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troy's blog

Event Recording Now Available - Addressing the impact of the pandemic on families of children with special needs

The online event hosted by Simon Fraser University, titled "Addressing the impact of the pandemic on families of children with special needs", can be accessed by clicking here

Researchers from SFU presented their policy report based on findings from their research study titled “Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on families of autistic children”. The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the funding and support provided by Kids Brain Health Network, Mitacs, and ACT - Autism Community Training to make this study possible.

Among the presenters are Lab Director Dr. Grace Iarocci and doctoral student Vanessa Fong. The live event was recorded on January 8, 2021. Thank you to everyone who attended and provided feedback. 

ADDL in the News - How is COVID-19 affecting families caring for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Click here to view the news article!

Over the summer, the ADDL collaborated with ACT-Autism Community Training to explore how COVID-19 was affecting families caring for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in British Columbia. 

Visit the news article for more information, including a poster of the results prepared by PhD student Vanessa Fong.
Thank you to the families who participated! This research was funded by the Community Engagement Initiative grant at Simon Fraser University. 

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

Free Online Event - What Does Family Quality of Life Mean to You?

Learn about the different conceptualizations of family quality of life in a free online talk!

Hosts Vanessa Fong (PhD Student with the ADDL) and former ADDL student Dr. Emily Gardiner will compare descriptions of Family Quality of Life from the perspectives of Korean immigrant and Canadian families of children with autism

Time: Saturday, October 24, 2020 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm PT

RSVP is required:

Visit our Facebook post for more information:


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

We are looking for participants to take part in an online study that aims to understand social competence and how it relates to individuals with ASD.

Who are we looking for: Individuals who are older than 16 years old are invited to participate in this study. We are looking for Autistic Individuals, Parents of Autistic Individuals, Teachers, and Professionals that work with Autistic Individuals.

About the study:  If you are interested and agree to participate you would be asked to: fill out a series of questionnaires and watch brief video clips and provide ratings on these video clips. Your participation can be completed online and will take about 2 hours to complete. In appreciation for your time, you will receive $20.

For more information about this study, or to volunteer for this study, please contact:

Dr. Nichole Scheerer
Social Sciences – Psychology

Online Study - Impact of COVID-19 on Families of Children Diagnosed with ASD in British Columbia

Picture of child playing near a parent who is working on a computer in a living room.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash


What do we want to know? 

We are looking to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the quality of life of families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Sharing your experiences and perspectives can help inform the government on ways to improve services and supports during and after the pandemic. 

Who are we looking for?

Caregivers of a school-age child diagnosed with ASD 

About the study:

Participants will be asked to fill out a series of questionnaires online, including demographic information (gender, age), the services and supports your child received before the pandemic and are receiving now, safety concerns, child behaviour, family relationships, and well-being. The study will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.
Please contact Lab Manager Troy Boucher at if you have any questions.

Click here to participate in the survey!


Study - E-Learning Platform for Caregivers of Autistic Children

Posted on behalf of Dr. Katerina Schenke and Ohoud Alharbi at Simon Fraser University. 

Earn access to 2 months of the platform FREE and be entered into a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card! Researchers at Simon Fraser University are looking for parents of children diagnosed with Autism for a 30-minute interview

Are you the parent of a child diagnosed with autism?

We are developing an e-learning platform that helps caregivers of autistic children.

Slots available for participation. Enter your information here:

We will ask you questions about the types of skills you focus on with your child and how you communicate with your child’s therapist.

The study will take place over Zoom and take 30 minutes.

For your participation you will receive FREE two months “Premium subscription” to our online platform during Fall 2020 as well as a chance to win a $50 Visa gift card.

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Ohoud Alharbi or Dr. Katerina Schenke at

Online Study - Measuring Sound Sensitivity

Principal Investigator: Dr. Elina Birmingham, Simon Fraser University
What do we want to know?
We are investigating how individuals experience sounds in their everyday environments, and how sensitivity to noise, when it occurs, impacts daily living and mental health. You do not need to have sensitivity to noise to participate in the study. 
Who are we looking for?
Adults with and without a diagnosis of ASD, over the age of 19 years old.
About the study:
Participants will be asked to fill out a series of questionnaires, including basic information about themselves, their social behaviours, their experiences with sounds, and questions about satisfaction with various areas of life.
The study should take approximately one hour. As a thank-you for your time, we will enter you into a draw to win one of four $50 (CAD) Amazon gift cards.
Email study coordinator Troy Boucher at for more information. 

To access the study, please use the following link:

Study - PEERS Follow-Up Study

To view the advertisement, please click here!

This study advertisement is posted on behalf of Brittni Thompson as part of her Master's thesis under the supervision of Dr. William McKee at the University of British Columbia.

Are you a parent who has participated in PEERS?

Would you like to talk about your experiences with participating in PEERS and supporting your adolescent's social skills? The information you share about your experience will inform how to better address parent's needs, and may assist with developing parent programs in the future.

Study Purpose: To learn more about parent experiences in PEERS and to determine which things about your experiences were helpful or less helpful to your adolescent and your family in managing your adolescents' social skills.
Who: Parents who have completed the PEERs program within the last three years.
What is involved: A confidential individual online interview using Zoom (approximately 45 to 90 minutes) and an optional follow-up telephone interview (approximately 20 to 30 minutes).
Participation in this study is voluntary. Participants who participate will be provided with a token of appreciation for their time.
Please contact Brittni Thompson if you would like to participate, or if you have any questions:

A Practical Evidence-Based Self-Help Program for COVID-19-Related Worry and Low Mood

The Valley Centre for Counselling has created a six-session program for worry and low mood related to COVID-19. They are free and publically available on their website: These sessions may be of value to those currently affected by the current global health crisis. 

Please note that the ADDL is not affiliated, endorsed, or officially connected with the Valley Centre for Counselling. The official Valley Centre for Counselling website can be found here: Please contact them should you have any questions pertaining to the published content. 

CLOSED - FREE Spring-Break Day Camp for Children with and without ASD - March 2020

The 2020 Spring Break Camp is closed. We will have similar opportunities this year during PD days and our annual SFU Social Science Camp in July. 


Click here for a flyer for the Spring Break Camp

Are you looking for a fun experience for your child during their Spring Break this March? The Autism and Developmental Disorders Lab (ADDL) is hosting FREE half-day sessions from March 16th to March 27th! The Spring Break Experience will take place in the ADDL located at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Campus.

Children with and without a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder will get to engage with one another in various activities, play exciting games, make lots of crafts, and participate in research and learning activities. This experience is available for free through a research fund, so we ask that caregivers complete surveys about their child for research purposes (most surveys can be completed online).

Who can attend?

Children ages 3 to 12 with or without a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. We ask that children are able to use the toilet without assistance from staff, otherwise, a caregiver or support worker must remain with the child during the session.

Dates and Times:

Children can attend one session on one of the following days:

  • Monday, March 16 - 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
  • Monday, March 16 - 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm
  • Tuesday, March 17 - 11:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday, March 18 - 11:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, March 19 - 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 19 - 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm
  • Friday, March 20 - 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
  • Monday, March 23 - 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
  • Monday, March 23 - 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm
  • Tuesday, March 24 - 11:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday, March 25 - 11:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Thursday, March 26 - 9:00 am to 12:30 pm
  • Thursday, March 26 - 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm
  • Friday, March 27 - 9:00 am to 12:30 pm

Contact and Registration:

To register your child for the Spring Break Experience, please use the following link:

Please complete the registration form for each child that will attend.

If you have any questions, please contact the ADDL at or 778-782-6746

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