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 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:

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 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.

A randomized placebo-controlled trial of arbaclofen vs. placebo in the treatment of children and adolescents with ASD

Have you/ your child been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder? Do you/ your child have social difficulties and/or repetitive behaviours?    Are you/ your child located near Toronto, Kingston, Hamilton or London, Ontario? You/ your child may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial of a medication called arbaclofen!

Who can participate: Children and teens between 5-17 years of age with a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD, autism, PDD-NOS, or Asperger’s syndrome)

What's involved: The trial will last a total of 18 weeks (4.5 months) and involves taking either arbaclofen or a placebo, as a meltaway tablet, 1-3 times per day for 18 weeks. You and your child will first be asked to come in for a screening session; through talking with you/ your child and completing some assessments, we will determine if you/ your child meets eligibility criteria.

Visits will occur at participating sites: Holland Bloorview, Queen’s University, McMaster University or Lawson Research Institute.  Visits will take place every 2-4 weeks while you/ your child are taking the drug or placebo. This study also has an optional continuation part, which means that all participants will be able to take arbaclofen at the end of the 18 weeks. The same tests and procedures will be followed that were followed during the main study.

The ultimate goal of this study is to find out if arbaclofen is helpful in improving social function. 

Participants will receive a small token of appreciation in the form of a $20.00 gift card to thank them for their time

Deadline: The study began in January 2019 and recruit for up to 18 months.

Interested in participating? If you / your child are interested in participating in this study or have additional questions, please contact the site closest to you and the study staff will get back to you shortly. 

Toronto: Leanne Ristic at 416-425-6220 ext. 6321 or

Kingston: Jennifer Lalonde at  613-548-4417 ext. 1111 or

Hamilton: Alessia Greco at  905-525-9140 ext. 21261 or

London: Ahsan Ahmad at 519-685-8500 ext. 74906 or