The PhysicaL Activity in Youth with Disabilities (PLAY’d) Lab seeks to enrich the lives of infants, toddlers, and children with and without disabilities by increasing opportunities to be physically active. Much of our research seeks to understand how promoting physical activity behavior in early life influences body composition and motor skills throughout childhood. The PLAY’d Lab focuses on the health and development of typically developing children and children with Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
At PLAY’d, we invite infants and children to participate in one-time observational studies as well as interventions which usually take place in the home environment. Our current studies involve the use of BodPod and PeaPod to measure body composition, and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development and the Test of Gross Motor Development to measure motor skill development. In addition, we use accelerometers to measure physical activity.
Exploring careers in child development research
PLAY’d Lab director, Janet Hauck, demonstrates to WKAR’s Curious Crew how early physical activity and stimuli for infants like “Tummy Time” and walking on a treadmill supports infant motor and mental development.