Call for Participants

How to have your research study posted here:

If you would like your Call for Participants posted, please submit the Submission request for to Research@autismcanada.org along with a copy of your ethics approval.


What are the self-reported school experiences of speaking and non-speaking autistic high school students in Canada?

This study seeks to explore the self-reported inclusive educational experiences of speaking and non-speaking autistic high school students in Canada. As such, this research will fill a gap in research and understanding on the self-reported experiences of autistic youth in Canadian schools and will help to inform inclusive education policy and practise in school jurisdictions. Autistic students will have the opportunity to share their unique perspectives through the use of an online survey, and if they wish respond to 2 follow-up email questions. 

Gabriela Alonso-Yanez (Supervisor), Chandra Lebenhagen (Student)

Who can participate:
Eligible participants must:
•Self-report having a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition, Asperger’s Syndrome or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified.
•Are between the ages of 15 and 21 years old.
•Have completed at least one year of high school in an inclusive setting in Canada.
•Speaking or non-speaking and have access to technology including a smartphone, tablet or a computer and the internet.

What’s involved:
•Participants will be asked to answer 24 survey questions and 1-open ended response.
•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 will be able to receive personalized support to answer the questions and can respond to questions at a time that is most convenient to them.

Participants can voluntarily provide their email to enter to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card.

Interested in participating:  If interested, please click here to complete the survey 

Survey will be open until November 30, 2019

Posted: September 2019

Examining language function in children with autism

In this study, we would like to find out more about how the brain works when children with and without autism listen to sounds, words, and sentences. We know that some children with autism may or may not have difficulties with some of these language tasks. We would like to understand what happens in the brain so that we can eventually find ways to help children with autism that have language difficulties. 

Dr. Elizabeth Pang (Supervisor), Lee Phan (Study Coordinator)

Who can participate:
We are looking for children ages 4 to 7 diagnosed with autism who do, or do not, have language difficulties.

What’s involved:
Your child will be doing some short talking and thinking activities. They may be asked to read words, answer questions, or point to pictures of words. We will be recording your child’s brain activity using EEG, which is a safe and non-invasive way of measuring how parts of your brain areas “talk” to each other. Your child will be wearing a stretchy cap that has sensors in it while they watch movie clips and listen to words and sentences. The length of the study will be about 3.5 hours.

We will cover your transportation costs and provide lunch. Compensation is a $25 gift card to Amazon or Indigo and a prize will be provided for your child.

Interested in participating:  If interested, please contact Garbo Lam at garbo.lam@sickkids.ca or at 416-813-7654 (x309131).

November 20th, 2019

Posted: September 2019

Parents Empowering Neurodiverse Kids – Strongest Families Neurodevelopmental Study

The purpose of this study is to test two versions of an online parenting program for parents of children diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disability who also experience disruptive behaviours. The “Parents Empowering Neurodiverse Kids” program consists of 11 learning modules, an online Parent-to-Parent support group and links to disability resource information. One version of the program has weekly telephone coaching; one version is self-guided (no coaching).

Patrick McGrath, IWK Health Centre
Lucyna Lach, McGill University

Who can participate:
Parents/caregivers of children aged 3-14 years diagnosed with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and living in Canada will be recruited into the study. Diagnoses may include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, Global Developmental Delay, Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, severe learning disability or any other diagnosis that influences how a child gets around, communicates their ideas, processes what they hear, or remembers things.

What’s involved:
Eligible parents are randomly placed into one of three study groups: 1) completing the coached program 2) completing the self-guided program or 3) receiving links to online information* about childhood disabilities. Parents answer questionnaires 3 times during the 10 month study period. *Parents assigned to the information group will receive access to the Self-Guided program and the online Parent-to-Parent support group at the end of their study participation.

Participants will receive $50 (gift card or cheque) each time they complete the online questionnaires (up to $150).

Interested in participating: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about this study, please email sf.neuro.study@iwk.nshealth.ca  or visit www.crfh.ca/neuro.  Apply to the study: www.myStudies.ca/neuro

November 2020

Posted: July 2019

NK1 Antagonists for Pathological Aggression: A Protocol for the Aprepitant for Harmful, Impulsive, and Self-/Aggressive Behavior (AHIMSA-1) Trial

Summary: AHIMSA-1 is a study investigating the benefit of a medication called aprepitant in reducing the frequency and intensity of aggression. Aprepitant is a FDA and Health Canada approved medication that blocks the action of NK1 receptors in the brain. These receptors have been found to mediate aggression. Preliminary results have yielded marked reduction of aggression in participants with Autism Spectrum Disorder, without the usual side-effects seen with anti-psychotics use. According to large clinical trials, aprepitant has no statistically significant side-effects.

Researchers: Jack Sheen, Dr. Jonathan Downar

Who can participate: Participants with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and frequent outbursts of aggression. Between the ages of 12-65 years.

What’s involved: Four study visits to Toronto Western Hospital, each around 1 to 1.5 hours in length. Study medication dosage is aprepitant 125mg twice a day.

Compensation:$160 upon completion of the study

Interested in participating: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about this study, please email jack.sheen@uhn.ca

Posted: July 2019

How People with ASD Experience and Understand Online Gaming as a Communication Learning Platform

Summary: The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of online gaming on strengthening communication skills for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study will have people with ASD express and contribute their ideas of what they would like in an online game and how they believe an online game can be utilized to become a fundamental communication learning tool for people on the autism spectrum.

Researchers: Gaylyne Archibald (Athabasca University).

Who can participate:High functioning adults (aged 19+) within autism spectrum (ASD) who would like to play a commercial online video game and then be able to make their own decisions about the online game.

What’s involved: Participation involves playing a commercial multiplayer online game and then completing an interview via Skype which should take 15-30 minutes. All participation is completely voluntary. Time to play the online game will depend on how much time the participant chooses to play the online game.  

Interested in participating: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about this study, please email the head researcher, Gaylyne Archibald at email gfarchibald@shaw.ca.

Survey closes: Recruitment will be ongoing until 5-10 participants are identified.

Posted: May 2019

Technokids: Exploring Daily Electronic Media Use of Children With and Without Autism.

Summary:Researchers at the University of Windsor are interested in learning about your child’s electronic/digital media activities like watching Netflix or surfing the Internet and their use of different media devices like computers and smartphones in an online survey. Patterns of media use observed between children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and children without any mental health diagnoses will be examined to understand how their electronic media use might be similar or different.

Researchers: Eric Gilliland (Master’s Candidate), Dr. Kimberley Babb (Supervisor) University of Windsor

Who can participate:Parents or caregivers of one or more 4- to 11-year-old children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder who have used electronic media within the last 30 days are eligible to participate.

What’s involved:This online survey will take approximately 45 to 60 minutes to complete. If you choose to participate in this study, you will be presented with online questionnaires that will ask you about: 1) Background information on yourself, your family, and your child; 2) Your child’s typical behaviours and degree of independence; 3) Your child’s electronic media use and daily media activities; and 4) Your strategies for monitoring and controlling your child’s media use.

Interested in participating: If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Eric Gilliland through e-mail at technokidstudy@gmail.com to recieve the link to the online study.

Posted: May 2019

Sleep Quality in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Summary: Are you a parent of a child 4-10 years of age with Autism Spectrum Disorder? Has it been at least 1 year since your child received his/her Autism diagnosis from a physician/pediatrician? Tell us about your sleep! It is common for children with autism to experience sleep disturbances greater than children who are typically developing. Parents of children with autism, like yourself, may experience disturbances in your and your child’s sleep, which may impact aspects of your health and your experience in providing care for your child. Consider participating in our study!

Researchers: Samantha Micsinszki, Pamela Green, Dr. Marilyn Ballantyne, Dr. Kristin Cleverley, & Dr. Robyn Stremler.

Who can participate:Adults on the Autism Spectrum currently enrolled in a university program and who would like to participate in research.

What’s involved: You will be asked to complete an online survey that will take about 60 minutes. The survey asks questions about: you and your family, your child’s autism severity and behaviours, you and your child’s sleep, your health, including stress and depression, and your coping and support networks. If you are interested in participating in this study, you can participate directly via: https://is.gd/parentsleepstudy. Participants may choose to enter into a draw to win one of ten $100 e-gift cards. 

Interested in participating:  If you have additional questions, please contact Samantha at parentsleepstudy@hollandbloorview.ca with your interest, and she will get back to your shortly. Contacting us does not obligate you to participate in this study. Please note, email is neither confidential nor secure and users accept this risk by agreeing to communicate via email.

Posted: January 2019

A Career Developmental Perspective on Autism Spectrum Disorder

Summary: The study aims to understand the career trajectory of individuals on the autism spectrum who are enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program.

Researchers: Francesca Dansereau PhD (candidate).

Who can participate:Adults on the Autism Spectrum currently enrolled in a university program and who would like to participate in research.

What’s involved:This study takes between 1 – 1.5 hours to complete. You will be interviewed at McGill university’s research lab where you will be asked questions regarding your career trajectory. Skype, FaceTime and alternative communication methods are always available. Each participant will be compensated 10$ for their time. 

Interested in participating: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about the study, please email head researcher Francesca Dansereau at email fpdansereau@outlook.com.

Posted: January 2019

Dietary Patterns and Supplement Use in Paediatric Autism

Summary: The study aims to fill gaps in the literature regarding the misinformation and health risks associated with supplement use in paediatric autism. Our research team is looking to recruit children between the ages of 4 and 18 years and their parents to complete a survey about their perceptions and use of dietary supplements.

Researchers: Dr. Jane Shearer and Dr. William (Ben) Gibbard.

Who can participate: The population studied will include children between 4 and 18 years of age who have been formally diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, regardless of previous or current supplementation use. 

What’s involved: Children with a formal diagnosis of autism between the ages of 4 and 18 years and their parents will be asked to complete a survey about their perceptions of supplements. A consent form is provided in the link: https://tinyurl.com/ycvgvcf6. Participants will be electronically sent a $10 Chapter’s gift card.

Interested in participating: If you are interested in participating or have any questions about the study, please email the lead researcher, Contact Melanie Trudeau, mstrudea@ucalgary.ca if you have any questions.

Survey closes:  Recruitment will be on going until 100 responses are collected.

Posted: January 2019

Comprehensive Characterization of the Social-Behavioural Phenotypes of Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)

Summary: NF1 is a genetic condition which has a high co-occuring rate with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We are interested in exploring the similarities and differences between children with NF1 and children with ASD.

Researchers: Dr. Katia Sinopoli, Dr. Patricia Parkin, Dr. Margot Taylor, Dr. Anne Wheeler, Dr. Elysa Widjaja, Dr. Russell Schachar, Dr. Lisa Strug, Ms. Andrea Shugar.

Who can participate: Healthy children and adolescents ages 9-15 with ASD and no other medical diagnoses.

What’s involved: Participation involves a full-day visit to the Hospital for Sick Children. This visit includes approximately 4-5 hours of neuropsychological testing for the child, a one-hour MRI, and two hours of parent testing that will occur at the same time as the child is being tested.

Interested in participating: To learn more and participate, please contact Research Coordinator, Stephanie Azari, at stephanie.azari@sickkids.ca or (416)-813-7654 ext. 204302. Participants will receive a parking voucher, a $25 meal voucher for the Sick Kids cafeteria, a movie ticket and a certificate for volunteer hours.

Posted: June 2018



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