Infant Development Study Walkthrough

Assessments occur between 6 months and 24 months of age.

Structure of Assessments


Staff will work with you to schedule your assessment. Assessments can take place at your home or in the lab’s assessment room at the University of South Carolina and are scheduled based on your availability. Approximately two weeks prior to your assessment, you will be mailed forms to complete about your child’s development, family experiences, and your perspectives and feelings. Forms will take about 45 minutes total to complete. Staff will pick up the forms during your assessment.

Assessment Day

Assessments typically last about 2 hours, during which time the following tasks will be completed:

  • Your child will engage in play-based activities that help us learn about their development and personality. Some of the activities are completed with lab members, while others are completed with you directly.
  • You will complete a brief interview about your child’s development.
  • Heart activity will be collected from you and your child throughout the assessment. Heart activity is collected using a wireless system, so you and your child are free to move about.
  • Your child will wear a small, wearable recorder that collects valuable information about their language and listening environment.

Optional Biomarker Collection

We ask our participants with the fragile X pre- and full mutation to complete a blood draw. This portion of the study is optional and is typically coordinated with a doctor’s visit. Samples are analyzed using novel techniques for molecular-genetic markers associated with the FMR1 gene.

At Home Child Vocal Recording

Your child will spend a typical day wearing a vest that records their vocalizations and assesses their interactions with others. Talk is very important in building babies’ brains, and through this assessment, we will learn about your child’s language development and natural listening environment.


Following each assessment, research staff with training and expertise in development will provide you with a summary report of your child’s development, including providing information on their language and motor skills. Families will also receive monetary compensation for participation and will be emailed a link to redeem a gift card of choice.

If you are interested in participating or learning more, please complete our interest form or reach out via email ([email protected]) or phone (803-777-5676). We look forward to hearing from you!

Learn how you can take part in our research