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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.

Our Stories, Our Voices - Autistic Intergenerational Storytelling Event - August 25th

Posted on behalf of Vivian Ly, Executive Director of Autistics United Canada

Autistics United Vancouver is hosting a storytelling event for autistic people of all ages on August 25th.

Autistic children, adults, seniors, and families are invited to share and celebrate autistic lived experiences. A storytelling session will be followed by picture book making. Snacks (including gluten-free and vegan) will be provided.

Date: August 25th, 2019
Time: 1 - 4 pm
Location: 2929 East 22nd Avenue, Vancouver BC, Room 112 

Facebook event:
Eventbrite tickets:

More information can be found on our event pages on Meetup, Facebook, and our website. Accessibility information will be updated as details are confirmed.

We are still looking for more autistic storytellers under 18 to share short (5-10 minute) fictional or non-fictional pieces related to their experiences of autism! A small honorarium will be provided. Interested autistic youth can email us for more information.

Any accessibility requests, questions, or concerns can be directed to us at

Kind regards,
Vivian Ly
Autistics United Vancouver - Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Territory

FREE Workshops - July 13th and July 20th

The ADDL is hosting three FREE workshops for anyone who is interested. These workshops will accompany the 2019 SFU Social Science Camp so caregivers are encouraged to attend, ask questions, and participate! 

All workshops are free to attend and will take place at room RCB 8100 on the SFU Burnaby Campus. Please register for each workshop that you are interested in attending!


July 13th - 10:00 am to 11:30 am

Anxiety and Depression in Childhood - Presented by Gisella La Madrid, MA, RCC - Strong Ties

About: Gisella La Madrid is a child and family therapist with knowledge and experience using play and expressive therapy with children to help with anxiety and worries, social difficulties, ADHD, oppositional behaviour, and more. She is the former Lab Manager of the ADDL and currently provides support for children, parents, and families. Gisella's website is

July 20th - 10:00 am to 11:30 am

Strategies for Achieving Diet and Exercise Goals for Individuals with ASD and Intellectual Disability - Presented by Scott Howe, Special Olympics BC

About: Special Olympics BC is an organization committed to engaging neurodiverse individuals in sport and leisure, providing health and exercise education, and promoting inclusion. Scott Howe will be presenting on various strategies for individuals and caregivers to achieve their goals for improving diet and increasing exercise and physical activity.

July 20th - 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Autistic Intersections - Presented by Vivian Ly, Autistics United Canada

About: The presenters have asked that questions be provided in advance. Autistic self-advocates from Autistics United Canada ( will speak about autistic identity and its intersections with gender, race, sexual orientation, poverty, and other disabilities. Topics include neurodiversity, effective allyship, universal design, and disability justice.

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

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:
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Kelly Tremblay, research project coordinator by email (

Relationship between Speech and Social Development

Principal Investigator: Dr. Nichole Scheerer, Simon Fraser University 

What do we want to know? Our goal is to learn more about the relationship between speech and social development.

Who are we looking for? Individuals with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder over the age of 16.

About the study: Participants will be asked to answer questionnaires about social behaviours, describe words, and produce sounds into a microphone. This study will take approximately 2 hours and will take place at the Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby campus. A portion of the questionnaires about social behaviours can be completed online if this is preferred.

Our flexible availability will allow us to accommodate your schedule, so please let us know a time that works best for you! As a thank you for your time and effort, you will receive $20 (i.e., $10 per hour of commitment).

Please contact if you are interested in participating in this research!

Hon. Mike Lake - World Autism Awareness Day

Posted on behalf of Honourable Mike Lake, Member of Parliment:

On April 3rd, 2019, I made my annual one-minute World Autism Awareness Day statement in the Canadian House of Commons, with my 23-year-old son, Jaden, watching from the gallery. 

We'd love it if you'd consider sharing it within your own networks and let us know your thoughts!

Links to the video:

All the best,


Hon. Mike Lake, PC, MP
Shadow Minister for Youth, Sport and Accessibility
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: @MikeLakeMP


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 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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