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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.

Gender Differences in Self-Perception Competence in Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Posted on the behalf of Laura Vandervoot from Queen's University.

My name is Laura Vandervoort and I am an undergraduate student in the psychology department at Queen’s University. I am currently completing my fourth-year research project under the supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Kelley. I am writing to you today to invite you to participate in my research study on gender differences in self-perception competencies in youth diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The study will be looking at how males and females with ASD differ in their ability to accurately perceive their academic abilities.

If you decide to participate in this study, you will complete a brief history and demographics questionnaire regarding your child’s age, diagnosis, and current level of academic functioning in Mathematics and English, as well as a Social Communication Questionnaire. In total, the completion of these questionnaires should take no longer than approximately 10 minutes. If your child is between the ages of 9 and 18, s/he will also be asked to participate in this study by completing a pre-performance rating of how they think they will perform on the tasks, 10 English tasks at varying degrees of difficulty, 10 mathematics calculations at varying degrees of difficulty, and a post-performance rating indicating how many questions they think they answered correctly. This should take approximately 30 minutes for your child to complete. All information that has the potential to identify you (e.g. name, email) will be removed from your data prior to the researcher receiving them. The data will be stored anonymously in a password protected computer. The only people who will have access to the data are myself and my supervisor Dr. Kelley. The data from all participating families will be combined and analyzed. The findings will be used in my honours thesis, a written document that will be completed and presented at the end of this academic year. If you choose to take part in the survey you will be entered into a draw to win a $10 Best Buy Gift Certificate, individuals will have a 1 in 8 chance of winning. 

Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. If you would like to participate, you may access the questionnaire package by clicking on the link below.

If you have any questions about the study, please feel free to contact me at 

Thank you very much for your time.

Laura Vandervoort

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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