The F.U.N. Lab at the University of Notre Dame


Welcome to the F.U.N. Lab

Welcome to the homepage of the Laboratory For Understanding Neurodevelopment. We are a group of researchers, clinicians, and students who share a common interest in understanding neurodevelopmental disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disoder (ASD) and Dyslexia.

Currently, we are working to understand Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We are interested in how individuals with ASD (including Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and PDD) understand language in order to improve treatment of the disorder.

Communication and Family Relations Project

Are you a family who has a typically developing teenager and a child with an intellectual or developmental disability? Are you interested in learning more about how families in your life situation communicate and deal with stress? In this new study, we are looking for parents, and typically developing teens between the ages of 11-17 who have a family member with any type of intellectual or developmental disability (including ASD).  You and your teen will be taking classes on how to communicate and work together as a family using a newly developed research based curriculum that focuses specifically on families who have experienced intellectual or developmental disabilities.  For more information, please contact us at 631-6009 or e-mail us at

Online study for siblings!

Are you the sibling of a child who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? If you are between the ages of 12 and 17 you could participate in a research study trying to better understand sibling relationships among teens and their siblings with ASD. If you decide to participate in this study, you and your mother will be asked to complete online, anonymous surveys. The study will take about 45 minutes to an hour for both you and your mom. After you are done completing the survey, you will have the option to provide your email to be entered into a drawing for 1 of 4 $25 gift cards. If you are interested, please have your mother click the following link. It will take her to the online survey and your mom can email you the link to complete her portion after she's done.

For more information about this study, please contact Amy Nuttall at (574) 631-1570 or, or Joshua Diehl, Ph.D. at (574) 631-5729.

Student Spotlight

Congratulations to Michelle Won for  receiving a grant from the Autism Science Foundation.  The Autism Science Foundation grant, which is an extremely competitive grant, is aimed at  highly qualified undergraduates interested in pursuing basic and clinical research relevant to autism spectrum disorders during the summer. Michelle will be working with us this summer on the Family Relations and Communication Project.

Congratulations to Whitney McWherter for receiving a Senior Recognition Award.  This award was designed to recognize a select few graduating majors who have distinguished themselves through consistently high levels of achievement in their course work, their research activities, and in their service to the department, university and community.  Whitney received this award for all her hard work in the Psychology Department.

Congratulations to Catherine “Grace” Connolly for receiving the  Ancora Imparo Award.  This award is given to a communicative sciences and disorders major who is outstanding in scholarship, leadership, character, and service. It is the highest honor within the department. Grace’s name will be engraved on a plaque in the new Judd Leighton Speech and Language Clinic.

Congratulations to the F.U.N. Lab's senior research assistant, Elizabeth Klinepeter on earning a 2013 Student Leadership Award. The Student Leadership award is given to 10 Notre Dame undergraduates "who best exemplify the spirit of Notre Dame in social, recreational, residental, service and religious activities that promote the welfare of the University and extended communities. "She was nominated in part for her leadership in the Best Buddies program. Elizabeth has accepted a full scholarship to attend the University of Florida for graduate work in School Psychology.

The F.U.N. Lab's senior research assistant, Stephanie Mazur, was featured in the Science Pre-Professional Department's Student Spotlight. We are very proud of Stephanie and of all our wonderful students that work so hard to make the F.U.N. Lab possible. Click here to view the article.

Keywords: Autism, Autism in Indiana, Asperger, Autism Research at Notre Dame, autism graduate school