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.

Researchers 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.


How People with ASD Experience and Understand Online Gaming as a Communication Learning Platform: A Phenomenological Approach

Posted: July 2019
Project end date: Ongoing

The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of online gaming on strengthening communication skills for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study will have people with ASD express and contribute their ideas of what they would like in an online game and how they believe an online game can be utilized to become a fundamental communication learning tool for people on the autism spectrum. Participants in this study will be asked to play a commercial multiplayer online game and then participate in an interview via Skype. The interview will take approximately 30 minutes. Review the Study Flyer for more information.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Gaylyne Archibald at gfarchibald@shaw.ca.


Social Stressors in Childhood – Are We Asking The Right Questions?

Posted: July 2019
Project end date: Ongoing

The University of British Columbia Anxiety Stress and Autism Program (ASAP) Lab is currently recruiting for a study exploring stressful childhood experiences and how best to ask about those experiences in research. The goal is to determine if a new measure of stressful life events is easy to use and captures the experiences of teens and young adults with and without autism. Currently recruiting teens and young adults (ages 14-22 years) with and without autism and their parents. Participants will complete an online measure and then a feedback interview 2 weeks later at our lab. The survey will ask about past stressful experiences and if they still bother the parent or child. Participants will also be asked questions about the child’s current feelings and behaviors. Participants with autism will be asked to complete an interview and observation about social interaction. Review the Study Flyer for more information.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Connor Kerns at asaplab@psych.ubc.ca.


Technokids: Exploring Daily Electronic Media Use of Children With and Without Autism

Posted: July 2019
Project end date: Ongoing

This study will examine children’s electronic/digital media activities like watching Netflix or surfing the Internet and their use of different media devices like computers and smartphones in an online survey. Patterns of media use observed between children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and children without any mental health diagnoses will be compared to understand how their electronic media use might be similar or different. This online survey will take approximately 45 to 60 minutes to complete. Eligible Participants are parents or caregivers of one or more 4 to 11-year-old children, both with or without a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder who have used electronic media within the last 30 days. If you are eligible, you can choose to be entered into a drawing for one of twenty $10 e-gift cards fory our participation.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Eric Gilliland at technokidstudy@gmail.com to receive the link to the online study.


Challenges and Facilitators During Transition to Adulthood of Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Posted: July 2019
Project end date: Ongoing

Researchers at Dalhousie University are conducting a project to investigate the perception and experiences of youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), their parents, and clinicians during transition of adolescents with ASD to adulthood. This project aims to identify the barriers and facilitators during transition of youth with ASD to adulthood from the perspectives of individuals with ASD, their parents, and health care providers. This project is looking to recruit “youth with high functioning ASD”, “parents of individuals with ASD”, and “healthcare providers in the field of ASD”. Participation in this project will entail attending an interview, face to face or over phone or skype, in which you will be asked to share your insights on the available services or resources during transition of youth with high functioning ASD to adulthood. Interviews can take place in person, over skype or the phone based on your personal preference. This study will take about 60 minutes to complete at the preferred location. Participants have the option to withdraw from the study at any point. By participating in this interview, participants will be given a gift card (e.g., Amazon, based on your choice), valued at $30.

If you are interested to participate in this study or have any questions, please contact the research team via email at resasd2@dal.ca.


Healthcare services, stress, and resilience among Canadian children with disabilities

Posted: July 2019
Project end date: Ongoing

Researchers at Dalhousie University are conducting a study to investigate stress, resilience, and quality of healthcare programs/services for families of children with developmental disorders including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The project aims to explore resilience and stress experienced by families of children with disabilities including ASD and their strategies to cope with challenges from the perspectives of parents and healthcare providers. The project welcomes “parents of children with ASD” and “clinicians in the field of ASD” to share their insight via an online survey. This study will take about 30-45 minutes to complete. Participants will have the option to save the data and return to the online survey and complete it at a time that is convenient for them. By participating in the survey, participants will have the chance to be entered into a draw to win one of 30 gift cards (e.g., Amazon, based on participants choices), valued at $50.

If you are interested to participate in this study or have any questions, please contact the research team via email at resasd@dal.ca.


Sound Sensitivity Study

Posted: January 2019
Project end date: Ongoing

Are you a parent to an adolescent (aged 13-18 years) on the autism spectrum? Does your child experience issues with sound sensitivity that impacts daily life? SFU Researchers (Dr. Elina Birmingham, Dr. Grace Iarocci) want to hear from you! Recruitment is ongoing for individuals with ASD aged 13-18 years and their parents. The study involves an initial interview session where adolescents (and parents) will be asked about about their experiences dealing with over-reactivity to sounds in their environment. This will be followed by 3 separate testing sessions where participants will listen to (at a low volume) a variety of different sounds while their bodily reactions are monitored with a non-invasive wristwatch. Research will take place at SFU and will take approximately 7 hours over 4 sessions (for adolescents with ASD) and 3 hours over 1 session (for parents). As a thank-you for your time, adolescents with ASD will be offered $20/hour or portion thereof; their parents will be offered $10/hour or portion thereof.

If you are interested in participating, please contact research coordinator John Yang, john_yang_3@sfu.ca.


Participants Needed for UBC Study on ASD and Bilingualism

Posted: September 2018
Project end date: June 2021

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are seeking monolingual (i.e., only English-speaking), and bilingual six to ten year-olds with a formal diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder to participate in a study exploring bilingual advantages in working memory and attentional control. Participation involves a two hour session at the participant’s home, and will include a parental questionnaire and interview, and language and cognitive assessments/games. All participating children will receive an educational toy or book at the end of the session.

If you are interested in this study, please contact Carolyn Norton (carolyn.norton@alumni.ubc.ca) for more information.


Addressing the Needs of Students with Autism with Self-Injurious Behaviour: A Narrative Inquiry

Posted: July 2018
Project end date: June 2021

This study aims to explore the experiences and perceptions of families who have school aged children or young adults with autism (or other developmental disabilities) with a history of self-injury to gain insight into the experiences and perceptions of families and inform school decision-making regarding supporting students with self-injurious behaviour in school settings. Research participants are asked to participate in a face-to-face interview at a location and time of choice. If agreed, participants will be asked questions concerning their experiences in parenting and supporting children with autism who exhibit self-injurious behaviour such as head banging, biting and punching. Participants will be asked specific questions about the supports provided to their child, and their experiences in school. Participation will require an interview lasting approximately 60 minutes and an additional 15-30 minutes to review the written transcript. With permission, the interview will be audio-recorded.

If you are interested in this study, please contact Joanne Drew (jdrew@sd44.ca) for more information.