For Parents

Click here for directions to the Child Language Lab Austin

A typical visit

(Scroll down for our FAQ section). A visit to the Child Language Lab will usually take around 30 minutes total. Most experiments will not take more than 5 to 15 minutes: we schedule participants at 1 hour intervals so there is always plenty of time for your child to get comfortable and play for a bit in the lab. 

One of our lab members will wait for you by our parking spot with a parking permit, and will escort you to our lab in the CLA building on the UT main campus.

Before the experiment starts, the researcher will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have, while your child can look around, get comfortable, and play if she / he likes.

You will be given a consent form to sign and will be given a copy to take home with you: the form explains the experiment your child is participating in, and has all our contact information listed in case you have any other questions after your visit.

Every study is different and the procedures depend on your child’s age, but the most common tasks include playing a short game; looking or pointing at pictures or a short video on a computer screen; or saying the names of toys or pictures of objects.

Young children may always sit on your lap during the experiment. After the experiment your child may pick out a book or a small toy, and the researchers will answer any other questions you may have regarding the study.

Frequently asked questions

  • Do you provide parking? Yes, we have a designated parking spot on San Jacinto and 23rd street. When you have an appointment, we send you detailed directions and someone will be waiting at the spot for you with a parking permit and will take you to the lab in the CLA building.
  • Can I bring my other children to the lab? Your other children are more than welcome! We always have experienced babysitters available in the lab who can play with your other children during an appointment. We have a variety of toys and books suitable for a wide range of ages.
  • Will I learn about my child’s development compared to other children? The goal of our studies is always to learn about general language development of children at different ages as a group. All the data we collect is combined into a large pool, and we do not investigate children’s individual performances. However, we are happy to provide you with information about language development in general, and can refer you to a professional clinical evaluation at the UT campus (or elsewhere) if you are interested or have concerns about your child.
  • Do I have to commit to a certain number of visits if I sign up for the volunteer list? Most studies require only one visit when your child is at a specific age; if you are interested, we may contact you for other studies, but you do not need to commit to any number of visits if you sign up for our volunteer list.
  • When do you schedule appointments? We mostly test on week days between 9am and 5pm, but we can schedule appointments whenever it is convenient for you!