Contact Us

You can contact the Autism MeetUp researchers either by email, phone, or using the contact form below.

P: (02) 9385 0620

Information Stands

Our current research projects which will be on display at the Autism MeetUp include:

Ageing Well

‘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.

Autism MeetUp 2016

Autism MeetUp – Our first community event

On 2nd April 2016, we held a community event at UNSW in Paddington, Sydney. We wanted to showcase all the different research projects we are involved in, as well as give you a chance to come and meet us in person. The event was very successful with over 70 autistic children and adults, family members, carers/support people and health professionals in attendance. See some pictures below from the event.

Dawn-Joy Leong’s installation. Image credit: Maya Ling.
Scott Brown’s sensory tent. Image credit: Reuven Matalon.
The Interactivity section at Autism MeetUp. Image credit: Reuven Matalon.
Scott Brown’s speculative design object study. Image credit: Reuven Matalon.

Thank you to everyone who attended, and also thanks for those that provided us with some feedback. We are happy to report that 94% of people who gave feedback were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the event and said they were ‘likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to attend the event again next year.

Here were some of the comments left by attendees at the Autism MeetUp:

“(I liked the) casual and approachable atmosphere. Engaging researchers who are clearly committed to furthering our knowledge base.”

“(I liked) being able to move freely amongst various tables, meeting and chatting… As an advocate, parents benefit from open opportunities like this to get the sense of support, and information exchange between parents, looking forward to future events.”

“It was good to meet some of the younger researchers and discuss their projects… It was refreshing to be exposed to newer ideas, some brought about of course by increasing medical technology”

Event Information

Autism MeetUp is an informal event to allow autistic people, their families, researchers and a range of others interested in autism to ‘meet up’, connect and share ideas in a relaxed and friendly environment. At the event, you will have the chance to:

  • Wander around and have a look at a number of different stands, which contain information about different research projects
  • Talk to the researchers in a relaxed, informal and friendly environment
  • Share your ideas and feedback about the different projects
  • Sign up for a research project which may interest you
  • Share your ideas about what we should be researching

This is a free, family-friendly event with no dress code. A free barbecue will also be provided.

Event Details

Saturday April 2, 2016
11am – 3pm (Please note: you do not have to stay for the whole time. Feel free to come and go)
UNSW Art & Design
Cnr Oxford St & Greens Rd, Paddington NSW 2021
(Click here for detailed venue information)

fbLogoJoin the Facebook event here

Who Will Be There

  1. Researchers from different faculties across the University of New South Wales (UNSW Australia), who all work with autistic people in their research (Click here to meet the researchers);
  2. Autistic people of all ages and their families; and
  3. Others with an interest in autism and autism research

We expect there to be between 30 to 50 people in the event space at any given time.

How To Attend

In order to attend this event, please click the ‘RSVP’ tab on the top right hand corner of this page (or click here). This will take you to a brief form for you to fill out.

If you have any questions, please contact us:

P: (02) 9385 0620

Meet the Researchers

Hi! We are a group of researchers from several faculties at The University of New South Wales (UNSW). Our practices cross several disciplines, but we all have one thing in common: we work with autistic people in our research. On this page, you can find out about our personal research, which might help you decide who you would like to meet and speak with at the Autism MeetUp event. Please also feel free to get in touch with the group or any of its members via email if you have any specific questions or would like to know more. Continue reading “Meet the Researchers”