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Sex Education & Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder:Parent & Teacher Attitudes & Effectiveness

It is hypothesized that parents and teachers who interact with adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) will have more concerns and difficulties communicating with the individual about sex topics than parents and teachers with typically developing children. It is also hypothesized that parents will be more likely to cover in-depth topics about sex (e.g. relationships, sexual health and prevention, and general sexuality) while teachers will be likely to cover general topics about sex (e.g. privacy, sexual abuse prevention, puberty and hygiene, and basic relationships including family types and roles) with both typically developing students and students with ASD. The objective of the current study is to examine parent and teacher attitudes, and their effectiveness of communication, related to sex education with typically developing adolescents and adolescents with ASD.

Location: Online 

Parental understandings of sleep problems in their child with autism spectrum disorder
I am a senior lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at the University of Canterbury. Myself, Associate Professor Karyn France, Dr Amarie Carnett, and Dr Sarah Hansen are interested in gathering information pertaining to parents understandings of their child’s sleep problems.
We are surveying the parents of children who have a formal diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, and any type of sleep problem. If this is you, we would greatly appreciate you completing this 10-15 minute survey. The survey can be accessed by following this link:
All responses to this survey will be completely anonymous, and do not require you to include any identifying information. 

Location: Online 

School Readiness in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

This study aims to examine behavioral and neurophysiological markers of executive functioning abilities as predictors of academic achievement in children with ASD. The participation in the research will involve one day visit to our clinic. The children will be tested for early literacy and math skills and executive functioning. You would receive up to 100 dollars per visit for participating, and also receive a feedback session with a licensed psychologist if needed.

Location: New York 

Examining Stress and Arousal Across Pubertal Development in ASD

The purpose of this study is to examine how social and emotional functioning and stress is impacted by pubertal development in individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Your child is being asked to participate in this study either because he or she has autism or does not have autism, serving as a comparison participant. We will see how he/she responds to being evaluated by other people, including children of the same age. We will also see his/her biological responses to this social situations through salivary samples that will examine the hormones “cortisol” and “testosterone” and heart rate data collected from several sensors placed on the skin. We will also be examining daily fluctuations of salivary cortisol and salivary testosterone at various periods. The ultimate goal of this study is to help identify potential risk factors, treatment targets, and therapeutic strategies for developing children with ASD.

Location: Nashville, TN 

Project Echo Research Application
We are studying voice samples from adult patients who have autism. We would
like to know if a short and random sample of speech (up to 1 minute) is a reliable and accurate screening tool for adult autism.
Participation will involve completing a short survey and recording a sample of you speaking for a few minutes. The survey and recording can be done at a local clinic in the Seattle area or from home and sent in through email.
If the study is done from home, an email address and access to the internet is required. The entire survey and speech sample recording should take 5-10 minutes.
After the first survey is successfully done, a follow up will be sent two weeks later. The follow up surveys are shorter, including a symptom severity questionnaire and another recording of your voice.

Location: Online 

Parenting the Spectrum Study
The THRIVE lab at University of California, Irvine, has collaborated with the CARE Lab of Pomona College in Claremont, California and is running a program for parents of children with autism spectrum disorder between the ages of 3 to 7 years old.
The study is completed online, with the option (for participants living in Orange County) of conducting additional sessions in the home. During their involvement in the study, we will visit families in their home to complete a series of different surveys, a reflective activity and a few play tasks. Additionally, parents complete brief, online reflective activity on their own for three weeks. Mothers of typically developing children have reported finding the activity to be helpful in thinking
about positive, impactful moments in their everyday lives. Further, families will receive compensation for their participation.


Location: Online

Sensory Responses in Infants at Risk for ASD

The purpose of this study is to investigate how baby siblings of children with autism respond to sights, sounds, touch, and movement may help us understand early development and autism risk. Younger siblings will receive standardized developmental and language testing when they enter the study and at the follow-up visit. They will receive a psychological assessment for autism at the final visit, including a formal written report of testing results, recommendations and referrals, at no cost.

Location: Nashville, TN

SPARK: Simons (Foundation) Powering Autism Research for Knowledge

SPARK is on online autism study with the goal of speeding up research and advancing the understanding of autism. It is open to people of all ages with a professional diagnosis of autism living in the United States. SPARK will enable advances in two major ways. Having genetic samples from 50,000 families for scientists to analyze will enable far deeper insight into the genetic changes that contribute to autism. SPARK families will be available for a research match and to receive invitations from researchers to participate in other studies. SPARK gives back to families by providing monthly webinars on a variety of topics presented by clinicians and researchers as well as summary and individualized results.

Parents experience of their ASD child’s occupational engagement, while wearing a helmet for SIB
The purpose of this research is to investigate the parent’s experiences of their child wearing protective equipment. This is important because, given that the fundamental basis of occupational therapy is to enhance occupational participation, occupational therapists have the responsibility of improving function and independence, adaptive equipment can be used to achieve this (Ashburner, Rodger, Ziviani, & Hinder, 2014; Aiken, Fourt, Isabella, & Polatajko, 2011).
This research study may not have immediate benefit to the participant’s child, but will add to informing knowledge about the occupational habits of children with SIB who wear protective helmets and the experiences of parents using this intervention.This study could provide parents and caregivers with a feeling of empowerment to be seen as a legitimate source of knowledge within the field of ASD, and that their input can make a difference.

Location: St. Louis, MO/ Nationwide in the USA

Early Autism Risk Longitudinal Investigation (EARLI)

Location: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and California.

The EARLI Study aims to look at the causes of ASD from a biological and environmental perspective. The EARLI Study enrolls mothers of a child with an ASD at the start of a new pregnancy. The study follows mother and baby from early pregnancy until the new baby turns three years old collecting data in real time all along the way. Data is collected at clinic and home visits as well as at delivery. Families also complete questionnaires and assessments at home.

Structural and Functional MRI in Autism and Asperger’s Disorder

The purpose of this study is to find out how the brain understands language and processes emotions. Specifically, we are investigating the differences in these abilities between children and teens with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those that are typically developing through the use of MRI. We can see which brain areas are important for language and communication by having children perform tasks related to these abilities while taking pictures of their brain, and may show that in some children these regions do not work in the same way.

Location: UCLA 

Free Online Training in Pivotal Response Treatment

The Koegel Autism Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara is currently offering a free online training in Pivotal Response Treatment for families of young children with autism. This study will involve a 6-week online course to help parents improve their toddler's language and social skills.

Location: online 

Does the number of choices available affect the decision-making process for selecting autism treatments?

The purpose of this study is to determine how the number of choices presented affects decisions. Specifically, how it affects caregivers when they are attempting to choose autism treatments.

Location: online 

Free Online Training in Pivotal Response Treatment

The Koegel Autism Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara is currently offering a free online training in Pivotal Response Treatment for families of young children with autism. This study will involve a 6-week online course to help parents improve their toddler's language and social skills.

Location: Online 

Conversations with people with autism - a survey of partner perceptions
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are described as having unique
characteristics in communication and social interaction. Despite having high levels of language, many people with ASD still struggle with sustaining social interactions possibly due to the complexity of social messages. Typical conversations are characterised by a seamless to-and-fro exchange but this is often limited when one of the partners has ASD. These conversations may have a tendency to be dominated by one person or focussed on certain topics. Although these characteristics are widely documented, little is known about partner perceptions of these characteristics. The aim of the survey is to establish if the commonly described characteristics in communication with people with ASD are present during social conversation and if present, whether these characteristics are problematic for the conversation partner.

Location: Online survey 

Understanding Autism Service Preferences

We are looking for people with autism and their families to take an online survey about how you think and feel about different services you may have used.

Location:  Online Survey

Open-label study to investigate the pharmacokinetics and safety of tasimelteon in children and adolescents

The purpose of this study is to determine an age-appropriate dose and assess safety/tolerability of a single dose of an investigational drug for children and adolescents ages 3-17 years old. The investigational drug is currently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for another indication in adults.

Location: Baltimore, MD and Los Angeles, CA 

Quality of life of school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder: Factors that predict parents’ perspective

The proposed study will evaluate the quality of life of school-aged children with ASD as perceived by their parent. To address limitations of previous work, global and domain-specific quality of life, variation across domains, and variation in ratings by age and gender will be explored. Then, a bioecological model will be used to examine individual factors (i.e., ASD symptom severity, maladaptive behaviours, adaptive skills, and grit) and contextual factors (i.e., parent mental health, sibling type, school type, reciprocal friendship, and and leisure) expected to predict a higher quality of life. In addition, more complex relationships between individual and contextual factors and higher quality of life (i.e., mediation) will be examined.

Location: Online survey

Metacognitive Awareness in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The primary objective of this research project is to assess metacognitive awareness (or the ability to think about and monitor one’s own thoughts) in higher-functioning children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Location:  Hamilton, OH

UD Autism Lab fNIRS Study
Our study aims to examine differences in brain activity during various play/functional skills using non-invasive, fNIRS technology. A cap with LED lights is placed on the participant's head as they play/move to record their brain activity.

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