Research Participation Postings

This page lists current research participation opportunities that may be of interest to individuals or families. Participating in research can be rewarding in several ways, such as knowing the study you participate in will help other individuals or families with autism in the future. (If you're a researcher wishing to promote research participation opportunities with Autism Ontario, please visit our Guidelines for Researchers page to learn more.)

Please see the research participation opportunities below. 

The Social Meanings and Identities of Adults Diagnosed with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

The purpose of this study is to explore the social meanings and identities of adults diagnosed with “High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder” or “Asperger Syndrome.” The objective of this study is to explore how adults make sense of their self and identity in relation to their new diagnosis, as well as how they mediate their social and occupational relationships.

If you are 18 years or older and have been diagnosed during adulthood with “High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder” or “Asperger Syndrome,” we would be interested in hearing from you. In participating, we will ask you to take part in an interview that takes approximately 30-60 minutes to complete. The interview may be administered in person or alternatively through telephone, Skype, electronic chat, or email, at your convenience. Participants will receive a $100 gift card to amazon.ca in appreciation for their time. This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the Lakehead University Research Ethics Board.

If you are interested in participating in this study or have any questions, please contact: AutismStudy2019@gmail.com

Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorders (POND) Network

Is your child 21 years and younger and have a Neurodevelopmental Disorder (e.g., ASD, Intellectual Disability, Rett Syndrome, Fragile X, Down Syndrome, Anxiety Disorder, or any genetic mutation with a developmental phenotype)?

Or is your child typically developing and between the ages of 3-21 years? 

We are currently conducting new research studies across Ontario to understand how genes and biology affect the brain and behaviour in Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

We need your help!

Participation may include:

- Activities, interviews, & questions

- A blood sample for genetics analysis

- A brain scan (you can get pictures of your brain!)

- A medication trial to find new ways to help children who have ASD

Participants will be reimbursed for Parking/TTC fair and will receive a $20.00 gift card to Shoppers Drug Mart or Indigo/Chapters. I

f you are interested in Participating, you can contact Susan Day Fragiadakis (416-425-6220 ext. 6518 email: sfragiadakis@hollandbloorview.ca) or Dimitri Athanasopoulos (416-425-6220 ext. 3335 email:dathanasopoulos@hollandbloorview.ca) at Holland Bloorview for more information.

This study has been approved by the Holland Bloorview Research Ethics Board

ASD PlayDate: A collaborative approach to developing a mobile application

Help your kids have successful play dates!

We are currently looking for parents of children with ASD between 3 and 8 years of age who are interested in trying out ASD PlayDate and providing feedback about your experience. ASD PlayDate is a web application that we developed for parents of children with autism. It aims to help children with autism develop and improve their peer interaction skills. Designed by Ian Roth, Speech-Language Pathologist, and a team of engineering students under the supervision of Professor Jonathan Rose from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Toronto, ASD PlayDate has three main functions to help parents assist their children to improve their peer interaction skills:

1. To identify compatible peers in their neighbourhoods;

2. To plan activities for play dates that help the children interact;

3. To give parents the tips they need to help the children have fun and improve their peer interaction skills on a play date.

The feedback we receive will help improve ASD PlayDate for other children and their parents.

If you are interested in participating, please email Ian Roth at ianrothspeech@gmail.com or call him at 647.408.2180 to learn more and receive a consent form.

This study has been approved by U of T's Research Ethics Board.

Establishing collaborations to support inclusive participatory action research (IPAR) with youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Inclusive and cooperative research is important in developing interventions and services that are meaningful to the autism community. This project aims to develop a youth advisory group made of up individuals on the autism spectrum who are interested in shaping research, and service delivery in Southwestern Ontario.

  • Are you between the ages of 15-24 years?
  • Do you have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder?
  • Do you want to help shape autism research?

Please email Dr. Jessie Wilson at jhow3@uwo.ca or call (519) 661-2111 x88979 for more details, and to request a project information booklet.

This study has been approved by Research Ethics Western University Project ID: 114498

Exploring Online Gaming as a Communication Platform

This study will explore the influence of online gaming in strengthening communication skills for adults on the Autism Spectrum (ASD).  This study will have people with ASD express and contribute their ideas of what they would like to see in an online game and how they believe an online game can become a fundamental communication learning tool for people on the Autism spectrum. 

If you are over 19 with Autism and enjoy playing online games, I would be interested to hear from you.  Specifically, participation involves playing a commercial multiplayer online game and then completing an interview which should take only 15-30 minutes.  Time to play the online game will depend on how much time the participant chooses to play the online game.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact Gaylyne Archibald at gfarchibald@shaw.ca or (604) 556-1708.

This research has been approved by Athabasca University Research Ethics Board (#23267).

Inclusive Education Experiences of Speaking and Non-speaking Autistic Students

Are you an autistic student between the ages of 15 and 21 who has attended at least one year of high school in Canada? If so, we invite you to share your experiences by completing our short online survey found here: https://survey.ucalgary.ca/jfe/form/SV_ex4afkiLxnWhYRn        

Participants will be asked to answer 24 survey questions and 1-open ended question. Following completion of the survey, participants will be invited to voluntarily provide their email address, should they be interested in participating in a semi-structured email interview, which will be based on their survey responses. Participants who completed the survey can also voluntarily provide their email to enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

Please contact Chandra.lebenhagen@ucalgary.ca for more information.

The University of Calgary Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board has approved this study (REB19-0185)

Intervention for Early Developmental Concerns in Infants At-Risk for ASD

Do you have an infant (18 months of age or younger) and an older child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (or a close biological family member with ASD)? Or is your infant (under 18 months) having developmental concerns?  If so, we invite you to participate in our innovative parent training study which has the potential to impact your infant’s development and improve concerning behaviours.

In this study, the principal student investigator, Alicia Azzano, along with her co-supervisors, Dr. Rebecca Ward and Dr. Maurice Feldman, both Registered Psychologists and Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (who have over 40 years of experience in working with children with Autism), will work with you in person or online in a telehealth format in teaching your child developmental skills. Previous parents who have participated in this early intervention have found the evidence-based teaching strategies to be beneficial for improving their infant’s developmental skills.

For more information we invite you to contact the Principal Student Investigator, Alicia Azzano, at am11jo@brocku.ca or 905-688-5550 ext. 5121, or Principal Investigators, Dr. Maurice Feldman at mfeldman@brocku.ca or Dr. Rebecca Ward at drrebeccaward14@gmail.com.

This study has been reviewed and received ethics clearance through the Research Ethics Board at Brock University (18-050 - FELDMAN).

If your family does not fit this study or you are not interested in participating, we would greatly appreciate you sharing this information sheet with other parents you know who may be interested.

From Brock University