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.

Accepting a New Graduate Student

For those interested in our work, Dr. Diehl will be accepting a new graduate student in psychology starting Fall 2014.

Special Friends Autism Conference

The Notre Dame Special Friends Club and F.U.N. Lab are excited to announce that Dr. Julie Lounds Taylor (Vanderbilt - Kennedy Center) will be the keynote speaker of the 5th annual Notre Dame Special Friends Autism Conference on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014.

The theme of this year’s program will be transitions to adulthood for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Dr. Taylor’s research focuses on how families experience transition to adulthood for young adults with an ASD. Dr. Taylor did her graduate work at Notre Dame, and we are excited to welcome her home for this important presentation.

Past speakers at our conference have included Laura Klinger (UNC - TEACCH,) Alison Singer (Autism Science Foundation), Christopher McDougle (Riley Children’s Hospital), and Kevin Pelphrey (Yale Child Study Center).

Spread the word, and let me know if you have any questions! This event will be held at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19th at Carey Auditorium in Hesburgh Library. This event will be open to the public.

School and My Future Study

Are you the parent or guardian of a teenager with autism or an intellectual disability? Would you like to help us understand how school experiences impact your child's postsecondary outcomes? In this new study, we are looking for students between the ages of 16 and 22 who are currently receiving special education services under a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or cognitive disability. If you decide to participate, one parent/guardian and the student will be asked to come to the F.U.N. Lab to answer a few short questionnaires and participate in a simple IQ test. Participation should take about 1 hour, and your child will receive $10 compensation for his or her time. For more information, please contact Elizabeth Klinepeter at or 574-631-5729.

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 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