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.

Survey of Usual Care for Children with ASD who have Sensory Processing Difficulties.

In this survey, we are interested in finding out what is normally available on the NHS throughout the UK for children with autism who have sensory processing difficulties.

This survey forms part of a bigger piece of work taking place in occupational therapy (OT) services – the next step will be a randomised controlled trial comparing what we find in this survey with sensory integration therapy. When the randomised controlled trial starts, it will be run in South Wales and Cornwall.

We would like to build an accurate picture of what services are currently offered to families in your area, and would welcome your views in this survey.

You should complete this survey if you have a child who is between the ages of 4 and 11 who has autism and associated sensory processing difficulties, and is in mainstream education https://cardiff.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/senita-parent-survey

Following this survey a discrete number of parents or carers may be contacted to take part in either telephone interviews of focus groups, if you would be interested in being contacted for this purpose please ensure you provide your contact information when asked and indicate your interest at the end of the survey. 

If you have any problems or questions about the completion of the survey or if you would like more information about the possibility of your child participating in the main study please click contact email Elizabeth Randell at the SenITA Team.

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What are the Processes by which Parents and Caregivers of Females with ASD without Cognitive Impairment come to Understand their Child’s Behaviours as Requiring Intervention?

I am a trainee clinical psychologist at the University of Surrey looking for parents of girls with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) to take part in a study.

I’m interested in understanding why it takes longer for girls to receive a diagnosis of ASD than boys, by exploring parent’s thoughts and stories about the ‘lead up’ to their daughter’s first clinic visit.

To take part, you would be required to meet with me once, and tell your story. This meeting could take part either at your home, or at the University of Surrey in Guilford (reasonable travel costs can be reimbursed).

Please let me know if you are interested in my study by contacting me by email on n.kseib@surrey.ac.uk

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Eating and Dietary Behaviours in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire are looking for parents of children with autism spectrum disorders aged between 7-16 years.

If you choose to take part, you will complete a series of online questionnaires about your child’s eating behaviour, food intake and your mealtime behaviour.

The study will take approximately 25 minutes and you can complete it in the comfort of your own home. To find out more and take part, please click on the following link: https://herts.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0UnFQbhd0WvGouh

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Practitioner Beliefs About the use of Sensory Rooms with Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

We are looking at the use of Multi-Sensory Environments (MSEs; which are sometimes called sensory rooms or Snoezelen rooms) with individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Our study involves practitioners (e.g. someone who works with an individual with ASD in an MSE, such as a teacher, teaching assistant, occupational therapist etc.) completing a 10-minute online survey. Within the survey they will be asked how much they agree or disagree with statements about MSE use for individuals with autism.

We hope the information from this study will inform the use of MSEs for individuals with ASD in the future. This study has been approved by the Cardiff University School of Psychology Ethics Committee.

If you would like some more information, or are willing to take part in our short survey, please click on the link: https://cardiffunipsych.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_a46peWq4WhN7Lr7

If you have any questions, please contact Katy Unwin (PhD student) on UnwinK@cardiff.ac.uk.

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CAASD: Cracking the Pitch Code in Music and Language: Insights from Congenital Amusia and Autism Spectrum Disorders

We are looking for individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger syndrome (AS) to take part in our study.

Aims: To explore music, language, and emotion processing in individuals aged 7-65, and how these abilities are linked to pitch, memory, and cognitive capacities. The findings will help us develop treatment plans for music or language problems in amusia and autism.

Procedure: The experiment will last about 1-2 hours, involving listening to and responding to some speech/musical sounds, looking at and making judgments about some images, and performing some cognitive tasks.

Compensation: You will be paid £7.50 per hour and your travel expenses to the University of Reading will be reimbursed.

Please sign up at https://reading.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/registration-form

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Empathy and Anxiety in Adults with (and without) an Asperger Syndrome Diagnosis

This MSc project at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, will investigate empathy in adults with an Asperger Syndrome (AS) diagnosis, and how it may differ from people with no diagnosis.

Though people with AS diagnoses may have difficulties in some areas of empathy, they may be equally strong, or even stronger, in other areas. Anxiety has been shown to influence empathy, but this has yet to be studied in the AS group. This experiment will involve a photo-based empathy test and an anxiety questionnaire, and last 30-45 minutes.

If you are aged 18 plus and have an Asperger syndrome diagnosis, then you are eligible to participate. While no travel expenses to attend the laboratory in Preston are available, the researcher can arrange to travel to your location. For more information, contact Thomas Galpin, Email: Tgalpin1@uclan.ac.uk; Tel: 0745 299 6250.

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An Investigation into the Effectiveness of Nurture Groups in Supporting Autistic Children: A Scottish Teachers’ Perspective 

Volunteers wanted for a research study 

  • Are you a teacher or a teaching assistant? 
  • Do you work in a primary school in Scotland? 
  • Do you or have you ever run a Nurture Group? 
  • Have any of these Nurture groups had an autistic child in them? 

If you have answered yes to these questions – You may be interested in participating in a study investigating the effectiveness of nurture groups in supporting the wellbeing of autistic children. 

My name is Christina Symeonidou I am a Master’s in Autism student at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. The aim of the study is to investigate Scottish Teacher’s experiences of running Nurture groups for autistic and non-autistic children. Participants will give their experiences of the effectiveness Nurture groups have in enhancing social skills and emotional well-being of autistic children compared to other vulnerable groups. You are invited to complete an online questionnaire that should take no longer than 25 minutes.

If you wish to know more about the study click on this link https://eu.qualtrics.com/ControlPanel/File.php?F=F_72mHx2EG7cgVxU9

To find out more about this study, please email: christina.symeonidou.2016@uni.strath.ac.uk or phone 07719 517385 

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Understanding an Autism Spectrum/Asperger Diagnosis

Research shows immediate and longer term benefits from ‘accurate, appropriate and sympathetic’ information for young people following an autism diagnosis (National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence, 2011, p. 184). A gap in the evidence base about how young people are supported to understand a diagnosis, has also been identified.

Information is being collected through online survey and interviews to support understanding about:

How young people are helped to understand an autism spectrum diagnosis

Approaches to helping young people to understand a diagnosis, which are most likely to influence positive outcomes

If you would like to share your views, the survey is available at:

If you wish to contribute via interview (Face-to-face; by telephone or by Skype), or you require more information, please contact Julie Prentice: jsp632@bham.ac.uk

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♀Autism – Behind the Mask: A Follow-up of the UK-based women previously involved in the project ‘Autism in Pink’

This project is a follow-up of the EU project ‘Autism in Pink’, website: www.autisminpink.net

It explores the lives of 10 UK-based women on the autism spectrum. They attend structured workshops where they share their experiences and work towards creating information for the public aimed at increasing its understanding and awareness of autistic women. Information will include material on the Autism in Pink website and resources for GPs on the RCGP website. We will also give talks at the NAS and ADF(NI) conferences in November.

To help inform this work we are running a survey investigating perceived anxiety and wellbeing of adults living in the UK. We would like to compare subgroups – autistic women, non-autistic women, autistic men, non-autistic men.

We need responses on survey monkey, website: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2DVN3ZZ

We particularly need responses from men on the autism spectrum as they are under-represented so far.

The survey should take no more than 5 minutes. Responses will be submitted automatically by survey monkey, and will remain anonymous.

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The Lived Experiences of Mothers of Children with Autism: A Cross-Cultural Study of Britain and Senegal

We are interested in the lived experiences of mothers of children with autism across cultures. We are comparing mothers’ daily experiences of raising a child with autism in Britain with mothers’ experiences in Senegal, West Africa.

We will ask participants if they would like to either complete a Skype interview or phone call with us about their experiences raising a child with autism or keep a diary of their day-to-day lives to send to us at the end of two weeks.

We are looking for British or Senegalese mothers who speak English or French and who have at least one child with autism. For more information, or if you are interested in participating, please email Adair at 1617295@my.brunel.ac.uk

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Does Speech Sound Production in Minimally Verbal Toddlers with ASD Predict the Severity of Later Expressive Language Impairment?

We are investigating speech production development in autism, and how it fits in with overall language development.

We are looking for families with a child with ASD aged 24 to 48 months old, who has limited expressive language (less than 20 words). Eligible participants must have English as the main language at home and no additional sensory impairments, known genetic disorders or epilepsy.

Participation involves answering questionnaires, being videoed playing with your child and your child playing some simple games with an experimenter. There would be 5 sessions spread over 16 months, each taking place either in your own home or our child-friendly lab near Kings Cross Station, London (travel expenses reimbursed).

Additionally, families will be chosen at random to participate in an app-based speech intervention. All families may continue any additional therapy as usual during this study.

Interested participants should contact Jo Saul on jo.saul.14@ucl.ac.uk or 07786165617.

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Online Survey about Autism, Vulnerability and Mental Health

Researchers at the University of Cambridge are looking for adults (+18 years) to complete an anonymous online questionnaire. The questionnaire takes around 30-40 minutes to complete and contains questions about autistic traits, mood, life experiences and mental health.

To find out more about the study, and take part, please click on the following link: tinyurl.com/kecvcnf

If you have any questions, please contact the study team on: autism-vulnerability@medschl.cam.ac.uk

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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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21 Jul 2017