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.

The Impact of Online Computer Games on Mental Health in Children with Autism

We are interested in the views of parents or guardians of children with autism. You’re invited to participate if your child has been diagnosed with autism and is aged 8 years or over.

For your participation, you will complete an online questionnaire (20 to 40 minutes).

Participants will be included in a prize selection of an iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi 32GB.

We are interested in the effect of Minecraft on mental health in all children, including how those with autism might benefit.

Contrary to expectation, previous studies suggest Minecraft might be helpful; this study will test that idea.

If you would like to know more, please contact Omar Alawajee, omar.alawajee@strath.ac.uk

Many thanks for your attention,


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Experiences of Autistic Individuals at School: Understanding by Peers and Teachers

I am investigating the school experiences of autistic adults how they relate to the school experiences of non-autistic adults. This is the first research investigating understanding from people on the autism spectrum of others on the autism spectrum.

The first part is an online survey exploring what people think about the understanding they received from peers and teachers. We are also looking for non-autistic adults to take part too, so that we find out more about what’s different for people on the autism spectrum and what’s common among everyone.

The second part of my project is to conduct follow up interviews (face to face or via Skype or webchat etc.) with autistic adults to explore school experiences more in-depth.

To take part or more information, please click on the survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/hss-schoolexperiences

Unfortunately, we cannot cover the travel expenses. Apologies

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The Sensory World of Verbal, High-Functioning Individuals with Autism

Verbal, high-functioning individuals with autism* and unusual sensory experiences needed

*any individual who has a clinical diagnosis of high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, or a diagnosis of autism and has no additional intellectual disability or language impairment

Would you like to take part in a research study exploring the sensory world of verbal, high-functioning individuals with autism?

To participate in this study you must:

  • be an adult (aged 18 to 65 years)
  • have a clinical diagnosis
  • have unusual sensory experiences

To participate in this study you must not:

  • have diagnosed anxiety and/or depression
  • have language impairment
  • have intellectual disability

Participation in this study involves:

  • one or two hours commitment to attend a one-to-one interview
  • £10 Amazon gift voucher

I am interested in learning about your experience of your sensory world, and your understanding of the impact of emotions on this world for my doctoral research. I believe that better understanding of this may help mental health professionals provide better care to individuals with autism.

If you wish to, and believe you are eligible to take part in this study, please contact me on: alg0610@my.londonmet.ac.uk

Thank you,

Alexia Georgiou

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Practitioners Use and Views of Technology in Autism Education

Are you a practitioner* working in an education setting with pupil(s) on the autism spectrum? * teaching assistant, teacher, psychologist, learning assistant, etc.

Do you use technology in these education settings? From desktop computers, tablet technologies, robotics and tangibles.

If so, researchers at the University of Edinburgh would like to hear from you. We want to know how practitioners view technology in autism education, to inform and design future studies relevant to education practice in autism.

We have designed a short, 15 minute, online survey to capture what technologies you use (e.g. devices), how they are used (e.g. independently or with help) and to measure practitioner attitudes towards technology (e.g. do you think that autistic children spend too much time using technology?). A prize draw of up to £50 is available to respondents.

For more information and contact details, and to complete the survey, follow this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ASDTechSchUK.

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Bridging the Gap between the Autistic, the Therapist and the Theoretical Perspective of Autism

Would you like to make a difference in preparing therapists in supporting the mental health of autistic clients from both an autistic and therapist perspective?

This research will explore an autistic person’s sense of self, other and environment and how these relate when therapists make contact with the autistic client. Therefore attempting to bridge the gap between the autistic client, the therapist and the theoretical perspectives.

You can take part if you are 18 years or older, and have either been in counselling/psychotherapy as an autistic client and/or provided counselling/psychotherapy for mental health issues to an autistic client. Please see the following link for eligibility.

Research consists of 2 small parts:

  • 1.25 hour interview
  • Follow up interview (optional)

By participating in this research it is anticipated that results may lead to transforming how psychotherapeutic practice may be provided to this population.

Please visit www.counsellingrooms.co.uk/research or email raymond.doyle@metanoia.ac.uk if interested.

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What are the Views of Young People with Autism (Aged 14-19) on their Use of Social Media?

This study is an opportunity for young people with autism who are social media users to give their opinion on how social media affects them as individuals. The questions asked will aim to explore the relationship between use of social media and autism identity, friendships, well-being and future life outcomes.

The first part of this study will involve a short online questionnaire that will take around 10-15 minutes. At the end of the questionnaire, you will be asked if you would like to enter your email to take part in phase 2. If you agree; you will be invited to join an online forum discussion and debate with other young people. No information will be traceable back to you throughout both parts of the study.

The questionnaire is accessible via https://goo.gl/forms/n7XMIRcFow9ZLlIv2 - please see the information sheet linked on the opening page for further information.

For any further questions please do not hesitate to email me on ad564@exeter.ac.uk.

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Living with a Sibling with Autism

I am carrying out some online research regarding growing up with a sibling who has autism.

I want to hear from adolescents (aged between 16-18) about their lived experience of having a sibling with autism. I hope that this study will engage young people in research and inform support services for families living with autism

My contact details are: Jasmine Mason (postgraduate researcher at the Univeristy of Huddersfield) and my email address is jasmine.mason@hud.ac.uk

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Experiences of Adults with Autism Who have been Through a Family Court

The lack of information around the experiences of adults with autism in family courts is a growing concern as there are increasing numbers of individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

It is essential that research is carried out to hear and understand the perspective of the individuals experiencing the family courts, so we can learn from them how they can be supported and so that they can fully participate in the criminal justice system whether they be a victim, witness or defendant.

This study will be focusing on the experiences of adults with autism to better understand if they are suitably accommodated within family courts across the UK.

Participants will be required to take part in a telephone interview and will receive a report of the project once completed.

Please email stephanie.benge.15@ucl.ac.uk for additional information.  Thank you.

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Social and Academic Experiences of Higher-Education Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

We are a group of researchers at Durham University, Psychology Department. We are conducting a study about social and academic experiences of students currently enrolled in higher-education in the UK. We are particularly interested in the experiences of students with an autism spectrum disorder such as friendships, loneliness, academic challenges, willingness to engage in social interactions, and activities at university.

If you would like to participate, we would ask you to complete an online survey lasting for about 20 minutes at most. For your participation, you will have the chance to win an £20 amazon voucher.

Please email us (emine.gurbuz@durham.ac.uk) for more information about the study and the online survey. Note that your details will be kept confidential.

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Early Sleep in Children with an Increased Chance of Developing Autism Spectrum Disorder 

The majority of children with ASD have chronic difficulties with sleep; yet it is not known how early in development these difficulties emerge.  

Our study charts the early sleep patterns of infants who have an increased chance of developing ASD. We are hoping to find characteristic patterns of sleep that may even aid early diagnosis.

The study uses a commercially available infant sleep monitor (https://monbaby.com/), which is entirely safe and easy to use. We ask parents to use the monitor for a few days a month for five months. We also assess infants’ general development before and after the sleep monitoring period; so all parents involved will learn more about their infant's sleep and development. Parents are not required to travel.

We would love to hear from any parents with a child on the autism spectrum and an infant under two years. Please email victoria.knowland@york.ac.uk for further details.

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Developing New Ways of  Understanding Planning and Organisational Abilities (“Executive Functioning”) in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

We are carrying out an online study looking at executive functioning in children with ASD. Executive functioning includes things like planning, organisation and working memory and research shows that children with ASD often find these areas difficult. We have designed a new questionnaire which we hope will help us better understand these difficulties and therefore improve the help available to children with ASD.

We are looking for parents of children aged 8-16 with ASD to complete our online survey which takes about 30 minutes. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win one of three £30 Amazon vouchers. Furthermore, for every completed survey from the first 120 respondents, a donation of £2 will be made to charity.

If you are interested in taking part, you will find further information about the study at https://opinio.ucl.ac.uk/s?s=47565

If you have any questions, please contact Laurie on laurie.ledger-hardy.14@ucl.ac.uk

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Piano and Autism

This research project aims to develop and test new strategies to promote engagement and musical development of children with autism and learning difficulties, using the piano.

The research is based on the 'Sounds of Intent' (SoI), a framework that has been specifically developed for children and young people with learning difficulties. While the SoI research has generated a number of resources for practitioners working with children with learning difficulties, little attention has been paid to the use of instruments, particularly the piano. This is a significant knowledge gap, as other studies suggest that the piano is a particularly suitable resource for children on the autism spectrum due to its immediacy, consistency and capacity to produce multiple sounds at the same time.

Participants who would like to get involved should go to www.soipianoautism.com. There are videos (piano strategies) on the website and an online survey attached to each of them. Participants should view the videos and then answer three short questions in relation to the video, which should take about a minute. You can watch and complete as many evaluations as you  like.

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Can Adults on the Autism Spectrum Infer What Happened to Someone From Their Reaction?

This research is interested in how people with autism figure out what happened to someone from their reaction alone, and if this differs to people without autism. As a more realistic task this should allow a better measurement of emotion recognition and understanding. The results of this research should be a more accurate measure of emotion recognition and understanding in people with autism. The research is an online questionnaire, taking approximately 40 minutes.

The research consists of 5 short parts:

1. Questions about you (e.g. your age, sex, employment, qualifications etc.)

2. Watch some short video clips of people’s reactions, and try to work out what happened to them.

3. Complete a questionnaire about your personality, likes and dislikes.

4. Complete a questionnaire about your emotions and feelings.

5. Work out what people are thinking from a picture of their eyes.

If you are interested, please visit the online questionnaire.

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Predicting Caregiver and Family Quality of Life

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin – Madison are conducting a study about caregiver and family quality of life for caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The study will look at caregiver roles and how they impact caregiver relationship satisfaction and caregiver mastery. We want to understand how these factors impact the quality of life for the caregiver and how the caregiver perceives they impact their family’s quality of life. 

Please follow the online link  if you are interested in participating in this study. 

If you have any difficulty with the link or if you would like additional information, please contact Kerry Thompson, Ed.S., M.S., NCC, by email at kthompson9@wisc.edu, and she will be happy to assist you.

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Social Confidence and Decision-Making in Autism Spectrum Conditions 

Would you like to take part in an online experiment on social confidence and decision-making?

We are looking for adults with and without autism spectrum conditions to take part in a short online experiment run in association with the University of Bath, UK. The research examines how social confidence affects decision-making and whether this is different for people with and without autism spectrum conditions (ASC). The findings will help clinicians to adapt current psychological therapies so they can better meet the needs of people with ASC who lack social confidence.

You can take part if you are aged 18 or over and English is your main language. We will not ask for your name or contact details. It takes 20-30 minutes and you can use a smartphone, tablet or PC with internet access.

For more information or to take part, please visit the study website

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ABC Autism and Bilingualism Census

Knowing several languages shapes the way people interact and the way they lead their social life. But how does it work for people on the autism spectrum, who can experience specific difficulties in social interaction? To answer this question we created the Autism and Bilingualism Census – ABC.

The ABC is an online survey for all adults over 16 years-old on the autism spectrum, whether they know one or more languages. Indeed, we are looking for both monolingual and multilingual participants. The ABC includes questions on general quality of life and social habits, as well as questions on language exposure and use. The ABC is a valuable tool to learn how, as an adult on the autism spectrum, knowing several languages impacts social life and skills. It will also bring to light a population often overlooked: bilinguals on the autism spectrum.

Taking part is very easy: simply follow the link to our online survey.

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Perception of Similarity and Difference in an Autistic Sample

I am an autistic student interested in investigating the link between the need for predictability, anxiety and sensitivity to change in the environment, which is commonly experienced by autistic individuals.

Males and females, aged 18+, with a diagnosis of ASD (including Asperger’s and high-functioning autism) are invited to take part in this study. Participation will take approximately 30 minutes and involve completing a change detection task, ‘Spot the Difference’ activity and 3 short questionnaires.

If you are interested in taking part, please follow the link to the online study.

Please note, following the link will take you to a more detailed participant information sheet which you can read before deciding to take part.

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Anxiety and Behaviour in Autism and Williams Syndrome

The aim of this project is to investigate behavioural difficulties and anxiety in children with neurodevelopmental disorders.

The project has a specific focus on autism spectrum disorders and Williams syndrome.

By taking a cross-syndrome approach to studying behavioural difficulties and heightened anxiety in these two groups it will be possible to explore any relationships between these features that are specific to the syndromes. It will also be possible to investigate the relationship between these features in the child and parental mental health.

The project will contribute information that can be used in the development of targeted interventions to support individuals with autism and / or Williams Syndrome and their families.

This online questionnaire study requires parents of children with autism and / or Williams syndrome between the ages of 3-17 years to answer questions about their child’s behaviour and their own health and well-being. Parents are requested to access the online questionnaire and login with password Happy. 

You will then be emailed a further link to one final questionnaire to complete your participation.

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18 May 2017