Thursday, June 23, 2011

Unique Child Study

This blog began as a way to document Isaiah's achievements and how he has overcome the developmental delays in his life. Isaiah was diagnosed with one of the autism-spectrum disorders when he was just three. He turned eight in April and has come a long way.

Yesterday, I received an email from an organization conducting an online survey for the study of unique children. This is the email that I received:

Dear Teresa,

We are researchers at Columbia University's Paul F. Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences studying how children who are unique in some way are identified and developed. We are currently collecting stories from parents with children who have been identified as gifted, children who have unique artistic, scientific, or physical abilities, children on the autism spectrum, and children who have been identified as having attention disorders. We think participation in this study would be of great interest to your readers, and we would like to invite you to write about our survey on your blog.

While all children are unique, the goal of our study is to identify how children with unique developmental abilities or trajectories develop over early childhood. Parents have different experiences and observations of their child's development and they have different personal resources with which they access services or programs. Parents also differ in the type and extent of their support networks and social relations. And finally, parents make different decisions when finding the right academic, extra-curricular, or other placements for their children. We would like to give parents the chance to tell their stories. Survey responses will help us understand the experiences of unique children as well as their development over time.

We are collecting stories of parents of unique children through an online, semi-structured survey: You could help our research tremendously by encouraging parents to participate in our study.

We thank you in advance for taking the time to read through this invitation and for considering writing about our survey on your blog. Please feel free to contact us via e-mail at or by telephone at 212-854-3440 with any questions that you may have. You can also find us on Facebook at


Peter Bearman, Principal Investigator
Cole Professor of the Social Sciences

I have checked out the Web sites mentioned and the Facebook page. I also took the survey (up to the point of submitting it) with Isaiah as the subject. If you know of anyone who would be interested in participating in this survey, please pass this information on. I highly recommend that you check it out and, if so inclined, participate in this study.

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