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Studies with Children and Teens

An Intervention for Parents and their Teens/Young Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger Syndrome

Are you feeling stressed out and looking for support? We are providing group therapy free of charge to adolescents and young adults with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder (HFASD)/Asperger Syndrome and their parents at York University. This intervention helps family use mindfulness meditation and cognitive therapy techniques to relate to each other in a new way. Research has shown that mindfulness helps improve attention and focus, as well as reduce stress and improve quality of life. We are conducting research to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention, and all participants will need to participate in the research in order to participate in the group therapy. We are currently looking for adolescents and young adults between ages 14-21 with HFASD/Asperger Syndrome and their parent(s) to participate in our study. Individuals with ASD must have at least average intelligence and verbal skills, and must be able to participate in a group with others with ASD and their parents.

If you would like more information about the intervention and the research, please contact Sandra Salem at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach intervention in treating children with ASD and limited food repertoire

Research Study at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
This is a study investigating whether SOS works in increasing the number of foods eaten by children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who eat less than 20 different foods in their entire food range. Children between the ages of 5 and 7 with ASD are welcome to participate in this 12 week (3 month) clinical trial intervention study. The study involves participating in a group program where children explore different foods in a play based setting once a week for 3 months, with a follow up visit 3 months later.

You and your child will first be asked to come in for a screening session; through talking with you and completing some questionnaires, we will determine if your child meets the eligibility criteria. If he/she does, then you will be placed in either an Intervention group to receive the SOS intervention or an Educaion group where parents will receive training on feeding strategies. For the SOS Intervention group, visits will occur once a week for 12 weeks. For the Education group, parents will participate in 3 teaching sessions over a 12 week period (3 visits).

For more information about this study and to see if you're eligible, please contact Adriana Munoz at 416.425.6220 x 3002 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The Parent-as-Therapist Study (PAT Study)

Research Study at Ryerson University
The Parent-as-Therapist Study (PAT Study): Exploring the Lived Experience of Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Dr. Nancy Walton, an associate professor/researcher at Ryerson University in Toronto is conducting a research study examining the experiences of parents who provide or have provided therapy to their child with autism spectrum disorder. These therapies may include occupational therapy, physiotherapy, behavioural therapy, speech therapy, etc. If you are a parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder who has been shown how to provide and have provided any kind of therapy to your child either now or within the past 5 years, you are eligible to participate.
Participation in the study will involve completing an online survey taking about 20 minutes of your time. This survey will ask you about your experiences and feelings about providing therapy to your child with autism spectrum disorder as well as a few questions about you and your child.
This study has been reviewed and approved by the Ryerson Research Ethics Board.
Please see the link below to access the consent form and the online survey:
If you have any questions regarding the study and/or are interested in participating in the study, please contact the researcher at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Voices of Youth

Click here to download the flyer.
A Project About Friendship And Important Relationships In Your Life
- Are you between 13 and 24 years old?
- Do you have an intellectual or developmental disability?
- Do you live in Toronto or Hamilton?
- Are willing to be video-taped/do you like making videos?
- Do you want to share your experiences of friends and other important people in your life, and activities you do in your community?
If yes, you could get involved in a research project! People who communicate in any way are invited to take part.
Interested? Please contact SHAUNA at 416 978-1257 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit our website at

Autism Research at York University

The Children’s Learning Projects Research Lab at York University is looking for participants! We are a research team led by Dr. James Bebko at York University. Our team is dedicated to the study of how children, adolescents, and adults learn about, process, and understand their world. Our research team investigates the language abilities and cognitive skills in typically developing children, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Intellectual Disabilities, Deafness/deafness and Attention Difficulties (ADHD/ADD).
We are looking for participants between the ages of 3 and 40 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder (including Asperger Syndrome).
We are also looking for participants with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder between the ages of 6 – 16 years. We have several ongoing studies, all of which take between 1 -2 hours.
Please Contact us: Children’s Learning Projects Lab
Phone: 416-650-8495 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

University of Toronto Study about how teenagers read fiction

Are you are parent of a teenager with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome? Would your son or daughter be interested in a study of how teenagers read fiction? The purpose of our research is to learn about the different ways in which children build up a mental picture of the story when they read fiction. It is important to understand how children interpret the kinds of texts they read in school literature classes. Yet little research to date has examined this, either for typically developing children or children with autism in inclusive classrooms. We would like to work with typically developing children aged 13 and older, and children of the same age who have been diagnosed with high functioning autism (HFA) or Asperger syndrome. Read More...

Test a social perception training computer game

Does your child aged 9-12 have a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism?
Do they struggle with accurately reading and responding to emotions when interacting with others?
If you answered YES – you may be interested in participating in a study that is testing a social perception training computer game.

  • A 30-minute computer game is completed for 2 weeks either at home or at Ryerson University
  • Training involves watching and interacting with videos of emotional facial expressions
  • 3 testing sessions will also take place at Ryerson University
  • For our first session, we will compare performance of children with autism to typically developing children on a variety of emotion-related tasks.
  • Throughout training, we will be comparing a treatment group and a non-treatment control group.
  • 40 eligible children will be assigned to a treatment group or a control group
  • We will be looking at gains children make in behaviour, emotion understanding and brain activity related to emotional understanding

Compensation for travel expenses will be provided, and children will be compensated with a gift card.
If you are interested, please contact:
Lucy McGarry, SMART lab, Ryerson University, 416-979-5000 ext. 4989.
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Government of Canada's study about government programs for persons with disabilities

Are you a person with a disability or the immediate family member of a person with a disability?
The Government of Canada is conducting a study about government programs for persons with disabilities and issues related to saving for the future.
If you or your immediate family member with a disability is in receipt of the federal Disability Tax Credit, you might be eligible for the study.
As a participant in this study, you will be asked to participate in:
1) a 2 hour focus group or
2) a 40 minute telephone interview.
In appreciation for your time, you will receive a $75 cash honorarium.
To volunteer for this study, please contact us at 1-866-770-4649 and leave a message with your name and telephone number. Someone will call you back to confirm your eligibility for the research.
This study is being conducted on behalf of the Government of Canada by Phoenix SPI, an independent Canadian research firm.
Your personal information will be treated in complete confidence.

Support and learning of handwashing

Attention: Child Participants Wanted! Boys and Girls 4-15 years of age

Being able to complete activities of daily living is an important part of a person’s independence. We have developed a computerized system that automatically prompts a child with autism spectrum disorder through the task of handwashing. It is hoped that the device will help increase independence in performing self-care activities through support and learning of handwashing, and eventually, other daily activities.

We are looking for boys and girls who would like to evaluate this new device. Interested participants will have the device installed in their home for a period of 4.5 months to try it out.
Study Time: 4.5 months / Compensation: $250
Your child qualifies for the study if s/he:

  • Is between the ages of 4-15;
  • Has an ASD clinical diagnosis;
  • Has difficulty independently completing self-care activities, specifically hand washing;
  • Has the ability to follow simple, one-step verbal instructions;
  • Does not exhibit severely aggressive behaviour.

CALL David or Jennifer at (416) 946-8573

Parent opinions on autism intervention requested

Washington State University is conducting research to discover what parents of children with autism think about a type of autism intervention called video modeling.

Video modeling is an autism intervention that uses video recordings and display equipment (e.g., television, computer monitors, iPads, smart phones, portable DVD players, etc.) to provide a visual model of a targeted behavior or skill.

We are currently conducting a survey to assess the knowledge and attitudes about this intervention. The survey consists of 31 questions and should take 10-20 minutes to complete. Responses will be kept confidential and only be used for academic research. If you are interested in completing the survey, please click here.
If you have any questions, please send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , you will receive a response within 48 hours.
Contact: Teresa Cardon, Ph.D, CCC-SLP, Amanda Smith-Treadwell, Washington State University
*This survey has been reviewed by Washington State University's Institutional Review Board, as study #11920.

Emotional Processing and Behavioural Control Study at theFunctional Neuroimaging Lab, SickKids

This study will investigate developmental patterns of brain activation during emotional processing and behavioural control in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). MEG (magnetoencephalography), a silent brain scanner, will be used to examine brain activation while participants perform a simple computer task.
We are looking for:
1. Children between 7-10 years old who have no known metal in their bodies with (a) normal school and medical histories OR (b) diagnosed with ASD.
2. Teenagers between 12-17 years old who have no known metal in their bodies with (a) normal school and medical histories OR (b) diagnosed with ASD.
All participants will undergo neuropsychological and neuroimaging testing and will receive a gift for participating, volunteer hours, as well as pictures of their brains.
Contact name: Rachel Leung Telephone: 416-813-7654 ext. 304299
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Communication differences among Canadian children diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome

Dr. Steven Shaw's Connections Lab at McGill University is conducting a study that examines communication differences among Canadian children diagnosed with autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome. Our anonymous, online survey takes less than 20 minutes to complete. Once complete, you have the option of receiving not only the results of the study, but also your child's individual results on the Developmental Profile 3 sub-tests completed. This is useful for understanding your child's strengths and weaknesses in their communication and cognitive abilities as well as their adaptive skills. For more information and to begin the survey, please click here:
Or e-mail the investigator, Jessica Ganten, for additional information at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

York University Research on Parent Stress, Coping, and Resources

Seeking parents and caregivers who have one or more children of any age who are:

  • Deaf
  • Hearing with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Deaf with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Parents and caregivers will be asked to complete six questionnaires that examine their child's language and behaviour, as well as their perspectives on the services and education that have been received. Parents and caregivers will also be asked questions that explore their experiences as parents. These questionnaires will take approximately an hour to complete. Information about your child's communication skills will be provided to you based on one of the questionnaires.

Parents and caregivers can contact the primary investigator, Gayle Goldstein by calling (416) 650-8495 or by email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . They can also obtain more information about the study at and click on the study titled "Deafness and Autism"

SickKids is looking for children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders for research study

A team of researchers is seeking children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders who have recently been hospitalized. We want to hear about their experiences of hospital care, as well as the experiences of their parents and health-care providers.
Who is eligible to participate?
1. Children/teens who:

  • have been diagnosed with any form of Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • are between 6 and 18 years of age
  • have been hospitalized for at least two days within the last three months at either SickKids in Toronto or the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton.
  • are able to communicate verbally or have some means of verbal communication

2. The parents and/or caregivers of these children/teens
3. Paediatric nurses, physicians or other health-care staff

who provided care to the children/teens in the hospital What will you be asked to do?
Take part in an hour-long interview
Parents will also be asked to complete a short questionnaire
To volunteer or for more information, contact Priscilla Burnham Riosa at 416-813-5885 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Download the flyer in PDF

Study of Children with Autism and Regression

What is the study about?
This study aims to identify and increase our understanding of young children with autism who have had a loss (regression) in language and/or social communication skills. Research has shown that some people with autism have abnormalities in their cells that fight off infection (immune system), and when these cells are overactive they can cause injury to other cells in the body (overactive immune system). Research has also shown that some people with autism have an increase in the production of oxygen molecules that can damage cells and impair their function (oxidative stress). We want to see if regression in children with autism is related to signs of an overactive immune system and/or oxidative stress, and we will compare toddlers with autism and regression to toddlers with autism and no history of regression.

Who can participate?
• Young children aged 18-36 months
• Must have a loss of language and/or social communication skills in the past 6 months
• The skills must have been present for at least 1 month prior to the loss and lost for at least 1 month
• Your child will be assessed and must meet criteria for autism to participate in the study

What are examples of skills my child may have lost?
• Had 2 words or more, used daily and spontaneously, other than "mama" or "dada"
• Responded to name when called
• Smiled in response to others smiling at him/her
• Pointed at an interesting object
• Had eye contact when interacting
• Waved "bye bye" on their own when someone left
• Showed things by extending their arm

What does the study involve?
If you are interested, you will be contacted by the research coordinator for a telephone interview to see if your child can be in the study. If your child is eligible, you will be invited for an assessment at the Autism Treatment Network site which will include a review of your child's medical history and development, as well as some tests to observe your child's social communication skills as well as thinking and problem solving abilities. Routine medical tests including blood and urine tests will be completed to screen for a metabolic disorder (abnormalities in chemical reactions within the cells of the body). The blood will also be tested for signs of an overactive immune system and oxidative stress. Results of the research testing will only be reported to you if a medical disorder is suspected and further testing is needed.

What are the risks and benefits of participating?
Your child will receive thorough medical testing through clinical blood and urine testing that will be screened for possible metabolic and inflammatory disorders that may contribute to your child's developmental problems. In addition, your child will receive an assessment of early learning. We will require an additional 1 teaspoon of blood to help us understand if an overactive immune system or oxidative stress is related to regression in children with autism.

Please feel free to contact Melanie Fenwick at 416 925 5141 x 2527 for more information.

This study is part of the Autism Intervention Research Network-Physical (AIR-P) and the Autism Treatment Network, and is funded by a grant from HRSA (the Health and Services Administration
of the US Department of Health and Human Services).

Treating Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors in School-Age Children with High Functioning Autism

Does your child engage in one or more of the following?
- frequent cleaning or washing
- repeatedly asking for reassurance
- engaging in daily rituals (e.g.,checking the weather)
- counting or checking things
- a need to rearrange or have things "just so"
- a need to complete daily activities, play activities, or schoolwork in a certain way
- resistant to throw things away even if they are no longer of use

These are just a few examples of Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors. Approximately 1 in 5 children with Autism have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Children often become distressed if they are not able to perform these behaviors. They can impede quality of life for children and their families. Therefore, it is important to treat them as early as possible.

If any of the above behaviors sound familiar, your child may have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and be eligible for Group Cognitive-Behavior Therapy at no cost!
The Behavioral Autism Research Team at Brock University is currently recruiting children between 7 and 12 years of age with a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger's Syndrome (AS) for a research study.

If you are interested in learning more about the study, please contact Dr. Tricia Vause at 905-688-5550 ext. 3559, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
For more information, please click here.

Examining the Lives of Kids with Severe Developmental Disabilities and their Families

The Great Outcomes for Kids Impacted by Severe Developmental Disabilities project – GO4KIDDS – is a university based research study examining the health, wellbeing and social inclusion of kids with severe developmental disabilities (DD) and the experiences of their families. We are conducting a series of research projects including surveys, interviews, direct observation and case studies.

There are currently two Surveys (a Basic Survey and an Extended Survey) intended for parents of children who have a severe DD. By severe DD, we mean children with an intellectual/developmental disability in the moderate, severe, or profound range. Children may also have been described as having a global developmental delay, developmental handicap, or mental retardation. The survey is not for children with Asperger's or other high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders, learning disabilities, or mild or borderline developmental delays. The age range we are studying is school-aged children (approximately age 6 to 18). Both Surveys are available in print or online. If you would like to participate, you can find the Surveys at the following links: GO4KIDDS Basic Survey and GO4KIDDS Extended Survey, or you can also contact us by phone or email to request a paper copy.

Participants who complete both Surveys are eligible to receive an honorarium of $50.
Researchers: Dr. Adrienne Perry, Dr. James Bebko, Dr. Patricia Minnes & Dr. Jonathan Weiss
For more information on the study and for other opportunities for participation, please contact us at 416-736-5662 or toll free at 1-877-233-4337. You can also email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit us on our website,

Development of Precursory Language Skills, Non-Verbal Communication Skills and Joint Attention for Children with Autism Disorder: A longitudinal Prospective Approach

McGill University's Resilience, Paediatric Psychology, and Neurogenetic Connections team is looking for families with children diagnosed with autism disorder 3-8 years of age. The goal of the study is to help understand the nature of language disorder and nonverbal communication in children with autism. Participation can be completed from the comfort of your own home and involves filling out questionnaires and engaging in play activities with your child. For more information please contact, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (514) 398-5833.