Autism Research Undertaken by Organisations other than Research Autism

Two women writing key points This page provides details of autism research studies being undertaken by organisations and individuals other than Research Autism.

Information on each study is normally posted on this page for a period of 3 months. It is also posted on our social media channels including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Linked-In.

If you are involved in postgraduate research and would like us to help you with your study please download and return this form: Application for advertising for research participants

Please note that your study will need ethical approval from your university or other suitable body (such as the NHS) before being advertised.

We regret that we are unable to accept undergraduate research projects.

Thank you.

An Analysis of Reading Habits, Motivators and Drawbacks in Autistic and Neuro-Typical Individuals

We aim to produce a support-based intervention for autism spectrum conditions (ASC), that will include contemplating fiction and using character perspectives to improve self-identity, understanding others and autism-specific social skills that are not constrained by neuro-typical values.

However, firstly we need to know how people with ASC contemplate texts and their preferences. In order to achieve this, we also need to know the differences that exist between people with and without ASC when contemplating different texts; so for the current study we are looking for participants with and without ASC.

Stage 1 is screening, including online questionnaires, following which, if successful, you will be invited to the University of Liverpool to take part in a focus group interview with 5 other participants. For social ease people with ASC will be interviewed together.

Anybody interested should have easy access to the University of Liverpool campus.

Please contact m.chapple@liv.ac.uk for more information.

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Aligning Dimensions of Interoceptive Experience (ADIE) to Prevent Anxiety in Autism

Interoception is the ability to sense internal changes in the body such as heart rate. Some of our recent work has shown anxiety can be increased if there is a discrepancy between how well patients feel they can interpret bodily signals and how well they are actually able to do this. We have found that helping people to be more aware of their ability, and to increase their ability to interpret signals from the body, helps reduce and may prevent anxiety symptoms.

We would like to try out and compare a new treatment, Aligning Dimensions of Interoceptive Experience (ADIE), teaching adult ASC (autism spectrum conditions) patients these skills against the current treatment. 

You will receive £7.50 for every hour you spend with us and will be reimbursed for your travel to the University of Sussex where the study takes place. Please contact Charmaine Kohn for more information. Phone: 03003040088 or AskAboutResearch@sussexpartnership.nhs.uk

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Social Stories Questionnaire: What Factors Impact on Effectiveness?

As part of our research on social stories we have just launched a new online survey for parents and practitioners to ask about your experience of using social stories.

We know that social stories can be a highly effective intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) but the research suggests that this is not always the case. We are trying to better understand the factors that might impact on the effectiveness of social story interventions and would really appreciate your help and input on this area.
If you have used a social story with a child in the last 2 years and would like to help us with our research please consider completing this single questionnaire. It takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete and will help us to better understand this popular intervention. 

To access the questionnaire please click on the link below: https://bathpsychology.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bD7BZk1oJPfV3zn

You have the chance to win a £50 Amazon voucher. If you leave a contact email address or phone number at the end of the questionnaire you will be entered into the prize draw.

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Exploring Demand Avoidance in Children with and without Autism

Relatively little is known about demand avoidance behaviour in children with ASC. Our research aims to provide a better understanding about these behaviours, supporting the development of much needed support for children and families.

We are recruiting parents of children aged 6-11 years old. We are particularly interested in hearing from you if either of the following criteria apply to your child:

  • An Autism Spectrum Condition diagnosis, with or without demand avoidant behaviours
  • No distinct behavioural difficulties

Participating involves answering some questions about your child and their behaviour. This is can be done online or on paper and typically takes around 25 minutes. All participants will be given the chance to win up to £50 in Amazon vouchers.

We would hugely value your help with this study. If you are interested or would like to take part, please email Ellie Bishop (e.bishop@ucl.ac.uk) or Anna Goodson (anna.goodson.15@ucl.ac.uk). Thank you! 

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The Sensory Processing Experiences of Individuals with an Autistic Spectrum Condition in their University Environment

Individuals with an autistic spectrum condition (ASC) often report differences in sensory processing experiences. This research aims to find out more about the sensory experiences that these individuals have specifically in their university environment. This will be achieved through participants taking photos of their sensory experiences at their university. These photos will then facilitate a 1:1 interview between the researcher and the participant. Participants will receive a £10 Amazon voucher for completing the research.

The study may highlight important information about the sensory processing experiences individuals with an ASC have in a university environment. This information could be used to guide appropriate interventions to help reduce the negative effects sensory experiences can have on an individual in this environment.

The research will take place at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge; travel costs will not be reimbursed. Please contact the lead researcher, Fiona Howe, at fiona.howe@pgr.anglia.ac.uk for more information. 

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Decision Study

Have you been involved in a decision about research on behalf of an adult relative or friend who was unable to decide for themselves? Do you live in England or Wales?

We are looking for participants to be interviewed about their experience of making decisions for a loved one to take part in a research study in the previous year.

The interview will take about an hour and can take place at a time and place that is convenient for you, which can be your home.

For more information or to participate, please contact Victoria Shepherd: Via email: ShepherdVL1@cardiff.ac.uk, Phone: 02920687641, Post: 5th Floor, Neuadd Meirionnydd, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4YS. 

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Autism Spectrum Disorders Adult Development Study

Little is known about ageing and autism spectrum disorders. The GoldAge Lab at (www.goldagelab.co.uk) Goldsmiths, University of London is particularly interested in how executive function abilities - interrupting ongoing actions, changing activities, planning - change with age. 

In typical adults executive function abilities worsen with age. We do not know if autistic adults’ will be at risk during ageing or have strategies in place to help cope with ageing. 

We are inviting autistic adults 18+ to take part, but are especially interested in seeing adults aged 40+. 

We will ask you to meet with a researcher to complete some tasks and questionnaires. This meeting can take place at home, at Goldsmiths University, or another convenient location. 

The meeting with the researcher will take about 2 hours. Participants will be reimbursed for their time and travel costs.

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Emily McCarthy emcca006@gold.ac.uk or 020 7919 7222.

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Life Experiences of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

My name is Freya and I am running a study with King’s College London to help us to better understand the way that adults with ASD experience and process stressful life events and the long-term consequences of these experiences for their health.

The study takes around 90 minutes and involves completion of a series of questionnaires, which can be completed online. You would be reimbursed £10 for taking part.

We are looking for individuals who are aged 18 years or older, who have a diagnosis of any Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and who have had something happen (at any point in their lifetime) which was stressful, negative, traumatic, or particularly upsetting.

For full information and to complete the study online please go to: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3436340/Life-experiences-ASD

If you have any questions, or if you would like to complete the study by post or in person, please email me at ASD-study@kcl.ac.uk.

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Comparison of the Web Portal and Smartphone App Versions of the Lincus Wellbeing Platform to Measure in the Moment Quality of Life (QoL) in Adults on the Autism Spectrum

Lincus is a free to download and use tool which records and monitors wellbeing through the use of pictures and a scale. The effectivity of Lincus has not been studied with individuals with autism.

The research will consider how people feel about recording QoL in real time and on the extent to which Lincus enables this. The participants will be asked on whether they have a preference for either version of the Lincus wellbeing platform (smartphone or web based). The data participants input into Lincus will not be accessed.

Participants have the choice of completing a questionnaire remotely or be interviewed (either by Skype or in person with the researcher travelling to them). Participants can contact Jayne Hussey, the researcher, by phone on 0770 464 2940 or email at Jlh56@kent.ac.uk

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Parental Experiences in Raising Child with ASD in Lithuania and United Kingdom

I am a PhD student in Oxford University currently looking at the parental experiences of Lithuanian parents raising children with autism spectrum disorder in United Kingdom.

At this stage I would like to ask you to fill in online questionnaire @ http://tevutyrimas.heroinn.org/dalyvio-sutikimo-forma-v1/.

It will take ~15 minutes of your time, however it will help us to understand the influence of stigma and importance of governmental support and access to services in parental experiences.

If you have any questions and/or comments don't hesitate to contact me via email: ruta.buivydaite@psych.ox.ac.uk or phone 07758539113.

Thank you for your time and cooperation - it's much appreciated!"

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Cambridge Human Imaging and Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study

Are you a pregnant mum with an autism spectrum condition, or are you a pregnant mum who already has a child with autism? 

This study is observing the early development of the baby in pregnancies where the mother or an older sibling of the baby has a diagnosis of autism.

If you decide to participate, you would be invited for an MRI scan in your last trimester of pregnancy, at the Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge, so we can study your baby's brain even before birth. After your baby is born we will look at your baby's behaviour, including play, social behaviour, communication, and another MRI to look at their brain structure.

Separately, we’d like to find out about your experience of pregnancy and motherhood so that we can identify areas where support might be helpful for both autistic and not autistic mothers in the future.

There will be five visits in total: during your pregnancy (an in person visit for an MRI), when your baby is 2-3 months old (an in person visit for infant MRI), a 6-month (in person) visit, at 18-months (postal or online questionnaires only), and finally at 24-months (in person visit). 

If you live in the UK or in Europe we can pay for you to visit Cambridge, and we will reimburse all travel expenses and hotel accommodation, and you will receive an additional £20/visit for each visit. We will also give you a picture of your baby from your scan.

If you are interested in finding out more about this study or would like to take part, please contact Sarah Hampton or Ezra Aydin, by email infant.imaging.study@medschl.cam.ac.uk or by telephone (01223 465230).  

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Behaviour and Expression of Pain in Autism Spectrum Disorders

I am looking for participants over the age of 18 with a diagnosis of autism or Asperger’s to take part in a study investigating how pain motivates us and how we show that we are in pain. 

There are two parts, the first part you experience cold and hot temperatures and your facial reactions are coded.  During the second part you complete a joystick game. 

Your participation will be very much appreciated and for your time you will receive a £20 Amazon voucher.  During the joystick game there is a chance to increase this amount to £40 of vouchers.  The study takes an hour and will be at Liverpool John Moores University. 

If you would like to participate, more information, online screening and questionnaires (if you pass the screening) can be found at this link: https://ljmupsych.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_71BipeFpk8Eg7gp

If you would prefer to have a talk please contact Sarah Vaughan: via email: s.vaughan@2010.ljmu.ac.uk 

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The Development and Feasibility trial of a Cognitive Behavioural Social Competence Therapeutic Intervention for Adults with Autism without an Intellectual Disability (SCTI-A)

We are looking for young adults aged between 18-25 years with a diagnosis of high functioning autism spectrum disorder to participate in our six week intervention. We are seeking to recruit participants to pilot a new group cognitive behavioural social competence intervention.

The six week intervention requires a commitment to therapy twice a week. Each week you will attend a 30 minute individually focused CBT session (which will require minor parent/caretaker involvement) and on a separate day you will attend a 2 hour group therapy session.

In this study we aim to investigate 
•    if the therapeutic intervention is acceptable for high functioning adults that are on the autism spectrum   
•    if the intervention has an effect on brain function
•    the relationship between brain functioning and ASD symptoms
•    if the intervention is effective at improving social competencies 

For further information part please contact: David Tate D.Tate@edu.Salford.ac.uk

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Online Survey on PECS

Batool Alsayedhassan and Dr. Devender Banda would like to find out more about the perceptions of parents and practitioners who have children with autism regarding the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).

This survey is targeting parents and practitioners (i.e., teachers, teaching assistants, speech language pathologists, clinic personnel, therapists, behavioral analyst) who have a child using PECS, or works with a child with autism or developmental disabilities whose facing communication difficulties and using PECS currently, or used PECS previously.

There are no right or wrong answers to the questions, just what you think. This survey will take about 15-20 minutes of your time, and we will use the results for a research study. We will not be able to identify you individually. Please do not put your name on this survey. If you would prefer not to answer a question, please leave it blank. Your participation is voluntary and you can stop at any time. Please submit the survey when you finish answering the questions.

If you have any question about this study, please call or email Dr. Devender Banda at (806-834-4827) devender.banda@ttu.eduand/ Batool Alsayedhassan at (865-308-9295) Batool.alsayedhassan@ttu.edu.

Here is the link for the survey: https://educttu.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bIzALQXCcAHaxSd

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Colour Perception in Adults with Autism

The Sussex Colour Group at the University of Sussex are looking to expand their research into colour perception and memory in autism with a new set of experiments.

We are looking for adults aged 18-35 with autism or Asperger syndrome to come to one of our testing sessions at the University of Sussex in Falmer. Participants will complete questionnaires and colour perception tasks, some of which are done on a computer. Testing will take around 3 hours and you will be paid £8 for every hour.

Travel expenses (including petrol) can be reimbursed – please let us know where you are coming from and how much you expect it to cost.

If you are interested in taking part, or would like more information about our current or future studies, we would be delighted to hear from you! 

Please contact Jessica Banks, jessica.banks@sussex.ac.uk 

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Relationships Between Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, Stress, Wellbeing and Child Behaviour in Neurodisability

We would like to invite you to take part in a research study. The study aims to explore relationships between mindfulness, self-compassion, parental wellbeing, stress and child behavioural difficulties, in parents of children aged 4-17 years old with neurodevelopmental disorders (such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Tics/Tourette's Syndrome, Intellectual Disability).  

Before you decide whether or not to take part it is important that you understand why the research is being done and what it would involve for you. 

What do I do next if I wish to take part? Please contact the researcher, Melissa Clapp, Trainee Clinical Psychologist either by emailing her on Melissa.Clapp.2015@live.rhul.ac.uk or leaving a telephone message on 01784414012. If leaving a message please make sure to say that you wish to speak with Melissa Clapp and leave a contact number and best day/time to contact you.

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16 Jan 2018