Our lab at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is committed to asking questions whose answers will improve the lives of autistic children and their families. Our work focuses on families and systems as mechanisms for understanding and affecting phenotypic heterogeneity. This is expressed in two complementary lines of research.
First, we are interested in the way in which parent behavior and functioning interact over time with symptom expression and functioning in young autistic children. Second, we are focused on using parents and systems to support child development. This takes place in the context of lab-based and implementation studies examining caregiver-mediated interventions for young autistic children as well as children with other developmental concerns.
Dr. Judah Koller
I am a clinical child psychologist and assistant professor in the Seymour Fox School of Education at Hebrew University, where I chair the graduate program in special education and am a founder and associate director of the Autism Center. I am a member of the expert committee on autism that advises the Israeli Ministry of Health, the advisory committee for Hebrew University's Center for Disability Studies and the advisory committee for the Autism Center at Ben Gurion University.
I joined the faculty here after completing my postdoctoral fellowship with Kasia Chawarska at the Yale Child Study Center. Prior to that, I finished my doctorate in clinical child/school psychology with a specialization in infancy and early childhood at Ferkauf Graduate School for Psychology, Yeshiva University.
My work focuses on young children with autism, their families, and mechanisms of support.
Every once in a while I blog here about autism and disabilities.
I am an assistant professor of clinical child/school psychology and special education at the Seymour Fox School of Education at Hebrew University. I joined the faculty here in 2013 on the "clinical expert" track after completing my postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. Prior to that, I finished my doctorate in clinical child/school psychology with a specialization in infancy and early childhood at Ferkauf Graduate School for Psychology, Yeshiva University.
From 2014-2020 I conceptualized, co-founded, and was associate director of the Autism Center at Hebrew University. Shifting my focus to research, I began a tenure-track position and formally established this lab in July 2020.
I am the Director of the Jerusalem Region of the Azrieli National Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research, which our lab is part of, and serve on the Israel Ministry of Health's interministerial expert committee on autism. I am on the advisory committee for Hebrew University's Center for Disability Studies and, every once in a long while, I blog here about autism, disabilities, and parenting.
Dr. Judah Koller
Mishleen Abo Hatoum
Yael Ben Haim
Tamar David Cohen
Shay Netzer Helman
Zili Nir, PhD
Analia Shefer, PhD
At the heart of our lab is a no-cost diagnostic clinic, providing an essential service to the community and serving as the basis for much of our research.
In this context, children receive fully recognized, gold-standard developmental and diagnostic evaluations. The assessment incorporates both standardized and experimental measures, allowing us to examine specific child, parent, and systemic variables, which interact with development and may serve as ports of entry into supporting autistic children and their families.
More information is here.
Parent Training for Disruptive Behaviors
Starting in 2017, with the generous support of the Joseph Levy Foundation, we have assessed the feasibility and efficacy of delivering RUBI, an evidence-based parent training program for young autistic children with disruptive behaviors, in the community. Currently, we are working with collaborators and community partners to implement RUBI in the community in a sustainable fashion.
Learn more and see relevant publications here.
Disruptive Behavior in Early Childhood
Project BLINK (Behavioral Intervention for Kindergartners) is a collaborative effort within the Hebrew University to develop and implement a multi-tiered system of screening and intervention for young children with disruptive behaviors in the public preschool system.
This project is funded by the Israeli Ministry of Education.
Learn more here.
The JOADI Collaborative is an international endeavor involving our lab, McMaster University, and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. The collaborative focuses on development and intervention for young autistic children and their families.
In this context, we are administering a trial of the Social ABCs, a parent-mediated intervention for young children with autism, and have joined the PARC study, designed to examine trajectories of autistic children and their families.
Learn more here.
Family Accommodation in Autism
We are examining the nature and significance of family accommodation in the context of a child's RRBs. This work, based on literature from OCD and anxiety disorders (e.g. Lebowitz et al., 2013), is ultimately focused on exploring the viability of utilizing accommodation as an avenue to support young children with autism and their families.
Learn more here.
Selected Recent Publications
Rozenblat, S., Shimshoni, Y., Lebowitz, E., Perez, M., & Koller, J. (2023). A pilot trial of SPACE (Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions) in autism. Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Graucher, T., Sinai-Gavrilov, Y., Mor, Y., Netzer, S., Cohen, E., Levi, L., Birenboim, T., & Koller, J. (2022). From clinic room to zoom: Delivery of an evidence-based, parent-mediated intervention in the community before and during the pandemic. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-022-05592-1
Koller, J., David, T., Bar, N., & Lebowitz, E. R. (2021). The role of family accommodation of RRBs in disruptive behavior among children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-021-05163-w