Grace Baranek, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

OS_Baranek.jpgProfessor and Associate Chair for Research
Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Suite 2050 Bondurant Hall – CB #7122
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Phone: (919) 843-4467

Personal statement:

I joined the OS faculty at UNC in 1996 as an assistant professor following completion of my dissertation and doctoral degree in Developmental Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. During the past few years, I was tenured and promoted to full professor. I continue to teach graduate students at the masters and doctoral level, and mentor post-docs. My interdisciplinary research program focuses on early identification of sensory processing and social-communication features in children with autism, and our wonderful UNC research team has several well-funded projects on this topic. I have worked collaboratively with several centers here at UNC including the Center for Development and Learning, the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Center (now the Carolina Institute on Developmental Disabilities), as well as several national and international organizations focused on autism research. In 2001 my husband, Paul Frellick, and I opened the Deep Dish Theater Company in Chapel Hill and he continues to serve as its artistic director. Our family has been extra blessed with the arrival of our son, A.J. He is a wonderfully engaging and happy boy who promises to keep us young! In our spare time, we enjoy traveling, visiting with friends and extended family (Chicago and Indiana), cooking, recreational sports (canoeing, hiking, skiing, volleyball, tennis), beach trips, playing baby games, and catching up on our sleep whenever possible!

Courses Taught:

OCSC 890 – Doctoral Seminar in OS: Translational Research in Autism.
OCCT 890 – Independent Study: Special Focus Research Seminar in Autism
OCCT 992 – Applied Research

Research/Clinical interests:

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.

Recent publications:

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.