Participating in Autism Research

Ongoing Autism Research – Volunteers Needed

Below is a listing of university affiliated research projects which parents and community professionals may be interested in exploring.

You are invited to submit your research project using this online form. Submission may take up to one week to post. Please read your submission carefully, checking for spelling or other errors. ACT does not edit postings. 

ACT reserves the right to request ethics approval for projects and not to post projects submitted.

February 2017

Research Project Recruiting for the knowledge translation and assistive technologies in the field of ASD

University of British Columbia researchers are looking for parents of children with ASD, clinicians working with children with ASD, managers of ASD organisations, and policy makers in the field of ASD who are interested in sharing their ideas on the effective knowledge translation. 

Using assistive technologies to address socio-emotional skills among children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is growing. These technologies can be used as complementary and low-cost interventions among population with ASD. However, adoption of these devices in the clinical settings and during the rehabilitation services are low. This study will explore the barriers and facilitators to, and identify strategies in knowledge translation of novel assistive technologies among population with ASD.  

We will conduct interviews or focus groups with stakeholders, including decision makers and managers in the field of pediatrics, along with clinicians and parents of children with ASD. This will inform us with their perspectives in adopting new technologies for children with autism when developing a strategic plan for effective knowledge mobilization and technology dissemination.    

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Parisa Ghanouni at  KB.ASD@ubc.ca

SFU Parent-child Study

The Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab invites parents and children age 7-12 with or without ASD to participate in research about how children develop social skills for communication and interaction. Parents and children will work together on fun and interactive activities. Parents receive $30 and parking remuneration in thanks for participating in the 3 hour study. Please contact addl@sfu.ca for more information.

January 2017

How Do People with ASD Understand Language?

Research is currently underway at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCHRI) to understand how individuals with ASD process language. The study, led by Dr. Anthony Bailey and Dr. Keith McLarren, is conducted with the support of UBC. The study uses MRI and EEG scans to take pictures of your brain activity as you read sentences. If you are 14 to 40 years old, live in B.C. and have an ASD diagnosis, you are invited to participate in our study. We are especially interested in people who were late talkers. You must speak English as your first language and be able to read at a grade 5 level or above to be eligible for the study. Those who have epilepsy should not volunteer for this study.

For more information and to sign up, please contact Dr. Keith McLarren at keith.mclarren@ubc.ca or 604-822-4100.

For more details see: Brochure or Study Information

Invitation to Professionals to Participate in Research

Researchers at Dalhousie and McGill Universities are seeking service providers to participate in a project about current practices in the field of neurodisability and emotional dysregulation. Service providers who are knowledgeable about children with neurodisabilities and the emotional and behavioural challenges they face are invited to participate in a telephone or Skype interview. You will be asked about services offered at your site, key approaches you recommend to children and families, how referrals are made and to whom. You will also be asked to comment on a parent coaching intervention being developed specifically for this population. For more information email sacha.bailey@mail.mcgill.ca

November 2016

The Sensory Processing, Aberrant Mealtime Behavior, Motor, Inventory for Eating

Research is currently undergoing at the University of Northern Colorado by Dr. Withrow to create the first eating screening inventory for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you are a parent or primary caregiver to a child between the ages of 2-8 years with an Autism Spectrum Disorder or who is typically developing, please participate in an online survey study.

This study involves writing down what your child eats/drinks for three days and completing a short online survey. Anyone who participates will be compensated with a $50 gift card. Please click on the hyperlink or copy and paste it into your browser to begin. Please feel free to forward this email to potential participants!

 Website link 

If you have any further questions contact research assistant, Mackenzie Comstock at mackenzie.comstock@outlook.com

October 2016

How Do People with ASD Understand Language?

Research is currently underway at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (BCHRI) in Vancouver to understand how individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) process language. The study, led by Dr. Anthony Bailey and Dr. Keith McLarren, is conducted with the support of the University of British Columbia.  The study uses MRI and EEG scans to take pictures of your brain activity as you read sentences.  

If you are 14 to 40 years old, live in British Columbia and have an ASD diagnosis, then you are invited to participate in our study.  We are especially interested in people who were late talkers. You must speak English as your first language and be able to read at a grade 5 level or above to be eligible for the study.  Those who have epilepsy should not volunteer for this study.  

For Further information and to sign up, please contact Dr. Keith McLarren at keith.mclarren@ubc.ca  or 604-822-4100.  For more details see: Brochure  or Study Information

The Effects of Bilingualism on the Executive Functioning of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Recent research indicates that in neuro-typical children, bilingualism can lead to better performance in the area of executive functioning, or the “control centre” of the mind. This research aims to investigate whether this ‘bilingualism advantage’ extends to children with Autism – a group that typically has deficits in executive function. 

This study is seeking children between 6 and 10 years old with a formal diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The study requires participants who are exposed to two languages on a regular basis, and participants who are only ever exposed to one language (English). Participation in this study involves a 2 hour session at your home.  The child with Autism and at least one parent/guardian must be available during the session in order to complete the required tasks. The child will receive a small toy or book at the end of the session.  

This study is a speech-Language Pathology Master’s thesis project. For details see: Research Information If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please contact Shelby Siroski at siroskis@alumni.ubc.ca

Increasing Perspective Taking and Social Participation: Designing and validating a Virtual Reality Intervention for Autism

The goal of the project is to develop a VR gaming program for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to facilitate social participation, perspective taking, and emotion recognition. We are looking for parents of children with ASD and clinicians working with children with ASD, to provide us feedback about the content of the program. Involvement in the study will include filling out two online questionnaires.

For more information: Alyssa Rowe akrowe@alumni.ubc.ca or download this letter.

September 2016

South Asian Families with Children with Special Needs:  The Role of Trust in Their Relationship with Schools

South Asian parents who have children with a disability may experience challenges that are unique to our community.  I would like to learn more about the experiences South Asian parents have with their child’s school, focusing on how trust is involved in that relationship.  I hope that the results of this study will help school professionals learn different ways to establish trust with South Asian parents.

If you are a South Asian parent of a child who has a disability, or if you know a South Asian parent who may be interested in participating, please contact me.  My name is Shalini Arya, I am a Master’s student in School Psychology at UBC.

Contact Information: 604-822-4602 or cfc_lab@ubc.ca

Brain Activations and Face Processing

The University of Victoria’s Different Minds Lab is currently searching for adults with autism (18 or over) with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum in order to participate in a study of brain activations. In this study, participants will perform a computerized task about face processing while having their brain activity recorded by our electroencephalography (EEG) system. The task will be performed in the Cornett Building, room A081, at the University of Victoria, and the entire process usually takes about 60-90 minutes. The task itself will take only 10-15 minutes, but preparations can take another 20-50 minutes. Participants will also need to wash their hair afterwards (the lab contains shampoo, a blow dryer, towels, and a sink).

Participants in the experiment will watch the sensory stimuli in the video found here: https://youtu.be/Lvv3ASSLbxM (e.g., high frequency flickering, staring at the fixation cross and the eye of the faces behind it). Individuals uncomfortable with these sensory stimuli should not participate.

Participants will be reimbursed for bus fares or parking expenses, and will also receive a $20 gift card for Chapters as a thank you.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about the study, please contact Patrick Dwyer (psrdwyer@uvic.ca).


July 2016

Low Moods, Sleep Problems, Gastrointestinal Issues and Challenging Behavior in Children with ASD

Does your child often experience low moods, sleep problems, gastrointestinal issues or challenging behaviours? Parents of children and adolescents with ASD aged 2 to 18 years that experience any of the above symptoms are invited to take part in a research currently being conducted at the National University of Ireland, Galway. The study consists of an online questionnaire, which may be completed at home.

If your child does not present with any of the co-occurring disorders or symptoms mentioned, you can still take part! It is important to understand the effects co-occurring disorders have by including children with and without co-occurring symptoms.

If you would like to take part, or would like more information, please find the survey and further details at http://bit.ly/1UpXtvr. Alternatively, please email Hannah Browse of The Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Research (ICAN) at h.browne1@nuigalway.ie.


Social and Emotional Behaviour in Children and Adolescents with ASD

Does your child struggle to regulate their emotions during times of anxiety or distress? Researchers at Queen’s University are interested in understanding how children and adolescents with ASD regulate their emotions, and how these regulatory abilities are associated with different ASD symptoms. Your participation in this study involves completing ONLINE questionnaires FROM HOME, and will allow future researchers to understand and improve emotion regulation abilities in youth with ASD.

Who can participate? All parents and primary caregivers of children between ages 5 and 17 on the autism spectrum. All adolescents (ages 12 to 17) who are able to independently respond to two online questionnaires with a total of 60 questions.

How to participate: Primary caregivers are invited to complete an ONLINE survey package of three short questionnaires, requiring approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Adolescents with sufficient reading abilities are then invited to complete two short questionnaires, requiring approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete. All questionnaires are included within a single online package, accessible at http://queensu.fluidsurveys.com/s/er-asd/

Any questions can be directed to Dr. Elizabeth Kelley at asd@queensu.ca.

For more information: www.queensu.ca/psychology/autism-spectrum-disorder-studies
Download flyer


April 2016

Relationships and Sexuality in Autism

How have you come to learn and experience your sexuality and romantic relationships?

Researchers at Deakin University, Australia, are looking to better understand the experiences of relationships and sexuality that are unique to young adults with Autism as they navigate through adolescence. It is hoped that this research will allow for a better understanding of the wants, needs, and positive factors that all individuals on the spectrum face as they pursue a romantic and sexual life that best meets their needs and desires. Furthermore, it is anticipated that findings will work to inform parents, partners, and supporters of ASD, while shaping education and support services aimed at establishing a fulfilling romantic and sexual life for all.

If you are between 12-24 years old and would like to share your thoughts, it would be very much appreciated if you would take 30 minutes of your time to complete this anonymous questionnaire: http://psych.hosted-sites.deakin.edu.au/sbs/

If you have any queries or concerns in regards to the study, the researchers are more than happy to answer answer any questions at: lpecora@deakin.edu.au


January 2016

 Changes in assessment and treatment

Researchers at Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada, with a background in Autism are interested in conducting a study to assess changes in assessment, treatment, and types of educational services for school-aged children on the autism spectrum in Canada.

UCarleton Autism Study Recruitment Notice


Memory study at University of Victoria

This study is for persons aged 18-35 diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with no intellectual disability, being conducted in the University of Victoria Department of Psychology.  During the experiment, participants will watch a series of slideshows and/or videos on the monitor, and memory for those stimuli. The slideshows will typically contain face stimuli and the videos will typically be fictional depictions of crimes.  Participants will be asked questions relating to personality traits.  Participation takes approximately 60 minutes.

This research project is now complete. Thank you for your interest.


November 2015

Virtual Reality Intervention

Occupational Therapy students at UBC are working on the following research project: The goal of the project is to discover perspectives of different stakeholders, including multidisciplinary clinicians, parents of children with ASD, and youth with ASD, through focus groups. Their input will then be incorporated into the design and development of a motion gaming intervention for children with ASD.


 October 2014

Parental Perceptions of the ASD Diagnosis Process in BC

This study by a PhD student in Clinical Psychology focuses on parental perceptions of the ASD diagnostic process in British Columbia. Families receive an autism diagnosis either through the publicly funded British Columbia Autism Assessment Network (BCAAN) or from a private diagnostician.

If you are a parent/guardian who has a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the last 3 years and your child was under the age of 6 when diagnosed, then you are eligible to participate.

All responses will remain confidential and secure.  The researchers have contracted with QuestionPro, an independent research firm, to field  confidential survey responses. Please click on this link to complete the survey:

Start Survey

Please contact the researcher ramen.saggu@waldenu.edu with any questions.


 April, 2014

How do people with autism process language?

Research is currently underway at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) to understand how people with autism process language. The study is being led by Dr. Anthony Bailey and conducted with the support of the Autism Research Group at CFRI.
The study is is looking for teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum. Participants will be 14 to 30 years old, be right handed, live in the province of British Columbia, and have a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder.
Participants must also speak English as their first language. Those who have dental braces, implants in the body or epilepsy should not volunteer for this study.
For further information, please visit:
http://www.cfri.ca/news/news/2014/04/23/new-study-how-do-people-with-autism-process-language-/


Positive Behaviour Support Study for a Child with Autism and his/her Typically Developing Sibling

The purpose of this research study is to help reduce the challenging behaviour and improve the relationship between a child with an autism spectrum disorder and his/her typically developing sibling. The study will evaluate the effectiveness of a sibling-friendly approach to PBS on improving two routines involving sibling interaction that are important to the family.

If you are interested in participating in the study, or learning more about the study, please contact Joe Lucyshyn at (604) 822-1904 or by email at joe.lucyshyn@ubc.ca . You may also contact Victoria Sobie at (604) 992-2285 or by email at victoriasobie@gmail.com.

Details (pdf)


Family Quality of Life Study

The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of Quality of Life for families of children with ASD. We are interested in the role of various factors, including child characteristics, services, and supports. This study may involve completing a phone interview and an online survey. Please contact giarrocci@sfu.ca if you are interested in participating!

Details (PDF)

Website – www.autismlab.psyc.sfu.ca/studies


Sharing Experiences of Coping and Self-care

The Adler School of Professional Psychology wants to better understand the coping and self-care strategies used by mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. They are seeking mothers, who have at least one child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, who was diagnosed for at least one year. The child must be 11 years old or less. Mothers would be willing to share her experiences on her journey to cope and self-care in a 1 ½ hour individual interview.

Details (pdf)


Clinical Genetic Evaluation and Counselling for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

The inclusion of a Medical Genetics Consultation is becoming increasingly accepted and recognized as an important part of the standard of care in ASD diagnosis, evaluation and counselling. It is used to provide parents, families, individuals on the spectrum and health care providers with as much information as possible about causative factors involved in ASDs that may influence management and outcomes for people living with autism. The B.C. Autism Spectrum Interdisciplinary Research (ASPIRE) Team, needs your help to measure the value and impact of Medical Genetics Assessments for ASDs.

Details (pdf)


Does your child or teenager love trains?

Simon Fraser University Department of Psychology is looking for children and youth (6-19 years) who have a special interest in trains.

Details (pdf)


Does your preschool child like computers?

Simon Fraser University Department of Psychology is looking for preschool children (3-6 years) to play some fun and interactive computer games.

Details (pdf)


How do youth with autism explore faces?

Simon Fraser University Department of Psychology is looking for youth between 5-24 years of age and their parents to participate in research studies on the exploration of faces.

Details (pdf)