Our current research projects which will be on display at the Autism MeetUp include:
‘Ageing well’ refers to having good overall health and wellbeing in all areas of your life, as you get older. You may also think of it as ‘having a good life’. Through interviews, I would like to explore what it means for autistic adults to age well. This includes how they might define it, what factors are involved and their experiences related to ageing and adulthood. I am interested in gaining the perspectives of autistic adults themselves as well as their partners and family members. By examining this information alongside the health and wellbeing information obtained in the Australian Longitudinal Study of Adults with Autism (ALSAA), I hope to deepen our understanding of the meaning and experience of ageing and adulthood for autistic adults in Australia.
Autistics Adults – Health and Wellbeing
The Australian Longitudinal Study of Adults with Autism (ALSAA) is a questionnaire-based research project which is aiming to understand the health and wellbeing of autistic adults living in Australia. Over 100 adults have completed questionnaires either online or via paper copies. At this stand, we will be showcasing some of the information which we have found out so far.
Social and Embodied Assistive Technologies
Smartphones and tablets are now commonly repurposed as assistive devices to support autistic people in learning interpersonal communication skills. While considered generally safe and effective, there are concerns that a child who is taught to communicate using this technology may become dependent on the virtual world and its rewards. Our projects aim to investigate whether smart, embodied and interactive technologies would help autistic children interact and communicate more easily with other people. These technologies provide a context that allows for self-paced learning and immediate feedback while encouraging real-world interactions. Our projects include robots, responsive environments and interactive eating utensils.
Understanding Best Supports for Autistic Children
A Study of Intervention Outcomes looks at the relationship between clinical factors, the brain and behaviour in autistic children aged 8-12. This study aims to improve our understanding of autism and help us to determine which factors are associated with good outcomes over time for autistic children.
Understanding the Neural Basis of Social Perception and Cognition
This project is looking at what happens in the brain when we are perceiving or thinking about social stimuli (faces and voices). Understanding how different regions of the brain communicate with one another during social situations will provide us greater insight into social perception and cognition in autism.