NIH Infant and Toddler Toolbox

Project: Research project

Project Details


In 2006, the NIH Neuroscience Blueprint called for the development of a integrated set of multiple indicators (cognitive, emotional, motor, sensory) of neural and behavioral health functioning for use in large cohort studies and clinical trials which could be used as a form of “common currency” across diverse study designs and populations with minimal increment in subject burden and cost and be appropriate for ages 3-85. Our group was awarded that contract, and with the combined efforts of scientists working under 20 sub-contracts plus more than 100 named contractors, we developed the original NIH Toolbox for the Assessment of Neurological Behavior and Function®, now actively in use at over 1,000 institutions. More than a decade later, while there are several well-known assessment batteries for use by children under the age of 4, there is (still) no standardized direct developmental assessment of infants and young children that is inexpensive, easy to administer within a relatively brief time frame, and able to capture multiple domains of neurodevelopment across this age range. We will develop, validate and norm the NIH Infant and Toddler Toolbox (aka the “NIH Baby Toolbox”) for tablet administration as an efficient, comprehensive neurodevelopmental battery of measures. It will be specific for use by researchers and clinicians in the neuropsychological, cognitive and social assessment of infants and toddlers ages 1 – 42 months. For Task Order 1 we propose to conduct a systematic literature review and survey the pediatric research and clinical communities to confirm domains of interest while at the same time soliciting the identification of existing measures for potential inclusion in the Baby Toolbox. A follow-up consensus meeting will lead to the selection of final measures by the NIH. We will obtain rights for the selected measures, and then adapt these measures for tablet administration. We will also establish guidelines and sampling plans for field testing, validation, pilot and norming studies For Task Order 2, we will pilot the adapted measures at a subset of the norming sites to establish and refine procedures for recruitment, testing and data transmission. A separate dedicated sample will be recruited to demonstrate validity of the adapted measures. We are prepared to receive future Task Orders to recruit and consent parent/child dyads for norming and clinical validation. Prior to contract conclusion, we will discuss and propose a draft plan for long-term sustainability, including provisions for wide distribution, user support services, software updates and norm updates.
Effective start/end date9/20/191/15/21


  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (75N94019D00005)


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