Play And Learning Strategies Study For Toddlers Born Preterm

About us!

The is a collaborative study between Laboratory of Early Experiences and Development  at the University of Houston and the Children’s Learning institute at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Together, we are conducting a longitudinal randomized clinical trial to examine whether a remotely – delivered early parenting  program, PAL Strategies (PALS), supports healthy brain and behavior outcomes in toddlers born prematurely. 

This work is supported by NIH funding awarded to Dr. Landry, Dr. DeMaster at UTHealth, and Dr. Bick at UH. 

Meet the Team !

Johanna Bick, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Dana DeMaster, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Kelly Vaughn, Ph.D.

Assistant Principal Investigator

Cara Price

University of Texas Health Science Center

Megan Giles

University of Texas Health Science Center

Mayra Monreal

University of Texas Health Science Center

Xinge Li

University of Houston

Andrea Ortiz Jimenez

University of Houston

Anna Galvan

University of Houston

Ying Wang

University of Texas Health Science Center

Raul Anchiraico

University of Texas Health Science Center

Ogoamaka Nwana

University of Texas Health Science Center

Megan Chan

University of Houston

Leslie Garcia Perez

University of Houston

World Children Book's Day Facebook Post

Monica Sanchez

University of Texas Health Science Center

What is PALS intervention?

Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) is a preventive intervention program to strengthen the bond between parent and child and to simulate early language, cognitive, and social development. 

During the Program a trained parent coach will be assigned to each family, who will support the parent in applying specific responsive strategies.  Even get to see pre-recorded videos of real parents and their children play together while using each strategy.  

Parents gain new knowledge of strategies that help them respond in a more sensitive and contingent manner, and provide effective cognitive and language stimulation.

Our Mission :

Help parents support their young children’s social-emotional, cognitive, and language development

What are we looking at ?

Throughout this work, we hope to examine how early interventions can support more optimal brain functions, early attention and self- regulation, key components for a healthy cognitive and social development .

What does it mean to be apart of our study?

 The study will consist of :

  • 2 MRI & Behavioral visits ( these are usually done on the same day) 
  • 2 EEG visits 
  • Remote visits from assigned coach to learn parenting strategies. 

We also provide additional services: 

We provide transportation to families (Uber) to visits as well as childcare for any additional children that attend visit. Family will be in communication with both UH and UT team when it comes to scheduling visits. 

We understand scheduling can be difficult, which is why we are very flexible. We work around parent’s  schedules, we are available from  Monday- Sunday , from morning to evenings.

We also have team members who speak fluent Spanish .

Interested In Being Apart Of The Study?

Click on the following link to our sign up sheet