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.

July 2017

Sound Sensitivity Study

Are you a parent of an individual with ASD? Does your child experience issues with sound sensitivity that impacts their daily life? Simon Fraser University’s Autism Lab wants to hear from you! They are surveying parents about their child’s experiences dealing with sound sensitivity. The survey will take under 30 minutes to complete (approx 15-20 min). As a thank-you for your time you will be given the option of being entered in a draw to win a $100 gift card to Amazon.ca.

To complete the survey, please press here. For more information, please contact Elina Birmingham at ebirming@sfu.ca.


Influence of Coparenting Support on Fathers Involvement with their Children with Autism

Attention fathers of children with autism aged 4 to 11 years! Share your opinions with researchers at the University of Windsor in an online survey about your parenting experiences. It takes about 30 minutes. You will be offered a $5 Donation gift card that can be redeemed as a donation to thousands of charities across Canada, including over 200 Autism-related ones. This study has received clearance from the University of Windsor’s Research Ethics Board. For more information, see this brochure.

If you are interested in participating, e-mail Jason Bloom at bloomj@uwindsor.ca for the study link. 


June 2017

A Cross-cultural Study of Stress Coping in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

It has been demonstrated in previous studies that mothers of children with Autism experience post-traumatic growth, a positive response that may result from the numerous difficulties associated with raising a child with a disability. The purpose of this research study is to evaluate and compare post traumatic growth experienced by families of children with ASD in mainland China, to families of children with ASD in Vancouver, Canada. The dimensions to be evaluated and compared are: the socio-demographic characteristics of the family; the quality of services available to the family; the parenting style; and the level of family involvement.

For more information, please see this brochure or contact Bella Chan at bella_chan@msn.com.


May 2017

Research Project Comparing Two Procedures to Make Attention More Rewarding for Individuals with ASD

A research project is currently underway to evaluate ways of making praise more rewarding to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Parents and teachers frequently provide praise statements (e.g., saying, “Good job”) assuming the statements are valuable and rewarding; however, praise may not function as a reward to increase appropriate behaviours for individuals with ASD. The purpose of this study is to compare the relative effectiveness of two procedures designed to increase the value of vocal praise for individuals with ASD. Children over the age of two, teens, and adults diagnosed with ASD, living in Greater Vancouver, are invited to participate in the study. Participants must also be able to make a choice between two items and must have a variety of preferred foods. Research sessions will be conducted at participants’ homes at a time convenient to them.

For more information, please see this brochure or contact Sarah Pastrana at sarahpastrana@alumni.ubc.ca


February 2017

Research project recruiting for 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


Simon Fraser University 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


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).


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