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Welcome

We are the Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab at Simon Fraser University in the Department of Psychology. Under the direction of Dr. Grace Iarocci, we conduct research on Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and other Developmental Disabilities.

Please feel free to explore our webpage for news, publications, and opportunities to participate in research.

Study - Sound Sensitivity in Children with ASD - Ages 11 to 18 years old

Please click here for the advertisement for this study!

Investigators: Dr. Elina Birmingham and Dr. Grace Iarocci, Simon Fraser University

Who are we looking for? Children diagnosed with ASD between the ages of 11 to 18 years old who experience issues with sound sensitivity.

What do we want to know? Sound sensitivity is very common in ASD, and can interfere with family life and participation in daily activities. We are interested in learning more about how adolescents on the autism spectrum cope with sound sensitivity, and how sensitivity has impacted their lives. Sound sensitivity includes being over-reactive to sounds in general, or certain types of sounds.

About the study: The study will involve two sessions. The first session will involve an initial interview where the adolescent and caregivers are asked about their child’s experiences dealing with over-reactivity to sounds in the child’s environment. The second session will have the adolescent listen to a variety of different sounds while their bodily reactions are monitored with a non-invasive wristwatch.

This study will take approximately 6 hours over 2 sessions (for persons with ASD) and 3 hours over 1 session (for parents). The first session will take place at UBC. The second session will take place at either UBC or SFU Burnaby. 

As a thank-you for your time, we are offering $20/hour or portion thereof for persons with ASD and $10/hour or portion thereof for parents.  If you are interested in participating, please contact study coordinator Troy Boucher (Email: tboucher@sfu.ca, Phone: 778-782-6746), and please provide your phone number so that we can contact you to provide further information.

Focus Group - Parents of Children with ASD with Sound Sensitivities

Click here for a PDF version of the advertisement for this focus group!

Are you a parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who experiences sensitivity to sound? We are interested in understanding what strategies children and their families use to cope with being sensitive to sounds in their environments. In addition, we are seeking user feedback on an innovative technological solution for addressing sound sensitivity.

Who are we looking for?

Parents of a child with ASD, of any age and who experiences sensitivity to sound, to be a part of a focus group. 

About the focus group:

The focus group will take place on March 12, 2020 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the SFU Surrey Campus.

As a participant in this focus group, you will first take part in a discussion with other parents and researchers that focus on families' experiences coping with sound sensitivity. Second, we will demonstrate a new technology that we have developed to support children with sound sensitivity. As part of a multiple-stage development strategy, we are seeking feedback at each phase to ensure that we are meeting our users' expectations.

Signing a non-disclosure (confidentiality) agreement will be required to participate in this focus group study. Your total time commitment should you choose to participate will be approximately 2 hours. As a thank you for your time, we will provide you with a $25 gift card.

This study involves audio recording the discussion to ensure that we accurately capture what has been expressed. Neither your name, your child’s name, nor any other identifying information will be associated with the audio recording or the transcriptions of the discussion. Only the principal investigator and co-investigators will have access to the recordings. As with all the data from this project, the recordings will be securely stored in a locked file cabinet at Simon Fraser University.

Please use the following link to register: http://websurvey.sfu.ca/survey/367966508

 

If you have questions, please contact the researcher coordinator, Troy Boucher.

Email: tboucher@sfu.ca

Phone: (778) 782-6746

 

 

FREE SFU Camp for Children and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Click here to view a PDF flyer for the camp!

The Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab (ADDL) at SFU and Special Olympics BC (SOBC) have partnered to provide a FREE camp for children and adults with intellectual disabilities at SFU. All campers will receive a free SOBC t-shirt!

Date and Registration Forms:

Location:

  • Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Campus

About the Camp:

The camp for Children and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities is a fun and educational camp that offers an inclusive environment to engage safely in learning and physical activities. Campers will be supervised by trained SFU faculty, students, and community professionals.

Parking and transit costs up to $6 will be reimbursed by camp staff. Campers will receive a free Special Olympics BC Shirt! Healthy snacks will be served to campers and caregivers, but please be sure to pack a lunch for your child.

A portion of this camp involves you and your child participating in a research study. The research study requires minimal participation; the majority of the day is devoted to fun crafts, sports, and learning activities. Children will be asked whether or not they want to participate in any and all tasks and can stop at any time with no repercussions. During the study, your child will be asked to play a word and puzzle game, and participate in a 1-on-1 conversation about their favourite sports and hobbies.

Caregivers will be asked to complete two questionnaires about their child and complete the required consent forms prior to their child's participation. Please note that for ethical reasons, we cannot provide individual results. All data collected is kept confidential and is for research purposes only. This study is approved by the SFU Office of Research Ethics, study number [2019s0458]. Funding for the camp is provided by Special Olympics BC and Special Olympics International. 

Contact Us:

Troy Boucher, Lab Manager
Email: addl@sfu.ca
Phone: (778) 782-6746

 

Study - Roleplaying / Larping in ASD

Posted on behalf of Kari Gustafson, PhD Student at Simon Fraser University.

Do you have an ASD diagnosis, or are you the parent of an individual with an ASD diagnosis?  Do you (or does your child) participate in larping (live action roleplaying) or tabletop roleplaying / RPG games (such as Dungeons & Dragons)?  I am a PhD student in the Faculty of Education. I would like to interview individuals from ages 13 to 60 with ASD (and/or their parents) about their experiences with larp and roleplaying activities and groups.

The interview can take place anywhere you choose, and will take 60-90 minutes. As a thank-you for your time I can offer you a $20 gift card. If you would like more information or are interested in participating, please contact Kari Gustafson at kigustaf@sfu.ca.

Online Study - Partnership for Autism Spectrum Disorder and Addiction (PAAD)

Investigators: 
 
Dr. Grace Iarocci, Simon Fraser University (SFU)
Dr. Marie-Hélène Poulin, University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) 
 
What do we want to know?
 
The purpose of the project is to describe the lifestyle and using habits of substances, internet and gambling of young people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. 
 
Who are we looking for?
 
Individuals ages 16 to 30 with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
 
About the Study:
 
Teenagers and young adults (ages 16 to 30) with ASD are invited to complete an online questionnaire (about 60 minutes in length). The teens and young adults who complete the online survey have a chance to win a $20 gift card among all respondents. Five gift cards will be randomly drawn.

To access the population survey, click on the following link: https://is.gd/PAADCanada
 
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Kelly Tremblay, research project coordinator by email (coordonnatrice-PAAD@outlook.fr).

Online Study - Social Competence and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Grace Iarocci, Simon Fraser University

What do we want to know?

This study explores what people think about social competence and the ideas people have about what it means for a person to have good social skills. As part of this study we will explore how participant characteristics such as opinions on social competence, age, occupation, experience working with individuals with diverse populations (i.e., individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder), relate to judgments of the social competence of a group of adults viewed in video format.

Who are we looking for?

About the Study:

This research can be completed online, or in person, at the Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Campus. You will be asked to fill out questionnaires, and watch brief video clips where you will be required to make judgments about individuals in the videos. This study takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. Upon completion, you will be entered into a draw to win a $100 visa gift card.

If you are interested in participating in our research, please contact us by email at addl@sfu.ca or by phone at (778) 782-6746.

Mission Statement

The director, students, and staff of the Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab are committed to maximizing the quality of life and social development for children with and without developmental disabilities. We believe in the full inclusion of all children in society. We believe that research is needed to achieve this ideal of inclusion.

Our research focuses on how children learn to act appropriately in social situations and how families and communities can support the development of social competence. We recognize the significant challenges to social inclusion faced by children with developmental disabilities such as ASD and Down syndrome and our research is designed to produce information to address these challenges through better awareness, understanding, and teaching strategies.

The research at ADDL has been funded by the Canadian Tri-Councils (SSHRC, CIHR, & NSERC), the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, the Human Early Partnership, and the Laurel Foundation.

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