College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

Jason Wolff

  • William Harris Professor in Child Development, associate professor, director of graduate studies

Jason Wolff

Areas of interest

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Intellectual & developmental disabilities
  • Restricted & repetitive behaviors
  • Developmental neuroscience

PhD, University of Minnesota
BA, University of Chicago


How do we optimally support young children with autism and related developmental disabilities? My approach to this overarching question is based on the rationale that understanding the origins of such behaviors, how they emerge from the interplay of exogenous and endogenous factors, will guide intervention. My work in this regard is particularly focused upon the intersection of brain, behavior, and intervention as it pertains to sensory features and restricted and repetitive behaviors in the first years of life. These aspects of developmental disabilities remain poorly understood and yet can have significant impacts on quality of life.

Two current and interrelated goals for my lab are to characterize behavioral and brain development in children with autism and related developmental disabilities, and to leverage this information to inform the timing and content of novel approaches to early intervention.


Dimian, A.F., Dager, S.R., Estes, A.M., Hazlett, H.C., Schultz, R.T., Piven, J., & Wolff, J.J. (2023). Predicting self-injurious behavior at age three among infant siblings of children with autism. Autism Research, DOI: 10.1002/aur.2981

Chaxiong, P., Burrows, C., Botteron, K.N., Dager, S.R., Estes, A.M. …Wolff, J.J. (2022). Relations of restricted and repetitive behaviors to social skills in toddlers with autism. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 54, 1423-1434

Grzadzinski, R., Amso, D., Landa, R. Watson, L.J., Guralinick, M.J., Zwaigenbaum, L., Deák, G., Estes, A.M., Brian, J.R., Bath, K., Elison, J.T., Abbeduto, L.J., Wolff, J.J., Piven, J. (2021) Pre- symptomatic intervention for autism spectrum disorder: defining a research agenda. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 13, 1- 23.

Wolff, J.J., Dimian, A.F., Botteron, K.N., Dager, S.R., Estes, A.M., … IBIS Network. (2019). A longitudinal study of parent reported sensory responsiveness in toddlers at-risk for autism. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 60, 314-324.

Swanson, M.R., Wolff, J.J., Shen, M.D., Gerig, G., Styner, M.A., … Hazlett, H.C. (2018). Development of white matter circuitry in infants with fragile X syndrome. JAMA Psychiatry, 75, 505-513.

Wolff, J.J., Jacob, S., & Elison, J.T. (2018). The journey to autism: insights from neuroimaging studies of infants and toddlers. Development & Psychopathology, 30, 479-495.

Wolff, J.J., Swanson, M.R., Elison, J.T., Gerig, G., Styner, M.A., …IBIS Network. (2017). Neural circuitry at age 6 months associated with later repetitive behavior and sensory responsiveness in autism. Molecular Autism, 8, 1-12.

Hazlett, H.C., Gu, H., Munsell, B.C., Kim, S., Styner, M., Wolff, J.J., … Piven, J. (2017). Early brain development in infants at high risk for autism spectrum disorder. Nature, 542, 348-351.

Wolff, J.J., Boyd, B.A., & Elison, J.T. (2016). A quantitative measure of restricted and repetitive behaviors for early childhood. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 8, 1-10.

Access the Repetitive Behavior Scale for Early Childhood

Wolff, J.J., Gerig, G., Lewis, J.D., Soda, T., Styner, M.A., … Piven, J. (2015).  Altered corpus callosum morphology associated with autism over the first 2 years of life. Brain, 138, 2046-58.

Wolff, J.J., Botteron, K.A. Elison, J.T., Estes, A.M., Gu, H., … Piven, J. (2014). Longitudinal patterns of repetitive behavior in toddlers with and without autism. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 55, 945-953.