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Early Developmental Screening & Home-based Early Interventions News

EMMA Study: Parent Testimonial

Parent, Anna, whose 3-month-old, Baby Em, is an EMMA study participant, was kind enough to share her experience with us.

Baby Em was having trouble with tummy time. See how EMMA helped her and the parent.



Parent Activity Videos — Photo Shoot

We are building a library of parent activity videos to assist parents with play-based activities that can augment their child’s development and enhance parent-child bond. These play-based activities will be delivered as part of the EMMA app that is currently under development.

Late 2019, we held a day-long photo shoot session at Early Markers facilities to gather play-based activities data from eight infants between 3-6 months. We have been developing short videos, Motor Minutes, that target developmental milestones for this age group. Look below for a sample video that targets prone tolerance (‘tummy time’).


The pandemic interrupted our plans to gather data from infants in the 6- and 9-month age groups. In August 2020, we were able to kick off another data gathering session. This time, the session would take place outdoors. Aside from the pediatric occupational therapist, Dr. Fair-Field, others would be socially distanced. Dr. Fair-Field wore proper PPE. Two subjects participated in the photo shoot session. Both were healthcare professionals that understood that the risks were minimal. In the words of one of the parents ‘research needs to proceed!’


Now, we are ready to create additional play activity videos for the 6-month age group. Our deep gratitude to the participating parents.


Summer Research Opportunity at Early Markers

We hosted three WSU School of Medicine students — Jae C, Nick C, and Adam K, as part of the Summer Research Opportunity program. It was a perfect fit for the pandemic summer and a fantastic experience for both the interns and the Early Markers team. We adapted our ongoing infant studies (EMMA and MIMM) to go fully virtual and also conducted all our summer internship activities via Zoom and Slack.

The interns got an immersive education in infant development, clinical administration and assessment of infant motor development using standardized tools, and video coding of motor movements. During the internship, they also got valuable exposure to evaluation of motor skills in the typically developing infant as well as identification of atypical behaviors.

In their final week, they got to observe a ‘live’ motor assessment session (socially distanced), conducted safely outdoors by a pediatric occupational therapist. Their assessments, needless to say, were in excellent agreement with the pediatric OT.

Jae C and Adam K have decided to pursue research questions raised by their involvement with EMMA as part of their longitudinal scholarly project requirements. We are excited to help them explore additional points of scientific validity of EMMA solutions for early developmental screening and home-based, parent-led interventions.