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.) The text of each posting is presented as it was submitted by the researcher.

Please see the research participation opportunities below. 

PECS®perts! 2022: An Augmentative and Alternative Communication Study

Is your child:
• Between 2 – 8 years old?
• At risk/diagnosed with a developmental disability (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability)?
• Significantly delayed in his/her communication? (example, not speaking or using only a few words)

The Picture Exchange Communication System® (PECS®) is designed to teach functional communication skills and is commonly used among children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities. Research shows that PECS® is associated with improvements in communication, social-communicative behaviour, and challenging behaviour. But not a lot is known about PECS® use in community settings and how best to train parents and professionals to teach PECS®. This study is designed to explore the use of PECS® within a community setting. Parents who participate in this study will be expected to attend a two-day virtual PECS® training and participate in four weeks of training, including one session/week virtual coaching and one session per week coaching with your child (either face-to-face or online). Parents will be asked to attend a total of two sessions a week.

If you are interested in learning more about the study, please contact the recruitment coordinator: Hannah Floyd at hf22rd@brocku.ca.

PECSperts! 2022 Parent Poster
Social Processes Initiative in Neurobiology of Autism-spectrum and Schizophrenia-spectrum Disorders (SPIN-ASD)

Who can participate?
Individuals 16-35 years old with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis, who have not been diagnosed with intellectual disability.

What is the study about?
We are interested in understanding more about how the brain works in ASD, and how brain properties (e.g. structure, function) relate to behaviour. This is an imaging study, which means if you decide to participate you will have a brain scan, and we will also ask you to complete some assessments in person. Our study team is interested in better understanding the relationships between the brain and behaviour in people who have a diagnosis of ASD. We hope this knowledge informs treatment development. Your participation would go a long way to helping us understand more about ASD and mental health.

What do I have to do and how much time would it take?
If you decide to participate, you would take part in screening and clinical assessments. They involve things like demographic questions, a urine sample, and some social thinking and decision making tests. You would also complete an MRI brain image. Completing all of the components of this study would take 3-4 days

Would I be compensated for my time?
You would be compensated for your time and efforts in cash after completing all of the components of this study. If you decide to withdraw before the study end, you would be paid for the study visits you participated in.

Who do I contact if I have questions or I want to participate in the study?
The Study Investigator is Dr. Stephanie Ameis. If you have any questions about the study or would like to participate, please contact our Research Analyst at: Enea Koxhioni, 416-535-8501 ext. 39140, email: enea.koxhioni@camh.ca.

Social Processes Initiative in Neurobiology of Autism-spectrum and Schizophrenia-spectrum Disorders (SPIN-ASD)
Experiences of Peer Interaction Amongst Autistic 2SLGBTQ+ Youth in Secondary Institutions

What is the purpose of the study?

The research aim is to understand the ways in which autistic 2SLGBTQ+-identifying youth (16-19 years old) interactions with peers may have shaped how they view themselves, how their identities are experienced in secondary institutions, and determine sources of resiliency and supports which help facilitate positive relationships for 2SLGBTQ+ youth.

Who can participate?

Youth are eligible if they are ages 16-19 from the autism community, they also identify as 2SLGBTQ+ and have been in a secondary institution in Canada since grade 10 (this can include Indigenous, Canadian, or undocumented youth).

What’s involved?

One interview (on Zoom or Microsoft Teams) per participant, which should take approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. Participants will also be given the option to contribute to member reflections, which is essentially allowing them to view and comment on categories/quotes/themes that have been generated during data analysis. Member reflections can be done either by providing a written email response, or by attending a group meeting on Zoom.

What is the recruitment period?

August – December 31, 2022

Will I be compensated?

By participating in this research, each participant will receive one $25 Amazon gift card.

Who is conducting this study?

This research is being conducted through Wilfrid Laurier University and has been approved by the Laurier Research Ethics Board (REB#8262).

Who do I contact to get involved?

If you are interested in this study or have any questions, please contact Brianna by email: come7440@mylaurier.ca.

Study Poster Experiences of Peer Interaction Amongst Autistic 2SLGBTQ+ Youth in Secondary Institutions

 

McGill University – Online Intervention Study For Non-Speaking Autistic Children + Caregivers

Goal:

To test the effectiveness of a non-spoken communication intervention

Who?

Non-speaking autistic children (4-9 yrs) and their caregivers (who speak English)

What's Involved?

  • To participate you must have access to (1) a laptop or computer with a webcam (2) reliable high-speed internet (3) a video recording device (e.g., smartphone)
  • You must be willing to (1) participate in 2 video calls before intervention begins + 12 remote weekly intervention sessions (2) fill out questionnaires + submit two 5-minute videos before and after intervention

Compensation?

No monetary or other form of compensation will be offered for participating in this study.

If you are interested or have questions, please email:

Angela MacDonald-Prégent S-LP(C) BCBA, Doctoral Student, angela.macdonald@mail.mcgill.ca

Recruitment Period: August 15, 2022 – November 15, 2022 (or until all intervention slots are filled)

This study has been approved by the McGill Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Research Ethics Board (Info-Ed File Number: 20-10-017).

McGill University – Online Intervention Study For Non-Speaking Autistic Children + Caregivers

 

Holland Bloorview - Workplace Disclosure Tool Study

Codesigning and evaluating the usability of a workplace disclosure tool for Canadian youth and young adults on the autism spectrum

Are you a Canadian youth or young adult on the autism spectrum? Consider participating in Holland Bloorview’s latest study to help design and provide feedback on a workplace disability disclosure decision-aid guide and planning tool.

What is this study about?

We are looking for feedback on a prototype (early draft) of an online workplace disability decision-aid guide and planning tool. We want to know whether you found the tool useful, easy to use, liked or disliked it, and if anything needs to be added, changed, and/or removed.

Who can participate?

  • Autistic youth and young adults (age 15-29)
  • Is looking for paid work or has paid work experience
  • Able to access internet and a tech device
  • Able to communicate in English
  • Lives in Canada

What’s involved?

  • Reviewing the tool
  • Participating in one interactive online session (using Zoom and Slido platforms) to answer questions and provide feedback on the tool (~2 hours) with other youth and young adults on the autism spectrum

Participants will receive an e-gift-card of their choosing and can also receive volunteer hours as a token of appreciation for participating.

You can learn more about the study at this link: https://redcap.link/codesignusability-readonlyICF

If you are interested in participating in this study or have additional questions, please contact Vanessa Tomas at vtomas@hollandbloorview.ca or 416-425-6220 ext. 3091.

Principal investigator: Dr. Sally Lindsay

University of Toronto: Social Stimuli on Physiological Reactivity and Cognitive Performance

We are recruiting participants for a study about how social stimuli may influence cognitive performance and physiological reactivity (such as heart rate). This study is being conducted by Ms. Agnes Wong (PhD student, M.A., MOT, HKROT Part 1), and supervised by Prof. Earl Woodruff at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. This study has been approved by The University of Toronto Research Ethics Board

Aims:

  • Considering the frequent use of strategies for increasing eye contact in clinical practice, it is crucial to understand the physiological reactivity to social stimuli such as eye contact. The findings will bridge the significant knowledge gap and have important contributions to research and clinical practice
  • Targeted participants:
    • Aged 13 to 18, with or without autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
    • With estimated normal intelligence, and normal or corrected-to-normal vision

Methods:

  1. Online screening: English comprehension task (~15 minutes)
  2. Face-to-face experiment at OISE / location at the organization to be confirmed after ensuring the lighting and room availability: Digit span task (~30 minutes). Contactless Transdermal Optical Imaging (TOI) will be used to measure heart rate, basal stress index and blood pressure

Compensations:

  • $5 gift card for screening
  • $15 gift card for completing the experiment
  • A list of mental health services information sheet
    • A talk related to ASD and stress for parents (topic to be confirmed and adjusted in collaboration with the organization)

For any queries and application, please contact Ms. Agnes Wong at skagnes.wong@utoronto.ca.

High School Transition Study

Parents of youth with autism or an intellectual disability wanted for online survey (20-30 minutes)

We are interested in your child's experiences as they pre pa re to transition out of high school. 

To participate, your child must: 

  • Have autism (autism, Asperger's, PDD-NOS) and/or an intellectual disability (developmental delay/ disability)
  • Be enrolled in high school (age 14 - 21)
  • Live in Canada

Compensation

  • Be entered to win a $25.00 CAD Amazon gift card (24 available)

For more information, email unbtransitionstudy@outlook.com.

This study is being conducted by PhD student, Lindsey McCullough, at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, Canada. 

High School Transition Study poster
Pilot Evaluation of a Workplace Disclosure Tool for Canadian Youth and Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum

Are you a Canadian youth or young adult on the autism spectrum? Consider participating in Holland Bloorview’s latest study to evaluate an online workplace disclosure decision-aid tool.

What is this study about?

We are looking for feedback on an online, workplace, autism disclosure decision-aid tool. We want to assess the usability, feasibility, and acceptability of the online tool and if it supports your self-determination and decision-making skills.

Who can participate?

  • Autistic youth and young adults (age 15-29)
  • Is looking for paid work or has paid work experience
  • Able to access internet and a tech device
  • Able to communicate in English
  • Lives in Canada

What’s involved?

  • Completing two online surveys at two different time points:
    • Survey 1 (~10-15 minutes) completed before reviewing the tool
    • Survey 2 (~15-20 minutes) completed after reviewing the tool
  • Reviewing/interacting with the online tool (~1 hour)

Participants will receive an e-gift-card of their choosing and can also receive volunteer hours as a token of appreciation for participating.

You can learn more about the study at this link: https://redcap.link/decisionaidtool-pilotstudy

If you are interested in participating in this study or have additional questions, please contact Vanessa Tomas at vtomas@hollandbloorview.ca or 416-425-6220 ext. 3091.

Principal investigator: Dr. Sally Lindsay

Virtual Mindfulness for Autistic Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

A research study to understand impact of being in a mindfulness group on levels of distress, mindfulness, and connectedness in autistic adults compared to being on a waitlist.

Who is eligible:

  • Autistic adults 18 years or older
  • Proficient in English and able to complete questionnaires
  • Living in Canada
  • Have internet access and a computer or phone

What would you have to do?

  • Attend a 6-week virtual mindfulness course for autistic adults
  • Your participation may be up to 30 weeks
  • Fill out questionnaires
  • Compensation provided for participating

If you are interested, please complete this online Expression of Interest Form.

If you would like assistance by phone or WebEx, please contact us by email at hcardd@camh.ca or phone at 437-328-6761.

CAMH Flyer
Social Stimuli on Physiological Reactivity and Cognitive Performance

We are recruiting participants for a study about how social stimuli may influence cognitive performance and physiological reactivity (such as heart rate)

  • This study is being conducted by Ms. Agnes Wong (PhD student, M.A., MOT, HKROT Part 1), and supervised by Prof. Earl Woodruff at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto
  • This study has been approved by The University of Toronto Research Ethics Board
  • Aims:
    • Considering the frequent use of strategies for increasing eye contact in clinical practice, it is crucial to understand the physiological reactivity to social stimuli such as eye contact. The findings will bridge the significant knowledge gap and have important contributions to research and clinical practice
  • Targeted participants:
    • Aged 13 to 18, autistic or neurotypical
    • With estimated normal intelligence, and normal or corrected-to-normal vision
  • Methods:
    • Online screening: English comprehension task (~15 minutes)
    • Face-to-face experiment at OISE / location at the organization to be confirmed after ensuring the lighting and room availability: Digit span task (~30 minutes)
    • Contactless Transdermal Optical Imaging (TOI) will be used to measure heart rate, basal stress index and blood pressure
  • Compensations:
  • $5 gift card for screening
  • $15 gift card for completing the experiment
  • A list of mental health services information sheet
  • A talk related to autism and stress for parents (topic to be confirmed and adjusted in collaboration with the organization)

 

For any queries and application, please contact Ms. Agnes Wong at skagnes.wong@utoronto.ca.

Thank you very much for your interest! ☺

FAIR Study McMaster Children’s Hospital and McMaster University

What is the purpose of the study?
The Family Check-Up is a family-centered program that has been shown to help reduce emotional and behavioural problems in children and improve caregiver well-being. However, the Family Check-Up has never been tested in families with autistic children. The purpose of this study is to see if the Family Check-Up helps improve child and family well-being in families with an autistic child. This is the first time that the Family Check-Up is being offered in an autism program.

Who can participate?
Families with an autistic child 6-17 years old and challenging emotions and/or behaviours.

What is involved?
Families will be asked to take part in 5 study visits at McMaster Children’s Hospital over a one-year period.
The first, 6-month and 12-month visit involve completing questionnaires, doing simple activities with your child, and doing a brief interview about your child. These visits take about 2-3 hours.
The other two study visits are less than an hour and involve questionnaires and a brief interview.
After the first study visit, families will be randomly assigned to either receive the Family Check-Up right away or receive it in one year at the end of the study. Family Check-Up visits can be done in person at McMaster Children’s Hospital or virtually.

Will I be compensated to take part?
You will receive gift cards for each study visit that you complete. You will also be given a parking pass for your visits at McMaster Children’s Hospital so you don’t have to pay for parking.

Who can I contact to learn more?

If you’d like to learn more about the study, please contact the study coordinator, Julie Gross at grossj@mcmaster.ca or 905-525-9140 ex 27066.'

FAIR poster
Family Experiences and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Researchers at the University of Manitoba are looking for parents or caregivers of children with ASD and/or ADHD, ages 2-18

What is the Study About?

The purpose of this study is to learn about the strengths and parenting experiences of families with or without a child diagnosed with ASD and/or ADHD. In this study you will be asked to complete a survey on parenting, your family, your well-being, and your child’s development.

Why Participate?

By taking part in this study, your contribution will help to improve the lives of families and allow clinicians to more effectively provide parent-child support. You will also be entered to win one of ten $50 Amazon eGift Cards!

To Participate in this Study:

  • Click on this link to open a new browser: https://survey.pra.ca/S2/1/UM202223Reg/

  • This will lead you to a website where you will be asked to enter your email

  • An automatic email will be sent to you with the survey link

  • This will lead you to a survey that will take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete

If you are interested in participating in this research project and would like to learn more please email Dr. Jen Theule at jen.theule@umanitoba.ca or call 204-474-7417. Please feel free to share this information with anyone else you think might be interested! Recruitment is open until February 8, 2023.

COVID-19, Resilience, and Well-Being in Children with Disabilities - Youth

Are you a youth that identifies as having a disability? You can participate in our research study and share your experiences during the COVID 19 pandemic.

What is this study about?
The COVID 19 pandemic has changed people’s routine and presented unique challenges. We would like to learn from youth with disabilities about any challenges they faced and how they overcame them.

Who can participate?
We are looking for:

  • Youth between the ages of 12 to 21
  • Youth that identify as having a disability
  • Must understand and be able to communicate in English
  • Must have a stable internet connection

What’s involved

  • You will complete an interview and answer questions about your experience during the COVID 19 pandemic and how you overcame any challenges
  • The study is one visit that will take approximately 1 hour

Potential Benefits
We want to learn about the strategies and skills you have used to adjust to changes that came from the pandemic. This may provide other youth with the resources to thrive in similar situations

Potential Risks
Some participants may feel uncomfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings about certain topics. Participants may share whatever they are comfortable with.

Participants will receive a small token of appreciation to thank them for their time.

To ask questions or sign up, please contact Sonya Basarke at: thenovellab@hollandbloorview.ca.

recruitment flyer
COVID-19, Resilience, and Well-Being in Children with Disabilities - Caregivers

Are you a caregiver of youth with a disability?

You can participate in our research study and share your experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is this study about?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed people’s routine and presented unique challenges. We would like to learn from caregivers about any challenges they faced and how they overcame them.

Who can participate?

We are looking for

  • Caregivers of youth between the ages of 5to 18
  • Must consider themselves to be one of the primary caregivers of a youth with a disability
  • Must understand and be able to communicate in English
  • Must have a stable internet connection

What’s involved?

  • You will complete an interview and answer questions about your experience during the COVID-19 pandemic and how you overcame any challenges
  • The study is one visit that will take approximately 1 hour

Potential Benefits

We want to learn about the strategies and skills you have used to adjust to the changes and challenges that came from the pandemic. This may provide other families with the resources to thrive that are in similar situations

Potential Risks

Some participants may feel uncomfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings about certain topics. Participants may share whatever they are comfortable with

Participants will receive a small token of appreciation to thank them for their time.

To ask questions or sign up, please contact Sonya Basarke at: thenovellab@hollandbloorview.ca.

recruitment flyer
Parental Decision-Making in Autism

Exploring communication and information processes for parental informed decision-making in the context of autism diagnosis

What is the purpose of the study?
We aim to explore available information provided to parents in conventional healthcare settings after children’s autism diagnosis and parental perceptions of the information in relation to usage in treatment decision-making. Precisely, the goal is to assess the extent to which there is a gap in available information and the information used in decision-making and how parents cope with this gap.

Who can participate?
Parents/caregivers of autistic children diagnosed within a year. We aim to recruit a maximum of 10 participants. Participants will be selected on a first-come/first-serve basis.

What is involved?
Two 30 minutes unstructured interviews (T1 = 6 months post-diagnosis, T2 =9 months post-diagnosis). Interviews will take place during the day at a time convenient for participants between 8 am and 5 pm. Format: Online or In person (depending on Public Health recommendations at the time).

What is the recruitment period?
August 1st – December 31, 2022

Will I be compensated?
Each participant will receive one 40$ Tim Hortons gift card as a thank you for participating in the two interviews.

Who is conducting this study?
This research is being conducted through the University of Ottawa and has been approved by the University’s Office of Research Ethics and Integrity (REG#8008).

Who do I contact to get involved?
To participate, please contact the principal investigator Marie Dominique Antoine by email: md.antoine@uottawa.ca.

Preparing for the Transition to Adulthood Research Study - Autistic High School Students

Autistic high schoolers (Grade 9-12) wanted for online interview about their experience preparing to transition into adulthood.

This research is hosted through the University of New Brunswick. Participants are eligible if they are an autistic person in high school in Canada OR if they are a parent/caregiver of an autistic child in high school in Canada. Parents and children do not both have to participate to be eligible (i.e., a parent can participate if their child chooses not to and vice versa).

Participation will involve completing a semi-structured interview (~1hr) about the transition out of high school, including strengths already present and hopes for how the transition could look in an ideal world. Participants are eligible to be entered a draw for one of five $25 Visa gift card.

Participants interested in learning more can email jbest1@unb.ca for more information. Note that emailing does not oblige you to participate.

This project has been approved by the research ethics board at the university of New Brunswick and is on file REB# 2022-173.

Preparing for the Transition to Adulthood Research Study - Parents of an Autistic High School Student

Parents of autistic high schoolers (Grade 9-12) wanted for online interview about their child’s experience preparing to transition into adulthood.

This research is hosted through the University of New Brunswick. Participants are eligible if they are an autistic person in high school in Canada OR if they are a parent/caregiver of an autistic child in high school in Canada. Parents and children do not both have to participate to be eligible (i.e., a parent can participate if their child chooses not to and vice versa).

Participation will involve completing a semi-structured interview (~1hr) about the transition out of high school, including strengths already present and hopes for how the transition could look in an ideal world. Participants are eligible to be entered a draw for one of five $25 Visa gift card.

Participants interested in learning more can email jbest1@unb.ca for more information. Note that emailing does not oblige you to participate.

This project has been approved by the research ethics board at the university of New Brunswick and is on file REB# 2022-173.