Two cartoon mice above text saying little listeners, three separate photos: girl on toy phone, boy pulling on his ears, boy whispering to another boy

Contact us


Bucky Badger

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Welcome to the Little Listeners Study at the Waisman Center!

Children are little listeners who use the words they hear to help them accomplish the incredible task of learning language. Even though most children pick up language with relative ease, some kids, including those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), struggle to understand and develop language. The goal of the Little Listeners Project is to better understand why some children with ASD have a difficult time learning language, and what we might be able to do to help.

The Little Listeners Project is led by two investigators* at the University of Wisconsin-Madison:

    • Susan Ellis Weismer, Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders
      • 2021 winner of the Hilldale Award for the Social Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • Jenny Saffran, Professor of Psychology
      • 2020 winner of the Jeffrey L. Elman Prize for Scientific Achievement and Community Building

*For the first five years of the project, Jan Edwards  served as a principal investigator. Jan has since transitioned to the University of Maryland.