Empowering People, Launching lives

Participate in research

Organisations and individuals seeking your help in progressing their research.

We receive regular requests to be a part of research, or to share new research studies with our stakeholders. This includes organisations such as leading universities in the fields of psychology and ABA, as well as individuals seeking to improve the understanding of autism, and the work we can do to support people with autism. We are keen to support any requests that help this, once reviewed by our Ethics Committee to ensure they meet the moral standards and values of our organisation. We will not consider any research proposals without prior ethics approval from the institute of study.

To take a look at some of the projects we have recently shared including results, where available, visit our archive page.

How do British special needs schools empower racial and ethnic identity and develop cultural pride in Black British children/ young people with autism: An auto/biographical exploration and reflection from a Black mother and her son.

The research aims to explore themes of race, identity, and autism, specifically, how British special schools empower racial and ethnic identity and develop cultural pride in Black British children with autism. It is also interested in the pupils’ perceived understanding and exposure to race, ethnicity, identity and culture within school and home communities, as well as how race is taught in special schools. The researchers are looking to interview the following people:

  • parent to a Black British pupil/student that has a diagnosis of autism
  • work in a British special school as a teacher, teaching assistant, senior leader or other professional involved in supporting children with SEN.
  • Black British child/ young person has a diagnosis of autism

To arrange an interview, please get in touch with the researcher: Donna-Marie Holder,

Supervisors: Dr Nic Crowe, and Dr Ellen McHugh

Deadline: 31st October 2022

Teaching reading comprehension to autistic students

Researchers at the University of Warwick are investigating current reading comprehension practices used in special schools across England. They are interested in exploring what works well and what barriers teachers face when teaching reading comprehension to autistic students. They are looking for qualified teachers and/or literacy leads who directly teach reading comprehension to autistic students in special schools to take part in a brief online survey.

Researcher: Olivia Kurzeja,

Deadline: 16th December 2022

Research on differences in social abilities associated with autism 

The team are researching differences in social abilities among children and young people with global developmental delay/learning disability and autism. They are looking for children and young people aged 4-19-years old with an autism diagnosis to take part. Individuals will be asked to:

  • watch videos of social information whilst we record their eye-movements
  • engage in a semi-structured social interaction with a parent
  • solve puzzles, look at pictures, and listen to stories

Overall, the whole study takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete. This can be conducted over multiple sessions, online and in-person (e.g., at home/the University). Parents will also be asked to complete an interview and questionnaire. To take part, please contact the researchers.

Researchers: Rachel Howard,, Lauren Jenner,
Supervisor: Dr Jo Moss,

Deadline: 30th November 2022

Exploring parents’ understanding of the cyber risks associated with autism.
The study seeks to explore any worries or concerns parents of autistic individuals have about their young person’s online activities. It also seeks to explore the parents’ knowledge and understanding of the potential online risks for autistic individuals. The results from this research can help identify how we can support autistic people and their families to help minimise their susceptibility to potential online risks. To take part, please complete the short online survey (approximately 15 minutes).Researcher: Laura Unsworth,
Supervisor: Dr Fiona Gullon-Scott, 30th June 2022
Emotion descriptions in children with and without autism

This study is investigating whether children on the autism spectrum show differences in their descriptions of their own emotions, compared to children without autism. The study will contribute to our understanding of how children make sense of their own emotions, how that relates to their understanding of other people’s emotions, and to their behaviour.

The research team is looking for children from the age of 5 to 7, with a diagnosis of autism, but without an intellectual disability. If you would like to take part in this research with your child visit the consent form.

Researcher: Aisling Curtin,
Supervisor: Dr Fionnuala Larkin,

Deadline: 4th July 2022

Do autistic individuals understand the police caution?

Research reveals that comprehension of the caution is limited in several populations. Comprehension of the police caution in individuals with autism has not been examined, yet this population may be further challenged due to differences in information processing, metacognition, working memory, episodic future thinking and compliance.

To participate in this research there will be a pre-screening assessment of eligibility followed by 40 minutes of simple, structured word tasks on Zoom. If you would like to take part, please contact the researcher below.

Researcher: Abigail Wooldridge,

Deadline: 20th July 2022

Autistic Preferences: functioning labels

The study is focused on autistic preferences regarding functioning labels (i.e., do you agree with them or not, and why). Autistic people are not homogenous and may have various preferences regarding terminology about themselves. Language preferences around autism itself have been clearly stated in prior research for British autistic people. Hence, it is vital to ask about other terminology. Therefore, the study aims to address this regarding functioning labels.

If you wish to take part in the study you will be asked to take part in a short online interview. Contact the researchers below to arrange your interview.

Research assistant: Farradeh Martin,
Supervisor: Nathan Keates,

Deadline: 31st July, 2022

Sensory experiences of adolescents with autism and ADHD-a mixed method study

Research has shown that autistic people, in particular, have significant difficulties with sensory processing. The Department of Psychology at Durham University are conducting a research project that aims to understand different sensory experiences, particularly for autistic young people and young people with ADHD.

Parents and adolescents will be asked to complete an online questionnaire. Following this, adolescents will be asked to complete two brief questionnaires online. These questionnaires will ask questions about everyday sensory experiences. In total, it should take you approximately 10 minutes to complete the questionnaires online. Please note that parents can help their son/daughter to complete the questionnaire.

For neurodivergent participants please visit:
For neurotypical participants please visit:

Researcher: DR Alokananda Rudra, 

Deadline: 28th February 2023

The role of social identity and camouflaging in autism and eating disorders

Would you like to take part in a study which aims to contribute to research that informs the prevention and treatment of eating disorders in autistic people? If you are autistic and are over the age of 18 you are eligible to take part.

Taking part will involve completing a set of online anonymous questionnaires. This study is being completed as part of a thesis for a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

You can find out more information about this study by clicking here.

Researcher: Síofra Bradley,
Supervisor: Dr Helen Sharpe,

Deadline: 31st December 2022

Visual processing in autistic and non-autistic children

Every day, we are faced with sensory information, and we need to make decisions about it – for example deciding whether we have time to cross a road. This study is looking at how autistic children and children without a developmental condition aged 6 to 14 years make decisions about what they see for different types of information. The research will help to understand more about how sensory processing in autism, and how this might relate to other measures, such as measures of ADHD. Particularly, this study will help understand how different types of visual information (i.e., static and moving) are processed, and how different instructions matter.

The research will involve your child playing different games and monitoring their vision. If you would like to find out more, please contact the researcher below.

Researcher: Dr Lou Thomas,

Deadline: 30th September 2022

Understanding languages choices for bilingual families with children with developmental conditions

Research found that knowing more than one language is good for children’s development. Yet some bilingual parents of neurodiverse children worry about using more than one language with their child.

This study aims to find out more about these bilingual families. It aims to understand how parents choose to use one or more languages with their child(ren), and why. If you would like to take part in this research, please follow the link and complete the survey.

Researcher: Dr Bérengère Digard,

Deadline: 30th June 2022

Sensory reactivity in genetic syndromes and autism

The study is looking for autistic children 5 years and above and their parent/carers to take part in some fun social and non-social games, with and without background noise, whilst their child wears a sensor watch. The study will take place online, using video teleconferencing from the comfort of their home and should take about two hours for the parent (less than 1 hour for the child).

The research, funded by University College London, focuses on sensory processing and physiological responsivity in autistic children, how this differs from typical development, and whether this is similar in other developmental disorders and related conditions.

If you’d like to participate in this research, please contact Breanne Kearney, More information can about the research can be found here.

The experiences and mental health of students with autism attending UK secondary schools with a specialist provision, and their parents during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic

The purpose of this study is to gain an understand of how children with autism and their parents experienced the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. The research will be conducted via a video interview lasting around 20 minutes.

If you would like to take part, or find out more information, please get in touch with one of the researchers using the information below.

Researchers: Elif Acar, Marjana Aktar and Mohammed Ahmed
Supervisor: Frauke Elichaoff,

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