Autism Research

The Centre for Autism at the University of Reading regularly invites autistic people of all ages, and members of their families, to take part in research studies being carried out by staff and students.

They are particularly keen to involve people living in Berkshire in their work.

The research teams would like to hear from people who would be happy to take part in online surveys or visit the centre – which is part of the Department of Psychology at the university’s Whiteknights campus – to take part in projects involving working with members of the centre’s team.

The centre’s website has a dedicated research section, giving information about its current projects, who is needed to take part in them, and how to get involved with studies.

Participants will be reimbursed for their time and travel expenses in a number of cases.

Click here to visit the centre’s research page to find out about current studies and for more information about the Centre for Autism and the services that it provides for autistic people and for professionals who work with them.

Researchers at the CAASD Lab at the University of Reading are testing innovative treatment approaches to help language development in non-verbal and minimally-verbal autistic children, aged 2 to 5.

They are looking for families interested in taking part in an online intervention programme to train parents to work with their children, by taking part in two 45-minute sessions per week for 18 weeks.

All participants who decide to take part will be randomly assigned to the Lab’s Music Assisted Programme (MAP) or to a speech and language therapy programme called Social Communication Intervention for Pre-schoolers (SCIP).

Parents are trained and supported by a speech & language therapist throughout the programme, which is intended to result in language increase in the children.

The researchers are keen to hear from as many families as possible, including those where the child will not patiently sit in front of a camera or where the parent does not consider themselves to be very ‘technology-savvy’. For therapy purposes, they do not expect the child to engage with the therapist on screen – instead they will coach the parent to deliver the therapy and provide advice about how to support a child’s language development.

Families taking part will be renumerated for their time at a rate of £7.50 per hour.

Click here for more details of the project or email caasd@reading.ac.uk and you can register to take part by clicking here.

November 2020 – Autism researchers at King’s College London are looking for young autistic children aged between three and four-and-a-half and their parents/carers to take part in the Preschool Brain Imaging and Behaviour Project (PIP), which is a multi-country European study of development of preschool children, with and without autism and related neurodevelopmental conditions.

The aim is to better understand how differences in brain development are related to a child’s social, emotional, behavioural and cognitive development, to try to help with earlier diagnosis and improved support to improve outcomes for children and young people with different neurodevelopmental conditions.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, Part One of the study is being carried out by remote assessments, including online questionnaires and interviews for parents to complete at home, and tablet/smartphone games for children.

Participants will be asked if they are interested in visiting King’s College London for Part Two of the study, once travel and social distancing restrictions ease.

This will include some touchscreen tasks, interactive games, and an MRI brain scan for the child. The scanner has been designed to look like a spaceship to help put the children at ease and the research team has developed materials and tips to help families prepare children ahead of a scan.

Families completing the remote assessments will receive a £25 gift voucher. For the second part of the study, they will receive a £50 gift voucher for each visit to London.

If you are interested in taking part in the study, or have any questions, email the research team at pip.brainexplorers@kcl.ac.uk

Click here for more information about the PIP project.

The Autism Research team at Royal Holloway, part of the University of London, which is based in Egham, close to Windsor and Ascot, also makes regular requests for autistic people and members of their families to participate in their studies.

Click here to visit the Royal Holloway Autism Research website, which has an online form for people to register an interest in taking part in research projects.

  • We also mention a number of autism research studies taking place at other UK universities in posts on our Facebook page and Twitter feed. Click on the links to these pages to see if there are any recent updates.