEL)
  4. Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, 2nd edition (PDMS-2)
  5. Early Social Communication Scales (ESCS)
  6. Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2nd Edition (Movement ABC-II)
  7. Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1.5-5 (CBCL/1.5–5)
  8. Vinland Adaptive Behavior Scale (VABS)

Contact us:

Yen-Tzu Wu
Assistant Professor

National Taiwan University College of Medicine
School and Graduate Institute of Physical Therapy
Room 317, Floor 3, No. 17, Xu-Zhou Road, Taipei 10055, Taiwan
Tel: 886-2-33668136  Fax:886-2-33668161
E-mail: yenwu@ntu.edu.tw

Last Updated: 2017/2/20 下午 03:08:50

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