Associate Chair for Research; Professor, Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Suite 2050 Bondurant Hall – CB #7122, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Grace Baranek is a professor and associate chair for research in the Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. She is also a co-executive director of PEARLS (Program for Early Autism: Research, Leadership & Service). She received a BS in Occupational Therapy, and MS and PhD in Psychology from the University of Illinois. Dr. Baranek has had a long standing program of research on sensory features among children with ASD, and served as the Principal Investigator of the Sensory Experiences Project, a 10-year grant funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and Principal Investigator of the Early Development Project – Phase 1, funded by Autism Speaks. She is also one of the Principal Investigators on a grant studying sensory precursors to anxiety disorders in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), funded by the Department of Defense. Dr. Baranek has served on several working groups of the National Academy of Science and National Institutes of Health to evaluate evidence-based practices for children with ASD. She is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters on the topics of sensory processing as well as early identification and interventions for children with ASD, and is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in this field.
I joined the OS/OT faculty at UNC-CH in 1996. I continue to teach graduate students at the master's and doctoral level, and I mentor post-docs. My interdisciplinary research program focuses on early identification of sensory processing and social-communication features in children with autism spectrum disorder and the impact of these features on participation in daily activities. I am the lead author on the First Years Inventory (FYI), a screening tool for infants ages nine-15 months, who are at-risk for a later diagnosis of ASD. Recently, in collaboration with my PEARLS colleagues, we have developed parent-mediated interventions for this population of infants at-risk in a community sample. In 2001 my husband, Paul Frellick, and I proudly opened the Deep Dish Theater Company in Chapel Hill, and he continues to serve as its artistic director. Our son, A.J., is a wonderfully engaging and active boy who promises to keep us young. In our spare time, we enjoy traveling, visiting with friends and family, cooking, recreational sports, and the performance arts.
Courses Taught (full list of courses taught):
OCCT 727. Perspectives on Disability and Health – Pediatrics. Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, UNC-CH. (Spring, 2016).
OCSC 994. Doctoral Dissertation in Occupational Science (2010-2015, each semester). Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, UNC-CH.
SPHS 897. Interdisciplinary Autism Research Seminar. (Spring, 2015). Co-Instructor with Linda Watson. UNC-CH.
OCSC 890. Occupational Science Doctoral Seminar - Translational Research in Occupational Science: Focus on Autism. (Fall, 2007; 2009). UNC-CH.
Early Identification and intervention for children with autism and related developmental disorders; Sensory features in individuals with autism - their underlying mechanisms, development, and effects on daily activities and social participation outcomes. For more information on Dr. Baranek's research visit the SEP and PEARLS websites.
Crais, E., Watson, L., & Baranek, G.T. (in press). Use of Gesture Development in Profiling Children's Prelinguistic Communication Skills. AJSLP.
Dickie, V., Baranek, G.T., McComish, C., Watson, L.R., & Schultz, B. (in press). Parent reports of sensory experiences of preschool children with and without autism: A qualitative study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy (32 pages)
Baranek, G.T., Roberts, J.E., David, F.J., Sideris, J., Mirrett, P.L., Hatton, D.D., & Bailey, D.B. (2008). Developmental trajectories and correlates of sensory processing functions in young boys with fragile X syndrome. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 28(1), 79-98.
Baranek, G.T., Wakeford, C.L., & David, F.J. (2008). Understanding, Assessing, and Treating Sensory-Motor Issues in Young Children with Autism. In K. Chawarska, A. Klin & F. Volkmar (Eds.), Autism Spectrum Disorders in Infancy and Early Childhood: Diagnosis, assessment and treatment (pp. 104-140). New York: Guilford Press.
Cascio, C., McGlone, F., Folger, S., Tannan, V., Baranek, G,T. Pelphrey, K.A., & Essick, G. (2008). Tactile perception in adults with autism: A multidimensional psychophysical study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 127-137.
Tommerdahl M., Tannan V., Holden J.K., Baranek G.T. (2008). Absence of stimulus-driven synchronization effects on sensory perception in autism: Evidence for local underconnectivity? Behavioral and Brain Functions, 4:19 (9 pages).
Baranek, G.T., Boyd, B., Poe, M., David, F. & Watson, L. (2007). Hyperresponsive sensory patterns in young children with autism, developmental delay, and typical development. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 112, 233-245.
Reznick, J.S., Baranek, G.T., Reavis, S., Watson, L.R Crais, E.R. (2007). A Parent-Report Instrument for Identifying One-Year-Olds at Risk for an Eventual Diagnosis of Autism: The First Year Inventory. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 1691-1710.
Tommerdahl, M., Tannan, V., Cascio, C., Baranek, G.T., Whitsel, B.L. (2007). Vibrotactile adaptation fails to enhance spatial localization in adults with autism. Brain Research, 1154, 116-123.
Zwaigenbaum, L. Thurm, A. Stone, W., Baranek, G.T., Bryson, S., Iverson, J., Kau, A., Klin, A., Landa, R., Lord, C., Rogers, S., & Sigman, M. (2007). Studying the emergence of autism spectrum disorders in high risk infants: methodological and practical issues. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(3), 466-480.
Baranek, G.T., David, F.J, Poe, M., Stone, W., & Watson, L.R. (2006). Sensory Experiences Questionnaire: Discriminating response patterns in young children with autism, developmental delays, and typical development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47(6), 591-601.
Colgan, S., Lanter, E., McComish, C., Watson, L.R., Crais, E.R., Baranek, G.T. (2006). Analysis of social interaction gestures in infants with autism. Child Neuropsychology, 12(4), 307-319.
Crais, E.R., Watson, L.R., Baranek, G.T., & Reznick, J.S., (2006). Early identification of autism: How early can we go? In B. Crais & N.B. Ratner (Eds.), Seminars in Speech and Language: Current Issues in Providing Services to Infants and Toddlers vol. 27(3), p 143-160.
Walz, N. & Baranek, G.T. (2006). Sensory processing patterns in individuals with Angelman syndrome. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60(4), 472-479.
Watson, L.R., Baranek, G.T., Crais, E.R., Reznick, J.S., Dykstra, J., & Perryman, T. (2006). The First Year Inventory: retrospective parent responses to a questionnaire designed to identify one-year-olds at risk for autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, (49-61).
Baranek, G.T., Parham, L.D., & Bodfish, J.W. (2005). Sensory and Motor Features in Autism: Assessment and Intervention. In, F. Volkmar, A. Klin, & R. Paul (eds.), Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: Vol. 2. Assessment, Interventions and Policy (3rd Edition, pp. 831-857). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Baranek, G.T., Danko, C.D., Skinner, M.L., Bailey, D.B., Hatton, D.D., Roberts, J.E., & Mirrett, P.L. (2005). Video analysis of sensory-motor features in infants with fragile X syndrome at 9-12 months of age. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35(5), 645-656.
Baranek, G.T., Barnett, C.P., Adams, E., Wolcott, N., Watson, L.R., & Crais, E. (2005). Play in infants with autism: methodological issues in retrospective video analysis. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 59, 20-30.
Watson, L. R., Baranek, G.T., & DiLavore, P. C. (2003). Toddlers with Autism: Developmental Perspectives. Infants and Young Children, 16(3), pp.201-214.
Baranek, G.T., (2002). Efficacy of sensory and motor interventions in children with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32(5), 397-422.
Baranek, G.T., Chin, Y.H., Greiss, L.M., Yankee, J.G., Hatton, D.D., & Hooper, S.R. (2002). Sensory processing correlates of occupational performance in children with fragile X syndrome: Preliminary findings. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 56, 538-546.
Baranek, G.T., Reinhartsen, D., & Wannamaker, S. (2001). Play: Engaging children with autism. In R. Heubner (Ed.), Sensorimotor Interventions in Autism, (pp. 311-351). Philadelphia: F.A., Davis.
Hooper, S.R., Hatton, D.D., Baranek, G.T., Roberts, J.P., & Bailey, D.B. (2000). Nonverbal assessment of cognitive abilities in children with fragile X syndrome: The utility of the Leiter international performance scale – revised. Journal of Psychological Assessment, 18, 255-267.
Wood, W., Nielson, C., Humphry, R., Coppola, S., Baranek, G.T., Rourk, J. (2000). A curricular renaissance: Graduate education centered on occupation. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 54, 586-597.
Filipek, P.A., Accardo, P.J., Baranek, G.T., Cook. E.H., Dawson, G., Gordon, B., Gravel, J.S., Johnson, C.P., Kallen, R.J., Levy, S.E., Minshew, N.J., Ozonoff, S., Prizant, B.M., Rapin, I., Rogers, S.J., Stone, W.L., Teplin, S.W., Tuchman, R.F., & Volkmar, F.R. (2000). Practice Parameter: Screening and diagnosis of autism. Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society. Neurology, 55, 468-479.
Filipek, P.A., Accardo, P.J., Baranek, G.T., Cook, E.H., Dawson, G., Gordon, B., Gravel, J.S. , Johnson, C.P., Kallen, R.J., Levy, S.E., Minshew, N.J., Ozonoff, S., Prizant, B.M., Rapin, I., Rogers, S.J., Stone, W.L., Teplin, S., Tuchman, R.G., & Volkmar, F.R. (1999). The screening and diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29, 439-484.
Baranek, G.T., (1999). Autism during infancy: A retrospective video analysis of sensory-motor and social behaviors at 9-12 months of age. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 29, 213-224.
Baranek, G.T., Foster, L.G., & Berkson, G. (1997). Sensory defensiveness in persons with developmental disabilities. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, 17, 173-185.
Baranek, G.T., Foster, L.G., & Berkson, G. (1997). Tactile defensiveness and stereotyped behaviors. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 51, 91-95.
Berkson, G., Gutermuth, L., & Baranek, G. T. (1995). Relative prevalence and relations among stereotyped and similar behaviors. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 100, 137-145.
Baranek, G.T., & Berkson, G. (1994). Tactile defensiveness in children with developmental disabilities: Responsiveness and habituation. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 24, 457-471.