Children playing

Our Research Strengths

At Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, our research focuses on improving the care and educational experiences of children. We leverage a combination of federal and state research awards and private philanthropic support for a wide variety of research projects, and we offer training to professionals, educators and parents as a part of that research focus. Specific areas of our research include:

  • Learning and development in young children
  • Social, behavioral and academic school success
  • Improving evaluation and practice in home, classroom and community settings
  • Technology, accessibility and inclusivity in schools
  • Community-engaged research
  • Autism and other developmental disabilities

Browse our current research projects below, or explore recent news about our research.


Project Title Principal Investigator Funder
Exploring Predictors of Response to a Peer-Mediated Communication Intervention for Minimally Verbal Preschoolers with ASD Kathy Thiemann-Bourque, Ph.D.
Validation of an outcome measure of early social-communication for young children with ASD Brian Boyd, Ph.D.
Supporting High-Needs Elementary Students with the CW-FIT Program: Building for Scale and Sustainability Howard Wills, Ph.D
The Online and Applied System for Intervention Skills (OASIS) – Scaling-up! Jay Buzhardt, Ph.D.
Evaluating the Efficacy of a Daily Check-in/Check-out Intervention for Students At Risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Howard Wills, Ph.D
Collaborative Research: CSL-MultiAD: Assessing Collaborative STEM Learning through Rich Information Flow based on Multi-Sensor Audio Diarization Dwight Irvin
Educare KC Follow Up Study Dale Walker, Ph.D
Examining Biobehavioral Mechanisms of Extreme Eating Behaviors in Young Children with ASD Anna Wallisch
Prevalence and Profile of Treatment Non-responders in Autism Early Intervention Brian Boyd, Ph.D.
Kansas Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Kathryn Bigelow, Ph.D.
Effects of Implicit Bias on Children's Early Outcomes (Fairness for All in Childhood Education - FACE) Brian Boyd, Ph.D.
Professional Development to Support Intervention Implementation of the Promoting Communication Tools for Advancing Language in Kids (PC TALK) for Infants and Toddlers at Risk for or with Disabilities Kathryn Bigelow, Ph.D.
Project Eagle: Early Head Start Dale Walker, Ph.D
Start Young/Communities Aligned in Early Development and Education (CAEDE) Judith Carta, Ph.D.
Para-Impact: Professional Development with Teacher-as-Coach for Paraeducators of Elementary Students with Moderate-to-Severe Developmental Disabilities Howard Wills, Ph.D
Post Doctoral Research Training Program in Special Education: Evidence Based Practice in Early Intervention and Early Learning Judith Carta, Ph.D.
Using MTSS for Intervention Decision Making to Improve Child Language Outcome Dale Walker, Ph.D
Stepping Up Technology Enabled Self-Monitoring For High School Students with Disabilities Howard Wills, Ph.D
The Effects of Promoting Engaging Early Literacy Interactions in Preschool Environments: Literacy 3D Charles Greenwood, Ph.D.
Educare to School: Documenting School Readiness and Sustaining Results through Collaboration Juniper Gardens Children's Project, Educare KC and Kansas City, KS Public School District Dale Walker, Ph.D
Professional Development to Support Teachers' Implementation of a Tiered Model for Promoting Social Development of Infants and Toddlers Kathryn Bigelow, Ph.D.
Validity Studies of the Classroom Code for Interactive Recording of Children's Learning Environments (CIRCLE) (Version 2.0) Charles Greenwood, Ph.D.
Development of a Data-based Decision Making System to Support Educators' Promotion of Infants and Toddlers' Cognitive Problem-Solving Skills Jay Buzhardt, Ph.D.
Online and Applied Systems for Intervention Skills (OASIS) Parent Training Program Jay Buzhardt, Ph.D.
Project EAGLE Early Head Start Expansion Educare Evaluation Dale Walker, Ph.D
Early Childhood Landscape Analysis Charles Greenwood, Ph.D.
TALK Around Town: A Mobile Application to Help Parents Bridge the Word Gap in Community Settings Kathryn Bigelow, Ph.D.
Educare Schools as a Platform for Bridging the Word Gap Dale Walker, Ph.D
Kansas Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Kathryn Bigelow, Ph.D.
Improving Paraprofessionals Instructional and Behavioral Support In Urban Elementary School Settings: A Research Practitioner Partnership Debra Kamps, Ph.D.
Middle School Class-wide Function-related Intervention Teams (MS CW-FIT): Improving Academic Engagement and Outcomes for Middle School Students Howard Wills, Ph.D
Peer-Mediated AAC Intervention for Children with Autism: Effects on Communication Kathy Thiemann-Bourque, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Research Training Program in Special Education: Response to Intervention (RTI) in Early Childhood Charles Greenwood, Ph.D.
I-CONNECT PLUS: Enhancing Community Participation for Adolescents and Adults with ASD Using Online Instruction, Coaching, and Accessible Self-Management Technologies Howard Wills, Ph.D
Project Engage: Building Parents' Capacity to Improve Child Language Outcomes Kathryn Bigelow, Ph.D.
The Effects of Online Decision Making Support for Home Visitors Using an RTI Approach to Promoting the Language Development of At-Risk Infants and Toddlers Jay Buzhardt, Ph.D.
Bridging the Word Gap-Intervention Research Network Judith Carta, Ph.D.
Validation of Cognitive Problem-Solving and Movement Infant-Toddler IGDIs for Screening and General Outcome Progress Monitoring Dale Walker, Ph.D
A Multi-Site Efficacy Trial of the Class-wide Function-related Intervention Teams "CW-FIT": A Research to Practice Agency for Students with and At Risk for EBD Howard Wills, Ph.D
Making it Happen: Stepping Up Implementation of IGDI Technology to Improve Data-based Decision Making for Infants Jay Buzhardt, Ph.D.
A Mobile Web Based Parenting Intervention to Strengthen Social Emotional Development of Very Low Birth Weight Infants