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RG Autism


Head of the Research Group

Dr. Tanja Schad-Hansjosten

Phone: +49 621 1703-4808


Main Medical Building, 1st Floor, Room 134

Co-manager of working group

Dr. sc. hum. Sarah Baumeister



Autism-spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the most severe and complex psychiatric disorders in child and adolescent age. Children with ASD are impaired in social interactions as well as verbal and non-verbal communication. Furthermore, they show restrictive, stereotype and repetitive behavior and interests. Autistic children have problems in creating a meaningful link, especially with regard to social stimuli. On the other hand, they have a sharp perception of specific details. The reported deficits are biological in nature, manifest early in childhood, and persist until adolescent and adult age. Further associated problems and disorders (comorbidities) represent an additional burden. Autistic disorders are – contrary to what has been reported in earlier work – not uncommon: new epidemiological data show prevalence rates of up to 1% and even higher.

Current research activities of our group focus on:

  • The development of new therapeutic concepts in the treatment of ASD (ASD-net).
    We explore how children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD profit more from a social-competence training if they have been given oxytocin via nasal spray in addition before the training sessions. The endogenous hormone Oxytocin plays an important role in the regulation of social behavior, interpersonal attachment, and the processing of social information.
  • The exploration of markers in ASD (EU-AIMS/AIMS-2-Trials)
    In an ongoing, longitudinal study we explore children, adolescents, and adults with ASD. The aim is to identify markers of the complex psychiatric disorder that allow for an early and more accurate diagnosis and prognosis, as well as the development of precise, and personalized treatment options. 

Abklärung Autismus Kinder/Jugendliche (ZI Kinder-und Jugendpsychiatrische Ambulanz)

Abklärung Autismus Erwachsene (ZI Ambulanz für hochfunktionalen Autismus im Erwachsenenalter)

siehe Flyer Studie: Effekt von Oxytocin auf den Therapieerfolg eines sozialen Kompetenztrainings bei Kindern und Jugendlichen mit einer Autismus-Spektrum-Störung

auch unter Probandenaufrufe (mit Datum vom 06.04.2017) erreichbar

Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit (ZI) - https://www.zi-mannheim.de