Lab News


Spring 2023

Jaswal Lab photos from 2023 L. Starling Reid conference at UVa, featuring Kate Kaufman, Chelsea Rodi, and Talyn Steinmann.

Jaswal Lab at SPSP2023 in Atlanta!

Zoe, Andrew, Talyn, Abha and Kayden at SPSP2023
Zoe, Andrew, Talyn, Abha, Kayde
Lab celebration of Kayden’s marriage to Arturo!

Fall 2022

Fall 2022 Jaswal Lab crew in beautiful atrium of renovated Gilmer Hall.

Summer 2022

The Jaswal Lab had a great experience hanging out with and discussing research with nonspeaking folks and allies at Motormorphosis 2022 in late July, 2022.

Motormorphosis 2022!

Nadia and Tnsae gave awesome presentations at the LAN summer conference. . . .

Nadia Hernandez
Tnsae Mulu

Spring 2022

Jaswal Lab 2022 end-of-year party!

Congratulations to our graduating 4th year RAs: Danning Bisaga, Simran Kaur, Emily Moore, Erline Morgan, Emma Hartman

Prof. Jaswal’s interview with Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism about nonspeaking autistic folks and access to communication is available here.

Fall 2021

Prof. Jaswal spoke at the UC-Davis 2021 Neurodiversity Summit about communication in nonspeaking folks. Video linked here.

We are excited to be collaborating with Prof. Diwakar Krishnamurthy’s lab at the University of Calgary on an SSHRC-funded project investigating the potential for augmented reality as a tool for communication and education for nonspeaking autistic folks. Click here to learn more!

Summer 2021

Fantastic summer LAN RA Valerie Swisher gave an excellent presentation at the summer LAN (virtual) conference.

Spring 2021

For the second year, we had to celebrate the end of the year virtually. We had a bunch of graduating RAs/DMPs: DJ Jimenez, Mary Isaac Cargill, Brynn Chavira, Elyse Morris, Lindsey Eller, Samina Singh, and Sara Wagner! Congratulations!


APRIL 2020

As is our custom, we celebrated the end of the year . . . This time, alas, it had to be virtual. We have three RAs graduating: Xara Davies, Camille Favero, and Ashley Sullender. Congratulations!


JUNE 2019

UVa Today produced a terrific 2.5-minute video that captures some of what transpired in “The Science & Lived Experience of Autism.” Click here to see it!

Prof. Jaswal and Nameera Akhtar (UCSC) published a target article in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, challenging the assumption that autistic people are not interested in others. The target article is at this link. Their New York Times op-ed about the article is here.

APRIL 2019


4th year Hannah Repke presented her DMP thesis on “Learned avoidance of social interaction: The effects of chronic social rejection on autistic individuals”at the L. Starling Reid conference, held at Darden.

We celebrated the end of a great year, with five RAs graduating (seated in the photo below): Andrew How will be working at Janelia Research Campus; Lucy Emery will be a scribe in neurodevelopmental pediatrics; Hannah Repke will be in a Masters program at Catholic University; Elizabeth Hobbs will be beginning as an RA at Children’s National in DC; and Sydney Cadogan will be starting her Masters in SLP at Curry. Congratulations all!



WTJU is running a number of 1-minute radio spots featuring faculty work in the community. Listen to Prof. Jaswal talk about autism and social motivation here, here, and here, and about “The Science and Lived Experience of Autism” here.

JULY 2018

Prof. Jaswal and Nameera Akhtar (UCSC) had a paper accepted at Behavioral and Brain Sciences, challenging the assumption that autistic people are not interested in others. The full text is available at this link, and a couple of press pieces about it are here and here!

MAY 2018


Congratulations to newly minted UVa graduates, including several folks from the Jaswal lab–BAs: Michelle Cox, Allison Parcell, Bessie Miller, Morgan Crawford, Lobna Ray, and PhD: Marissa Drell!




APRIL 2018


Undergraduate DMP student Allison Parcell presented a poster on her thesis (“Visual attention and alternative communication in a non-speaking autistic adult”) at the Starling Reid Undergraduate Psychology conference.

April 2018 Lab Lunch

MARCH 2018


Graduate student Marissa Drell successfully defended her dissertation on children’s understanding of inequality by choice! Congratulations Marissa!


Drell Alumni Panel Quote
Graduate student Marissa Drell was invited to speak on a Young Alumnae Panel at the 90th Anniversary Celebration of Wimpfheimer Nursery School at Vassar College. Learn more about the laboratory nursery school and her path to studying developmental psychology.
Dr. Jaswal and graduate student Marissa Drell attended the 2017 Cognitive Development Society Meeting. Check out the Publications page to read more about their research.


CDS Update




Dr. Jaswal, two students from last year’s Science & Lived Experience of Autism cohort (Thuy Vuong & Abby Steele), and members of the Tribe (including Huan Vuong), served on a panel about inclusion at the Arc of Virginia’s annual conference in Norfolk, VA.


JULY 2017

Recent graduate and former research assistant Taylor Clark is headed to the School of Global Public Health at University of North Carolina to continue researching autism. She will be working in an epidemiology lab on the Study to Explore Early Development (SEED). Congratulations Taylor!

MAY 2017

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Congratulations to Dr. Shaina Rowell! She has completed her degree and accepted a position as an Education Specialist at the Washington University in St. Louis. We wish her all the best!

Dr. Jaswal joined a wide range of expert panelists to offer his perspective on what research and collaboration should entail to support individuals with autism. Learn more about Autism Pathways: A Symposium on Autism Research and Initiatives at UVa.


Best of luck to our graduating RAs and soon-to-be lab alumni! For all their hard work and dedication, we extend our sincerest thanks.

APRIL 2017

Special congratulations to graduate student Shaina Rowell for winning an All-University Graduate Teaching Award!

We are proud to showcase recent posters presented at the 2017 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development. Visit our Publications page to view our latest research.

MARCH 2017

Shaina Rowell was recognized for her outstanding research at the Huskey Graduate Research Exhibition. Congrats to her and undergraduate RA Laura Chenette for all their hard work!

Dr. Jana Iverson from the University of Pittsburgh joined students in Dr. Jaswal’s course to discuss motor differences in autism. Watch highlights from their meeting in this video.


Students in Dr. Jaswal’s course met with community partners and local politicians to discuss autism advocacy. Check out the news coverage or this video from the event!



Our local NPR station did a story on Dr. Jaswal’s course about autism! Click here to learn more.

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Check out this video on the class Dr. Jaswal is teaching about the science and lived experience of autism! Read this feature in UVA Today to learn more about his year-long seminar.

Former graduate student Carrie Palmquist and Dr. Jaswal conducted research examining how letting children win may interfere with their ability to problem-solve. Read more about their work in articles by The Wall Street Journal and New York Magazine.


Dr. Jaswal was published in The Washington Post! Drawing from research and personal experience, he writes about the academic and social advantages to integrating children with disabilities into classrooms with their peers.


Check out the latest newsletter from the Child Development Labs at UVa to learn more about our research. Thanks to all the children and families for joining us in the lab to participate in studies about fairness, memory, money, and learning from others!

JUNE 2016

This month we started a new partnership with the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. We’re excited to meet lots of new families and talk about our research!


APRIL 2016

Dr. Jaswal won an All-University Teaching Award! You can read more about his teaching here.

MARCH 2016

Congratulations to graduate student Shaina Rowell who won a UVa Huskey Graduate Research Award!


Dr. Jaswal was quoted in a Washington Post article about what kids think about political candidates. Read more here.

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Check out this NY Magazine article about graduate student Marissa Drell’s research on apologies!


Lab members presented their research at the Cognitive Development Society meeting. You can see their research posters on our Publications page.


The lab would like to welcome our four new research assistants! You can meet them on our People page.


The latest newsletter from the Child Development Labs at UVa highlights our most recent research!

APRIL 2015

Congratulations to DMP students Shannon Savell and Sydney Sampson who presented their research projects about what children think about apologies!

Graduate student Marissa Drell was invited to present her research at the UVa Public Day, check out the news coverage!

MARCH 2015

Congratulations to Marissa Drell who won a UVa Huskey Graduate Research Award!

Research assistant Ngan Tran participated in her first research exhibition!

Visit the Publications page to see our latest research posters presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development.


Our lab has a new publication about cues children use to determine whether novel entities are real.

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Check out this article about experiences in the first year as an assistant professor. Two of the authors are lab graduates!


Read about the latest research from the UVa Child Development Labs in our newsletter.

MAY 2014

Check out a recent publication by members of the lab on the relationship between inhibitory control and skepticism.

APRIL 2014

DMP student Nora Kramer presented her research project about children’s judgments of fairness.

Lab member Shaina Rowell received an honorable mention from the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

MARCH 2014

Lab member Marissa Drell won a university-wide award for her presentation about children’s reactions to apologies!


Dr. Jaswal wrote an editorial for the Richmond Times-Dispatch about the gift scandal involving former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. To read the article, click here.

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Lab alumnus Carrie Palmquist was featured in an article at Amherst College, where she is currently an Assistant Professor.


We presented our latest findings at the biennial meeting of the Cognitive Development Society in Memphis, TN! Check out the publications page to view our research posters.


Thanks to everyone who made our Family Fun Day a huge success again this year! Click here for news coverage of the event.


The Annual Family Fun Day hosted by the Child Development Labs will be on September 28th from 9am to 2pm. Check out the event on Facebook and see the news story about our research!

Our latest newsletter is out! Learn more about the exciting research being conducted at the Child Development Labs!

MAY 2013

Congratulations to Dr. Robyn Kondrad and Dr. Carrie Palmquist! They have completed their degrees and will both start positions as assistant professors in the fall!


Dr. Jaswal co-authored the introduction to the Developmental Psychology special section: Deficit or Difference?: Interpreting Diverse Developmental Paths

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Thanks to all the volunteers and businesses who made our Family Fun Day a huge success! We hope our families had a wonderful time, and we look forward to seeing the many new families who registered to participate in our research!


Learn more about recent research from the Child Development Labs by reading our latest newsletter.


Our research on learning from gestures was covered by the BBC Scotland and the Huffington Post.


Visit our most recent newsletter to learn more about our research from the past year!


Big Questions Online discussed our recent publication in Psychological Science “Young children have a specific, highly robust bias to trust testimony”


Read the latest research findings from the Child Development Labs at UVa in our newsletter.


Dr. Jaswal was interviewed on With Good Reason on VA Public Radio

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