Research Studies
The following is a list of some of the ASD research studies currently being conducted in Canada and abroad. Each study calls for participants with an ASD diagnosis.

Prior to posting these research study requests, the submitter must provide Autism Ontario with a copy of their approved Code of Ethics, a Synopsis of the Thesis, a timeline for the posting and details regarding how interested subjects may participate. Please visit this site regularly to check out what studies are currently available.

Researchers: Please include the text you'd like included in the posting along with the end date for recruitment. If you would like to include a poster link, please include the URL. For questions or submissions, please contact: research@autismontario.com. Please note, it may take up to 5 business days for a response. Thank you.
  • NEW! Participants needed! McMaster University is investigating whether a child-centred wearable device can be used for the early screening, and detection, of ASD. Gait disturbances are one of the first symptoms of ASD and refers to any deviation from the walking patterns of typically developing children. While previous studies have identified gait disturbances among children with ASD, only a few studies have used quantitative methods to analyze this relationship. WADE (Walking Analyzing Device) is designed to obtain critical gait parameters, while also remaining cognizant of the child’s comfort and preferences. WADE is a soft, lightweight monkey with a fashionable bow tie; there are sensors imbedded in the bow tie which track your child’s gait patterns. WADE is placed on both ankles for approximately 5 minutes and analyzes how your child walks, and responds to certain tasks like walking on a straight line. As your child walks the sensors will transfer his/her gait patterns in real time via low energy Bluetooth. We are currently seeking children between the ages of 3 and 5 who have been diagnosed with ASD. Our research aims to obtain quantitative knowledge of gait abnormalities, which may be useful for the screening, and early detection of ASD. If you are interested in enrolling your child for this short gait assessment, please contact the Primary Investigator, Navita Dyal, at dyaln@mcmaster.ca or 905-808-4567. Post until March 2017.
  • NEW! Participants needed! University of Western Ontario is conducting a study that focuses on the thoughts of students and parents on the social inclusion and exclusion of students with learning difficulties in school. We are currently seeking parents of secondary school students and secondary school students with disabilities to participate in this study. The purpose of this study is to interview students and parents to find out (a) their thoughts on why students with learning difficulties are sometimes socially excluded at school, and (b) their strategies for enhancing the social inclusion of students with learning difficulties at school. If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to participate in a phone interview that will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes. At a later date, you will be asked to sort and rate a set of anonymous statements taken from interviews with other participants. You will have the option of completing the sorting and rating tasks online or by mail. It will take approximately 30 minutes to sort and rate the statements. If you would like to participate in our study, please contact us at include@uwo.ca to set up an appointment for an interview. Post until March 2017.
  • NEW! Participants needed! CAMH is recruiting 16-35 year olds with autism spectrum disorder who are verbal and have problems with organization, task initiation, task management, task completion or shifting focus in the Greater Toronto Area. We are conducting a 4-week study that aims to evaluate whether problems with thinking and organization can be improved through brain stimulation. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS), a non-invasive (safe) magnetic device, is used to activate the brain areas responsible for thinking and organization. Participants will get an MRI of their brain, and complete cognitive & functional skills assessments in addition to rTMS sessions. Participants will be compensated 10$ per hour spent in the study, in addition to TTC tokens. The study will take place at CAMH Queen Street West location. If you are interested in participating or learning more about the study please contact Rachael Lyon: (416) 535-8501 ext. 30217 or email Rachael.Lyon@camh.ca. Post until March 2017
  • NEW! Participants needed! University of Western Ontario : Many children with autism also have difficulties processing the large amount of information coming from their senses. Currently, there are no objective ways to measure these difficulties. Dr. Rob Nicolson and Dr. Susanne Schmid want to better understand how sensory information is processed in children with autism and/or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder as compared to other children. As a participant in this study, your child (under 18 years) would be assessed for psychological abilities, and his/her reactions to background noise and random “click” sounds would be measured. A parent or caregiver would also be asked to fill out some questionnaires about the child. Participation would involve one or two sessions totalling about one hour. You will be compensated for your time and any parking expenses. If you are interested in finding out more, please email sensory@uwo.ca. Post until August 2017.
  • NEW! Families needed! Saint Paul University: Building family resilience is essential in dealing with the challenges of autism. By investigating structures of the imaginary and symbolic representation, this positive-focused research aims to discover how the unique characteristics of high-functioning autism can be used to promote family resilience. If any member of your family has been diagnosed with HFASD, ASD Level 1, or Asperger Syndrome, and you live in Eastern Ontario (as far as Toronto), then your family is invited to participate. For the purposes of this research, a family unit must consist of at least 1 parent and 1 child at least 10 years old who are biologically related (adult children are welcome). Participating families will do a simple drawing and story-telling test. They will also participate in at least one interview which will explore how family members help each other to build resilience. The research methodology includes the ongoing sharing of the findings with the participants, who will also receive a copy of the final approved thesis. Furthermore, the research findings will be published and available for use in academic environments in which professionals are trained to work with families living with autism spectrum conditions. If your family would like to participate in this research, please contact Laure-Marie Carignan, at 1-819-209-4023 or mcarignan@ustpaul.ca. Post until May 2017.
  • NEW! Participants needed! London Health Sciences Centre: Doctors at Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre are studying a new medication (tideglusib) for the treatment of adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Participation will require approximately 9 visits to Children’s Hospital over a 4 month period. Most visits will take about two hours. Questionnaires about symptoms and side effects will be completed at each visit. Including the screening visit, blood samples will be required at 6 of the appointments to monitor safety, drug levels, and for other research purposes. Medication will be provided at no cost, and expenses related to participation (such as parking) will be paid for by the research team. Participants will also receive a gift card at each visit as a token of appreciation for their time and effort. If you (or your child) are between the ages of 12 and 17, have Autism Spectrum Disorder, and are interested in participating in this study, please contact Ahsan Ahmad at (519) 685-8500 Ext 74906 or ahsan.ahmad@lhsc.on.ca for further information. Post until May 2017.
  • NEW! Participants needed! Brock University: Does your child arrange or line up objects, insist on completing activities (e.g., games, bedtime routines, travel routes) in the same way, frequently ask for reassurance, count or check things, worries about germs, or refuses to throw away objects? We want to help! Dr. Tricia Vause and her research assistants are trying a new version of “I Believe in Me, Not OCB!”, a treatment for Obsessive Compulsive behaviours for children with ASD now geared for children 4 to 6 years of age. The treatment combines Cognitive Behavioural Therapy AND Applied Behaviour Analysis to provide a treatment designed exclusively for children with ASD! In working on these behaviours, your child gets to do their favourite activities, crafts, play fun games, and social skills activities. Therapy will be nine weeks of one-hour sessions delivered to you and your child at no cost. click the attached poster for more information. Post until November 30, 2016.
  • NEW! Participants needed! York University: Community Involvement in Youth with Intellectual Disability: The purpose of the current study is to learn about how youth with intellectual disabilities are involved in community activities. This survey is for parents/caregivers of youth with intellectual disabilities who are between 11 and 23 years of age, who do not participate in sports, including Special Olympics. The research is being conducted primarily by Dr. Jonathan Weiss, a researcher from York University. Interested parents will complete an online survey that takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. Upon completion of the survey, you will have the opportunity to participate in a raffle for a $100 gift card. To participate, follow this link: https://yorkupsych.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eOJ7C01j9rGszaZ If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie Ryan at: stfung@yorku.ca or 416-736-2100 ext. 22987. Post until June 2017
  • NEW! Participants needed! Queen's University is currently recruiting 11-15 year olds with a current diagnosis of ASD in Kingston or Ottawa to complete a study which examines self-perception. The study will be taking place on either the Queen's University campus or the University of Ottawa campus and will take approximately 2 to 2.5 hours. Your child will be asked to complete a variety of activities and will be asked how they thought they did before and after completing three tasks. They will also do some activities that look at memory and IQ. Your child will be compensated $20 for their time. If you are interested in participating or learning more about the study please call 613-533-2894 or email asd@queensu.ca. Post until July 2017
  • NEW! Participants needed! Tyndale University College & Seminary: Every year the estimated rates of autism increase. It is imperative that both the children and parents are able to receive the support they need to promote good mental health for all family members. If you have a child with an autism spectrum disorder, we invite you to participate in our research this year. Below is a link to an online survey. Participants in this survey will remain anonymous. The survey includes a variety of questionnaires regarding stress, anxiety, social supports, religion, and personality. These questionnaires will help us identify needs specific to families affected by autism. Please be aware that this survey will take some time to complete (approx. 40 min).If you would like to participate in our research, please go to www.tyndale.ca/trace where the survey link is at the bottom of the page. The survey will be open until September 30, 2016. This survey is a part of the research conducted by Tyndale Research in Autism and Community Education (TRACE). If you have any questions or concerns, please call or email Dr. Amanda Azarbehi at 416-226-6620 Ext. 2174 or aazarbehi@tyndale.ca.
  • NEW! Participants needed! McMaster University Study:The Department of Psychology at McMaster University is actively recruiting participants for a study examining repetitive behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). If you have a formal diagnosis of ASD (including autism, Asperger's, PDD, PDD-NOS), are able to read, and between the ages of 16 - 35 years, you may qualify to participate. The study involves MRI scanning and is completed at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton - Charlton Campus. The study takes 2 hours to complete and pays $25.00. Parking will be reimbursed. Please contact Jenna Traynor at: traynoj@mcmaster.ca or 289-682-0470 for more information. Post until June 30, 2017
  • NEW! Participants needed! University of Victoria Study: Abbi Graves from the Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria is actively recruiting parent participants for a study examining parenting experiences and behaviours in families with a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The study has been approved by the University of Victoria Research Ethics Board (Protocol Number: BC15-381). If you have two children between the age of 16 months and 10 years (a child with ASD and a younger sibling), you may qualify to participate. The study can be completed entirely on-line and will take approximately 20-25 minutes, there is no child participation required. Prizes available! Please contact Abbi at: argraves@uvic.ca, or see the attached flyer or their website: https://web.uvic.ca/~cdlab/?q=ParentingExperiences for more information. Post until December 31, 2016
  • NEW! Brock University: Does your child with ASD wander from you in public places? Are you concerned about your child’s safety? We would like to help! As a caregiver of a child with ASD, you will receive behavioural skills training from a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) so that you can teach your child how to seek help if separated from you in a public place. The research will take place in your home and in local stores. The total time commitment is approximately 8-10 hours across separate days that will be scheduled at your convenience. This research is conducted under the supervision of Dr. Kendra Thomson, BCBA-D. For contact information, please see poster: https://brocku.ca/webfm_send/42359
  • NEW! Participants needed! Researchers at Holland Bloorview's Autism Research Centre: Are you between 18-45 years of age? We are currently conducting clinical trials to investigate whether Intranasal Oxytocin helps to improve symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, specifically social functioning and repetitive behaviours. To learn more about this study, please contact: Rianne Hastie Adams at Holland Bloorview 416-425-6220 ext. 6515, or via email to rhastieadams@hollandbloorview.ca.
  • NEW! York University: Seeking parent input into experiences of support: We are conducting research to understand the social support parents of children with ASD receive. Any parent of a school-aged child (5-18 years old) with a diagnosis of an ASD is invited to participate in this study, done under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Weiss at York University. The online questionnaire takes about 30 minutes to complete. Parents will also be invited to complete shorter follow-up questionnaires 6 and 12 months later. As thanks, parents will be entered in a raffle for ten $50 gift certificates. To access the survey, click here. If you have any questions or would prefer a paper copy of the survey, please contact Suzanne Robinson at: srobinso@yorku.ca or 416-736-2100 ext. 44032. Our lab website is: www.ddmh.lab.yorku.ca.
  • NEW! York University Study: Young Adult with Developmental Disability (YADD) Study: The research team consists of Dr. Nazilla Khanlou (York University), Ms. Gail Jones (Kerry’s Place Autism Services), and Dr. Karen Yoshida (University of Toronto). The study is funded by the Ministry of Community Social Services (Developmental Services Research Grant Fund). The study focuses on the potential barriers and positive solutions for accessing social funding for young adults with developmental disabilities and their family caregivers (Canadian-born and immigrant).
    We are looking for study participants in the following categories: (1) Young adults with developmental disabilities between the ages 19 and 29 years; (2) Caregivers (mothers, fathers and other family caregivers or guardians), and; (3) Service providers.
    If you have any questions or if you would like to participate in the study, please contact Fatma Aidarus at aidar874@yorku.ca The interview would take about 90 minutes long. Recruitment starts January 2016.
  • NEW! York University Study: The purpose of this study is to better understand the health and medication use of youth with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study will collect information on issues such as rates of medication use, side-effects, physician care, and parent knowledge and concern regarding medication use. Information from this study may be used to provide information and support for physicians and parents caring for children with ASD who are currently using medication. In the long-term, information from this study has the potential to improve the health outcomes of youth with ASD. We are seeking parents of children between the ages of 2 and 19 with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder to participate in an ONLINE SURVEY. The survey should take 15-20 minutes to complete. If you have any questions about the study please contact Busi Ncube at yorkmedsstudy@gmail.com. If you would like to participate in the study please follow the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2LRD3V9
  • McMaster University - Childhood Autism Social Skills Assessment (CASSA) Study, Principal Investigator: Ellis Freedman, Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Geoff Hall
    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is generally assessed and diagnosed using interviews or observation-type assessments. These types of assessments, however, fail to directly measure the individual’s skill level and aptitude in different areas of impairment. The purpose of this study is to develop a computerized assessment for ASD. The goal is to directly measure social/cognitive skills by collecting descriptive and experimental evidence for a range of potential tasks to be included in the performance based assessment currently under development. We are looking for children and adolescents between 5 and 25 years of age. We are looking for participants both with and without a diagnosis of ASD. Parking and prices provided for participating.
    How it works. If you and your family decide to participate, you’ll come visit us at McMaster University once or twice to participate in our computer based assessment for 1-2 hours. When you arrive at McMaster University, you will be met at the front door of the psychology building. You will get to visit our laboratory where we will talk a bit about the study and then you will get to participate in our computerized games. The games will take from a half hour to 2 hours. When you are done, we will talk a little about how you liked the games and you will get to pick a prize! For more information, please contact Ellis Freedman by email (freedmed@mcmaster.ca).
  • St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton Have you been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD, autism, PDD-NOS, or Asperger’s syndrome)? Are you between 18-45 years of age?
    We are currently conducting clinical trials to investigate whether Intranasal Oxytocin helps to improve symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, specifically social functioning and repetitive behaviours.
    To learn more about this study, please contact: Iulia Patriciu at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton 905-522-1155 ext. 39774, or via email ipatrici@mcmaster.ca.
    Post until December 20, 2016
  • Western University and London Health Sciences Centre - A Pilot Study of Riluzole vs. Placebo in the Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
    Are you the parent of a child or teen between the ages of 6 and 17 with autism? If so, your child may qualify for a research study of a new treatment at Western University and London Health Sciences Centre. Doctors there are studying the effects of a medication called riluzole on symptoms in children and teens with autism.
    For more information about this study, please call (519) 685-8427 or email uwoautism@gmail.com. That’s (519) 685-8427 or uwoautism@gmail.com.
  • McMaster University Currently there are no medications approved to treat the core deficits of autism (social skills, repetitive behaviours). McMaster University/McMaster Children’s Hospital is conducting a research study to investigate whether the drug Riluzole may be helpful with these symptoms. Riluzole is a drug that is already Health Canada & FDA approved for treating adults with a neurological disorder.
    Why is Riluzole being studied as a treatment for ASD? The human brain is never quiet: every region constantly fires electrical signals. Some signals are loud and clear and others are muffled murmurs. In autism, the background murmurs are hard to tune out and the brain becomes noisy, making it difficult to receive clear signals. Its like trying to have a private conversation in a crowded room, some words get lost and the message is hard to understand.
    Who can participate? Children aged 6-17 diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, Autism, PDD-NOS, or Asperger’s Syndrome) may be eligible. You do not have to reside within the hospital’s catchment area in order to participate. Expenses related to participation (e.g. parking, cost of drug) will be paid for by the study. Participants will also receive compensation for their time as a token of appreciation.
    How do I know if this trial would be a good fit for my child? Decisions about medication always require careful consideration. Dr. Bennett will meet with you at the beginning to provide information and discuss whether this study is right for you and your child.
    How do I learn more? To learn more, or to participate, please contact Dr. Teresa Bennett’s Research office at 905-521-2100 extension 74906.
  • University of Windsor Study: Young adults (age 17-25 years old) who have a sibling with a developmental disability (ie. ASD, autism, PDD-NOS, Global Developmental Delay, etc.) are invited to participate in an online study at the University of Windsor. The purpose of the study is to explore young adults’ perceptions about their role towards their sibling(s) and parents, as well as examining their response and management of stress and their emotional functioning. The study takes approximately 30-45 minutes to complete online. All participants will be offered a $5 electronic gift card to Amazon, as a token of appreciation for their time. If you or anyone you know would be interested in learning more about the study, please contact Aranda Wingsiong for more information at: Phone: 519-253-3000 x 4716 or by Email : wingsio@uwindsor.ca
  • University of Victoria Parents, do you have a children with and without ASD between the ages of 10 and 17 years? Would you like to participate in a research study looking at how children and teenagers use the Internet?
    We are looking for children and teenagers, who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, and children and teenagers who do not have a diagnosis of any kind, to participate in an online study about their online behaviours. We are doing this study so that we can learn about the experiences of children and teenagers with technology (e.g., the Internet and cell phones), bullying, and cyberbullying. With permission from a parent, you will complete an online questionnaire that takes about 30-90 minutes to complete. We also ask that your parents answer some questions. You will be eligible to win a $50 Amazon gift card for participating!

    To complete the study, please
    click here.. No login is required. Thank you for taking the time to consider participation in this study.
  • University of Toronto Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education is recruiting high functioning children and adolescents with ASD for two studies investigating how children and adolescents with autism understand the bodies and actions of themselves and others. These studies will take place at the University of Toronto's Athletic Centre and the time commitment is one 60-90 minute session. The process involves completing a non-verbal IQ test and 2 30 minute experiments involving a button pressing task and interaction with a touch screen monitor. Participants are compensated $20 for their time and any additional parking or public transportation costs up to $10. Participants must be able to comprehend verbal instructions and communicate with experimenters. Additionally, participants should have normal or corrected to normal vision (glasses/contacts are permitted but participants must not be colour blind), be right handed and not have any additional neurological disorders involving the motor or cognitive systems. If participants are interested they should contact Sandra Pacione or Emma Yoxon at 1-416-978-6109 or at action.attention.lab@utoronto.ca. Thank You!
  • McGill University: New online survey available examining the self-determination of young Canadian adults with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Keeley White, a doctoral student in the School/Applied Child Psychology program at McGill University along with her supervisor Dr. Tara Flanagan, are conducting this study across Canada.
    We are currently looking for young adults (18-30 years) who live in Canada, have an official diagnosis of or identify as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder (e.g., Aspergers, PDD-NOS) and do not have an intellectual disability (i.e., high functioning) to participate in an exciting new research study.
    Self-determined behaviour refers to behaviour that is caused or determined by the person as opposed to being caused by someone or something else (e.g., choice-making, decision making, problem solving, and goal setting and attainment). These behaviours are particularly important in adulthood and in helping individuals successfully complete high school; gain employment, postsecondary education, independent living; participate in the community; and experience personal and social relationships.
    We want to better understand self-determination and find out what matters most! Your voice is important and we need to hear from you!
    If you decide to participate, you will be asked to complete an anonymous online survey that will take approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete. As a small token of appreciation, the researcher is offering a $15 gift certificate to participants who complete the full survey.
    If you would like to participate in this study, please
    click here to access the McGill Self-determination in young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (SD in ASD) Survey to complete the online survey.
    For more information, contact Keeley White at mcgillsdinasd@gmail.com
  • Wilfred Laurier University: Researchers at at Wilfred Laurier University are looking for people diagnosed with an ASD between the ages of 16 and 60 to help them investigate speech production. See the flier for more details.
  • York University Study: Are women with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families receiving the services and supports they need? Do their service experiences differ from men with ASD and/or typically developing women? Researchers in the Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Lab at York University are interested in learning more about the service experiences of women with ASD and their families. We are currently looking for women with ASD (18 years of age or older) and their families to participate in focus groups (i.e., small discussion groups) at York University (exact time and location to be determined). Participation is expected to take approximately 1.5 hours. All participants will receive a $50 gift certificate. For more information, please contact Ami Tint by email (amitint at yorku.ca) or phone (416 736-2100 ext. 44032)
  • Sick Kids Study: Participants with ASD (aged 8-13 yrs) are needed to take part in research studies investigating brain function during social cognitive tasks. Volunteers will participate in neuropsychological and neuroimaging testing. Participants will receive pictures of their brain and compensation for their travel expenses and their time. For more information, please contact brain.study@sickkids.ca. Please see the poster for more details.
  • BRAIN STIMULATION at CAMH: Researchers at CAMH are looking for individuals between the ages of 16- 25 with high functioning autism spectrum disorder to take part in a study to explore repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) as a potential treatment for executive function (thinking) problems. If you have a diagnosis of high functioning autism, an average or above average (<80) IQ, fluent in the English language, do not have a history of seizures or a first degree relative with epilepsy and do not have a history of substance abuse/dependence in the last 6 months and experience executive function challenges (e.g., planning, organizing, completing tasks) please contact Katharine Coons at katharine.coons@camh.ca or at 416-535-8501 (ext. 30217) for further information. Participants will receive $10 dollars for every hour as well as TTC tokens. NOTE: If you are 12-15 or 25-30 years old and have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder you may be able to participate in part of this study (brain imaging and thinking tests)
  • Researchers at Holland Bloorview's Autism Research Centre: Are you between 18-45 years of age? We are currently conducting clinical trials to investigate whether Intranasal Oxytocin helps to improve symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, specifically social functioning and repetitive behaviours. To learn more about this study, please contact: Rianne Hastie Adams at Holland Bloorview 416-425-6220 ext. 6515, or via email to rhastieadams@hollandbloorview.ca

Research Committee
Autism Ontario strongly supports research in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Our Research Committee provides direction to the organization by identifying priority areas and advising where our support and funds should be directed. A large component of the funding we provide goes to research scholarships, which encourage students to pursue a career in the field, and particularly in the area of ASD research.  

Autism Ontario's Research Committee, comprised of researchers and community leaders in the Autism field, are currently the following:
  • Anita Acheson
  • Dr. James Bebko (chair)
  • Laura Cavanagh
  • Dr. Mary Konstantareas
  • Aliya Rahim
  • Dr. Glenn Rampton
  • Margaret Spoelstra
The Supplementary Resource Group serves as a resource to the Research Committee and other groups of Autism Ontario. The Resource Group can consist of researchers, parents, community agency representatives, and others interested in reviewing scholarship applications and providing input to other Autism Ontario groups on an ad hoc basis.

Autism Ontario Research
Autism Ontario


Partners in Research
Autism Ontario actively supports organizations whose work focuses on research.













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