Autism Edmonton enhances the lives of people on the autism spectrum, through knowledge, services and inclusive opportunities.

Research


Autism Edmonton Research

We strive to promote autism research on a local level to learn more about how we might best support people in our community. This section is intended to share current research opportunities with our members, but it does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of featured projects that are not directly sponsored by our organization.

 

External Research

 
  • Understanding Childhood Adversity & Resilience: Perspectives of Autistic

One of the recipients for the Autism Edmonton and Edmonton Autism Research Centre grants, Gabrielle Heselton, is looking for Autistic adults to participate in a study exploring the childhood experiences of adversity and resilience. If you are interested, please reach out to her at 780-966-9912 or gheselton1@athabasca.edu for more information or to sign up. Click here to view the poster. 


  • Life beyond Trauma - Research Program for Parents of Neurodiverse Children

The aim of this survey is to help us better understand both the challenging and the rewarding experiences of parents (or other primary caregivers) of neurodiverse children living in Canada.

Facts about the survey:

  • For all parents and caregivers of neurodiverse children (all ages)
  • About parents’ experiences and access to care
  • Takes approx. 30 min
  • Highly confidential
  • Chance to win $100 gift card
  • Canada-wide

Facts about the trauma-focused e-health program:

  • Based on the Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET)
  • 12 one-on-one sessions with a trained coach
  • Delivered via video calls
  • Free of cost

Learn more: www.lifebeyondtrauma.ca; lifebeyondtrauma@iwk.nshealth.ca or 1-877-341-8309, Ext. 7 (toll-free).

Participate: https://redcap.ualberta.ca/surveys/?s=FRTCNX7FTR 


  • Calling All Parents Who Have Children Diagnosed with ASD

The goal of this research is to shift the lens onto the parents who have children with ASD. It is important for me to shine a light on this demographic, as they are so busy advocating for their children that it is time to have someone advocate for them. Hopefully, this research can create programs, resources, or simply build a community where parents of children with  ASD are better supported. The process will take 30 to 60 minutes through an interview format over the telephone. Click here to view the poster. To participate, please contact Harleen at toorharleen@cityuniversity.edu.


  • Bilingualism in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The purpose of this study is to better understand dual and second language learning in children with ASD in order to better support bilingual children and their families.

Who are the participants in this research study?

In this study, we are looking for six types of children between the age of 5 and 16 years. These types of children are:

  • Children with ASD from English homes
  • Children with ASD from homes where English and another language are spoken
  • Children with ASD who attend immersion language education programs
  • Children without ASD from English homes
  • Children without ASD from homes where English and another language are spoken
  • Children without ASD who attend immersion language education programs

By participating in this study, you will have the opportunity to receive information about your child’s speech and language, and cognitive development. Additionally, we hope that information from this study will lead to better support for bilingual children with ASD and their families.

If you would like to participate or have any questions about the research now or later, please contact Chantal Labonte at clabonte@ualberta.ca or Dr. Veronica Smith at vs2@ualberta.ca


  • Looking for Educators Working Within the Canadian School System
Dalhousie University researchers are looking for educators to participate in a study to help us develop the Teacher Help: Classroom Management professional development program.
Potential participants must work within the Canadian school system as a classroom teacher, a specialized teacher (e.g., special education teacher, school counselor), an administrator (e.g., principal, vice-principal), behaviour specialist, or school psychologist and be responsible for, or give advice about, in-class behaviour management.
As a participant in this study, you would be asked to complete a telephone interview (20-30 min) with a researcher and respond to an online survey (10-15 min).

Your participation is entirely voluntary and would take up approximately 30-45 minutes of your time. By participating in this study, you will help us to optimize a new module for the Teacher Help program that will focus on providing professional development to teachers on the classroom management of disruptive behaviour.

In appreciation for your time, you will be entered in a draw to receive a $50 Amazon gift card and will be given the opportunity to review the Teacher Help: Classroom Management program.

To learn more about this study, or to participate in this study, please visit http://teacherhelp.ca

Principal Investigator: Matt Orr, PhD Student, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Dalhousie University (Matt.Orr@Dal.ca)

Supervisor: Dr. Penny Corkum, Psychologist & Professor, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Dalhousie University (Penny.Corkum@dal.ca)


  • Computer Models of Language Meaning

Researchers from the University of Alberta are looking for adults with autism spectrum disorder who are proficient in reading and speaking English

  • Participation takes 2-3 hours (over two sessions)
  • Participants will come to the UofA to read/make judgments about stimuli (e.g., words) in a behavioural lab (~2 hour) and while in an MRI (1 hour)
  • You will receive $10/hour for completing participation

If you are interested in taking part in this research opportunity, please contact: Dr. Brea Chouinard, PhD, Department of Computing Science, breac@ualberta.ca.


  • Supporting Student Neurodiversity in Teacher Practice: A Critical Disability Approach

A graduate student through the University of Alberta Faculty of Education is seeking interviewees for a project exploring experiences of neurodiverse individuals in the education system. By interviewing several people about their experiences as neurodiverse students in the public education system, the project will provide recommendations to teachers about ways to include more neurodiverse strengths and perspectives in their classrooms.

If you are a neurodiverse person between the ages of 18 and 28, and are able to participate in two, one hour, one-on-one interviews, please consider sharing your perspectives for this project! If you are interested, or have any other questions, please contact Jenni at jshwetz@ualberta.ca.


  • Parents Empowering Neurodiverse Kids
A Canadian research team from the IWK Health Centre and McGill University is testing an online parenting program for kids with neurodevelopmental disabilities to help manage challenging  behavior problems. They are looking for families who have children aged 3-14 years. Eligibility criteria include a wide range of diagnoses, include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, Global Developmental Delay, Epilepsy, Severe Learning Disability, or any other diagnosis that affects how a child gets around, communicates their ideas, processes what they hear, or remembers things.
Apply to the study: MyStudies.ca
More information: crfh.ca/neuro

  • Summer camp study at the University of Alberta
A new research study is taking place in the Edmonton area related to inclusion of children with autism (ASD) in summer camps. The researchers are looking how peers include children with ASD who share information about autism, and also children who do not share any information about their diagnosis. The researchers never use the word autism, except for families who choose to disclose. Peers, and their parents, are simply told that the researchers are looking at how kids play together over the week at camp. If you are interested in hearing more about the study or have any questions, please directly email the researchers at skiplab@ualberta.ca. View poster here.

  • Social Challenges in Employment Study

Researchers at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) at La Trobe University in Australia would like to know about the social challenges individuals on the autism spectrum have experienced in the workplace.

They are seeking either:

  • Adults on the autism spectrum aged 18 and above, who are currently or have been employed
  • Supervisors or support staff who support employees on the autism spectrum in the workplace

In an online survey, you will be asked to describe up to 10 examples of:

  • times when individuals on the spectrum have misinterpreted or were not aware of the social rules in the workplace, or
  • times when the social intentions of employees on the autism spectrum have been misinterpreted by other employees

Completion time for the survey can vary from 5 to 30 minutes depending on the number of examples, and the amount of detail provided in your response.

Participation is completely voluntary and anonymous, and can be discontinued at any time without consequences.

To view an information sheet and access the study please click here. 

For more information, please contact Dr Simon Bury at s.bury@latrobe.edu.au or Dr Rebecca Flower at r.flower@latrobe.edu.au


  • Health care services and resilience among Canadian children with disabilities
Researchers at Dalhousie University are conducting a study to investigate stress, resilience, and coping strategies for families of children with developmental disorders (e.g., autism spectrum disorder/ASD, attention deficits, learning, intellectual, physical or cognitive problems) across Canada from the perspectives of "parents" and "clinicians."  
They are recruiting "parents of children with developmental disabilities e.g. autism" and "service/health care providers." Participation in this project will entail involvement in an online survey. This study will take less than 30 minutes to complete. Participants have the option to save data and return to the online survey and complete it at a time that is convenient for them. By participating in the survey, you will have the chance to be entered into a draw to win one of 30 gift cards (e.g., Amazon, based on participants choices), valued at $50.
If you are interested in participating in this study or have any questions, please contact the research team via email at resasd@dal.ca
  • Appetite Hormones in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Researchers at UofA invite you to take part in this study to better understand the role of appetite hormones in body weight regulation in ASD.

During this study, participants will:

  • Have their weight, height, waist circumference, and body composition measured
  • Have a blood draw after an 8 hour fast (a snack will be provided after)
  • Answer questions about appetite, physical activity, and diet
  • Receive an honorarium for taking part in the study

For more information, please contact Khushmol at khushmol@ualberta.ca. View poster here.


  • Challenges and Facilitators During Transition to Adulthood of Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Researchers at Dalhousie University are conducting a study to investigate the perception and experiences of youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), their parents, and clinicians during transition of adolescents with ASD to adulthood. 

This project aims to identify the barriers and facilitators during transition of youth with ASD to adulthood from the perspectives of individuals with ASD, their parents, and health care providers and gain a better understanding of ways to improve transitional periods. 

This study is for youth with high functioning ASD, parents of individuals with ASD, and healthcare providers in the field of ASD.   

Participation in this project will entail attending an interview in which you will be asked to share your insights on the available services or resources during the transition of youth with high functioning ASD to adulthood. Interviews can take place in person, over skype or the phone based on your personal preference. This study will take about 60 minutes to complete at the preferred location or virtually via Skype or over the phone. You have the option to withdraw from the study at any point.  

By participating in this interview, you will be given a gift card (e.g., Amazon, based on your choice), valued at $30.  

If you are interested in participating in this study or have any questions, please contact the research team via email at resasd2@dal.ca


Exploring Children's perspective on Disability, Inclusion and Child Culture: Innovation in Methology and Methods

Are you in junior high (grades 7 - 9)?

Do you experience disability, or challenges with learning, communicating, or getting around?

We need your help! We are looking for young people who experience disability to help us with a research project.

When adults watch kids and young people, or listen-in to their conversations, they can have a hard time understanding what’s going on. For adults, it sometimes seems like young people live in a unique world and speak a language all of their own. We need your help to learn about the worlds created by young people. For us, as the research-ers, it will be like going on a tour of a far off place. We need you to be our tour guide, to show us the sights, and to help us understand what we are seeing.

What is involved?

You will be part of a small ‘working group’, with some other young people, to help us come up with tools for exploring these worlds.
A researcher will then meet with you oneon-one, and using the tools that the working group came up with, ask you to give them a tour of the worlds you have created for your self and/or with your peers.

If you have any questions, or would like to participate, please contact Shanon Phelan at 780-492-9040 (email sphelan@ualberta.ca), or Kassi Boyd at 780-222-8076 (email boyd@ualberta.ca). Click here to view/download poster. 


  • Disclosing Your Child's Diagnosis of ASD: Family Processes and Perceived Outcomes
Are you the parent of a 2-18 year old child who’s been diagnosed with ASD?
  • Did you decide to tell other people about the diagnosis?
  • Did you choose not to share this information with others?
Researchers at the University of Alberta would like to learn about your process of deciding whether or not to tell other people (like teachers, relatives, church members, sports teams, other parents and friends) that your child has autism.
Disclosing that your child has ASD can be a major life decision – the research team would like to find out what this process of sharing/not-sharing was like for you. By sharing the experiences of how you approached disclosing your child’s diagnosis to others – or not – you may be able to help other parents facing similar decisions in the future.
The team recognizes how busy parents are, and would like to make it as easy as possible for you to take part. The study consists of one interview that will take about one hour. It can take place over the phone or at a location that is most convenient for you.
To find out more or arrange an interview:
Email Laura Rogers, Research Coordinator, at laura.rogers@ualberta.ca or leave a voicemail with Dr. Sandra Hodgetts at 780-492-8416.
Please feel free to share this with other parents that you know. Click here to view/download a poster.

  • Early Symptom Development in ASD: Role of Attention Control and Emotional Regulation (Infant Sibling Study)
The Autism Research Centre is inviting families to participate in a research program to examine the early signs of ASD in infants and toddlers.
Two types of families are needed for this study:
  • Families WITH a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder AND a younger sibling between 5 and 11 months of age.
  • Families WITHOUT a history of autism spectrum disorder who have an infant of 5 months of age.
This study will measure several areas of development to understand the early signs of autism spectrum disorder. What will be measured?
(1) Signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder.
(2) How children regulate their emotions when playing with examiners and parents.
(3) How children examine their visual world.
(4) Physiological responses when playing with examiners and parents, including heart rate and skin conductance.
To volunteer for this study, or to learn more about what participation involves, please contact Anna Richardson: by phone at 780-735-6274 or by email at anna.richardson@ahs.ca
If you would like learn more about these or any other research opportunities with the Autism Research Centre, please visit their website or follow them on their Facebook page.

Submissions

If you have a research project or study that you would like to recruit for, please contact us by clicking here and telling us a bit about your research, including the purpose of your research and when recruitment begins/ends. (Please note: we require confirmation of ethics approval for all research studies.)
We do not specifically endorse any research or guarantee any postings. Our intent is to promote autism research on a local level, in order to learn more about how we might best support people in our community who are living with autism.