Autism Edmonton enhances the lives of families and individuals living with autism, by providing life-long support and creating awareness, acceptance, and opportunities in our community.


Autism Edmonton Research

Opportunities for research participation with Autism Edmonton will be posted here when available.

External Research

Opportunities for research participation with local partners will be posted here when available.
  • Who Is He? The Comprehension of Reference During Storybook Listening
Are you the parent or guardian of a child aged 4-9 years old who:
  • Has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
  • And whose primary language exposure is English? 
Researchers at the University of Alberta are trying to better understand how children both with and without ASD understand reference and how that is related to various aspects of executive functioning (i.e. working memory and attentional control).
The study involves two 30-minute sessions, taking place either at your home, preschool or daycare. During the first session your child will listen to a short storybook that contains various animal characters, while wearing eye-tracking glasses. The glasses are comparable to normal reading glasses and track your child’s eye movements to the various animal characters. Your child will also complete short vocabulary and language assessments. During the second session your child will complete a few short activities designed to assess various aspects of executive functioning (working memory and attentional control).
The study will be on going until summer 2018. If you’re interested in participating, or would like more information, please contact:
Abigail Toth, Centre of Comparative Psycholinguistics, University of Alberta, 780-994-8647,
Please feel free to share this with other parents that you know. Click here to view/download a 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 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.
  • Increasing Perspective Taking & Social Participation: Designing and Validating a Virtual Reality (VR) Intervention for Children with Autism
Are you the parent of a child who has autism? Are you a clinician who works directly with autistic children?
Participants are needed for an ongoing research study to help develop a Virtual Reality (VR) gaming program for children with autism to facilitate social participation, perspective taking, and emotion recognition.
Feedback collected from this study will be used to design and validate the content of the program, and create a knowledge base to support the development of a virtual therapeutic intervention that is cost-effective and motivational for children with ASD.
To join this research project, or for more information, please email: Alyssa Rowe at or Kristin Mow at (Research will be ongoing from Oct 2016 until enough people have taken part.)
Interested participants will be asked to complete two online questionnaires and provide feedback during a few cycles.
Questionnaires will include social scenarios and explore your level of agreement on the scenarios that will be used in the virtual reality program.
Content of scenarios will revolve around the ability of children with ASD to recognize emotions and perspectives to improve social skills.
  • Developing a Model of Mathematical Ability for Children with ASD
Are you the parent or guardian of a child age 5- to 12-years old who:
  • has a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (including Autistic Disorder, Asperger Syndrome or Pervasive Developmental Disability-Not Otherwise Specified),
  • and speaks English as their primary language?
Researchers at the U of A are trying to better understand the mathematical skills of children with ASD, as well as what factors may predict math strengths and weaknesses. You and your child can help by participating in this study.
The study involves three 60 minute sessions, taking place either at your home or at the U of A. During the sessions, your child will be asked to complete measures of cognitive processing (i.e., how your child thinks), language and mathematical ability. The parent/guardian will also complete two questionnaires.
This study will be ongoing until June 2018. If you’re interested in participating, or would like more information, please contact:
Heather M. Brown, Ph.D.
Autism Spectrum Disorder and Academic Achievement (AIDAN) lab
Department of Ed. Psych., Faculty of Education, University of Alberta
780-492-5363 or
  • Social ABCs with Attention Training for Toddlers with Suspected Autism
What is this study about?
We are working to improve upon an early intervention program for toddlers who show signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This program, called the Social ABCs, teaches parents strategies to improve their toddler’s language and social abilities. When studied previously, this program helped toddlers improve speech and social smiling. In the current study, we want to see whether activities that teach toddlers to control their attention before receiving the Social ABCs has additional benefits for the child’s communication and social abilities, more so than the standard Social ABCs intervention.
Who can participate?
  • We are looking for toddlers aged 12-30 months who show early signs of ASD or have a confirmed diagnosis of ASD.
  • Families that live within 50km of the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital and are available to receive coaching intervention with their child during working hours.
What’s involved?
  • We will use tests that look at the symptoms of ASD, ask about your child’s development, and observe your child’s play, communication, and social abilities.
  • We will have your child observe a computer activity and track their gaze using a camera software in your home weekly for 6 weeks.
  • We will visit you and your child in your home regularly for several weeks to coach you on strategies of the Social ABCs intervention. During these visits, we will videotape you and your child playing together.
  • You will be reimbursed for parking expenses and receive a copy of the Social ABCs manual.
To take part, please contact Sanne Jilderda at 780-735-6274 or email Click here to see a flyer for more details.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder: Genomes to Outcomes
The Autism Research Centre invites families to participate in our research study that finds genes that cause Autism Spectrum Disorder. 
Finding genes involved may improve our understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder and other related neurodevelopmental disorders.  
We are looking for families with at least one child (between 2 to 21 years of age) diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
What Will We Measure?
(1) Your child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder will complete cognitive, language, and diagnostic tasks  
(2) Parents will also complete questionnaires and assessments   
(3) Small blood samples from family members (children with ASD and parents) will be drawn for genetic testing 
For more information, please view the brochure or contact Jana Roberto 780-735-6274 ext.1 or
  • 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 Olivia Conlon: by phone at 780-735-7999 ext. 1 5668 or by email at
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.
  • ASD and Vaccinations Focus Group
Do you have a child with autism who was born between January 1, 1993, and December 31, 2005?
The University of Alberta invites you to participate in a study to learn:
1.  How families of youth with Autism Spectrum  Disorder (ASD) decide about vaccinations.
2.  What can make it easier or harder for youth with ASD to be vaccinated.
To learn more, please view the brochure or contact Sheetal Prasad at (780) 735-6273 or
  • Promoting Familial Resilience Through ASD Diagnostic Assessment: An Enhanced Critical Incident Study
This research is being done to gain a better understanding of the effect the ASD diagnosis appointment has on the family’s well-being; specifically, the family’s resilience.
What is the reason for doing the study?   Family Resilience is the ability of one’s family to successfully manage trying or difficult life circumstances and to maintain healthy functioning during a significant stressor. For many, the diagnosis of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be very stressful and can threaten a family’s resilience. One of the first points of contact after a child has been diagnosed with ASD, is the physician or psychologist who conducted the ASD diagnostic assessment, therefore, it is important that these professionals recognize the effect they have on the family’s ability to cope with the changes ASD brings to a family.  
Participation in this study will require approximately one or two hours of your time, split between an interview and a follow up credibility check.
If you have any questions about the research now or later, please contact Kristy Dykshoorn at Click here to see a flyer with more details.
  • The Effects of Different Number of Warnings with Time-Out on Child Compliance to Parental Instructions
    • Do you have a 3-5 year old child with a diagnosis of ASD?
    • Do you find that your child does not follow your instructions?
    • Do you have questions or concerns about using time-outs?
    If you answered yes to the above questions, your child may be a perfect fit for a study being conducted through MacEwan University. We are looking for eligible children, and their parents, who are willing to participate. Click here to view the poster.
    This study is looking at the effects of warnings prior to time-out on rates of compliance to parental instruction.
    All we need is a few hours of your time between January- March, 2018. Your child will receive a $5 toy for participating.
    If you are interested in participating in this study and would like more information, please contact the following researcher:
    Dr. Russ Powell:, 780-497-5321


    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.