This page contains details of research projects facilitated or endorsed by Research Autism.
Sometimes our reputation and/or our practical support can help in getting support or funding for projects and we can also help in disseminating results
Description: This project was conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry London working with Research Autism and the National Autistic Society to follow up individuals with Autism seen at the Maudsley Hospital 15-20 years ago to evaluate the outcomes in adult life in higher ability people with autism/Asperger Syndrome
Impact: This project helped to inform clinicians as to the long term outcomes for this group and to shed light on important variables related to those outcomes.
Description: Working with the National Autistic Society, Research Autism and the Institute of Education, this project was designed to examine the effects of drama on social skills training for students with autism. It was also designed to explore r teaching approaches that facilitate perspective taking in individuals with autism and highlight particular approaches specific to drama education.
Impact: This project demonstrated that individuals with autism show perspective taking in the interactive context of drama education and illustrates both how this perspective taking develops over time and how it compares with perspective taking shown in other curricular areas. It also uncovered teaching approaches that facilitate perspective taking and identifies particular opportunities presented by drama education.
Our Role Research Autism endorsed this project which enabled it to be funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
More information. Drama education and individuals with autism
Project Area: This project compared implementation and outcomes for Son-Rise, ABA and control group in children and adults with autism. Underlying familial and autism characteristics were examined
Lead: Dr. Julie Beadle-Brown
Institution: The Tizard Centre, University of Kent
Impact: This project provided information about the responses of children parents to specific intervention and further evidence that no one intervention will be suited to all children or families.
More information:Early Intervention: The Tizard Centre study
Description: This project was designed to compare the long term effects of EIBI and specialist nursery provision for pre-school children with autism. This study was one of the first to directly compare home-based EIBI programmes with autism-specific school-based provision, as well as one of the first to study autism-specific nursery provision in the UK.
Impact The research indicated that EIBI and specialist nursery provision resulted in comparable gains for children with autism. This has significant implications for the provision of education for pre-school children in the UK and elsewhere.
Our Role Research Autism endorsed the project and helped to disseminate the findings via the publication of a research report written for a lay audience.
More information. Comparison of EIBI and specialist nursery provision
Description: This project was designed to design and test specific physical environments for the support of learning for children with autism.
It was funded by the Three Guineas Trust and supported by Leiden University, Holland and by Research Autism.
Impact: The design of the LECA environment is undergoing final tests.
Description: This project relates to one of the priorities identified by Research Autism - that of sleep disturbance and is designed to determine the effectiveness and safety of melatonin in improving sleep latency, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency in children with autism and sleep problems.
Impact: Provided positive evidence for the use of melatonin.
Our Role The need to extend such a study to autism was identified by a Research Autism forum on sleep problems. Research Autism subsequently funded a guide , "Encouraging Good Sleep Habits In Children with Learning Disabilities", produced as part of the project.
Description: Working with the University of Portsmouth and the National Autistic Society, this project was designed to create a musical resource aimed specifically at children with autism and has now been widely produced and disseminated.
Impact: This project resulted in the creation of Connections, a double CD set of original music, songs, stories and games for children and young adults across the autistic spectrum.
Our Role Research Autism was successful in helping to obtain sponsorship from the RSA for this 2 year University of Portsmouth project and in overseeing the project
More information. Music for Autism Connections project
Description: This Medical Research Council-funded project was designed to investigate the effectiveness of a parent-mediated communication-focused (Preschool Autism Communication Trial [PACT]) intervention.
Impact: This project demonstrated that the PACT intervention delivered a clear benefit in terms of improved interaction between parents and children with autism but it cannot yet be recommended as a standard treatment for autism.
Our Role Working with the National Autistic Society, Research Autism was able to endorse and disseminate this study
More information Green J. et al. (2010). Parent-mediated communication-focused treatment in children with autism - PACT: a randomised controlled trial Lancet. 375(9732), pp. 2152-2160.
Description: The Creation and testing of the Q-Chat (Quantitative Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) as a screening instrument to detect autism in young children
Impact: This project created an improved screening tool which enables clinicians and others to detect most children on the autistic spectrum at 18 months.
Our Role Working with the grant holder, National Autistic Society, Research Autism was able to endorse and disseminate this study.
More information. Q-Chat Quantitative Checklist for Autism in Toddlers
Description: Working with the Institute of Education and Government of Singapore, this project was designed to provide field testing of instruments used in the diagnosis and assessment of autism and their implementation in a different cultural environment.
Impact: Provision of an evidenced-based assessment programme to be used in Singapore.