Autism Spectrum Australia

Research

At Aspect, we continually work to improve our services, programs and approaches to supporting people on the autism spectrum and their families by applying the latest knowledge and evidence available and evaluating our services and programs for best practice.  

Our research focus is not on finding a cure for autism, or on finding the causes of autism. Our focus is on providing the best possible treatment, services and programs for people with autism here and now; the best practice, based on evidence from around the world, to provide the best possible opportunities for the people we support.

Read about our research findings

We share the findings of our research via our project reports, peer reviewed journal articles, Research Insights, and Fact sheets, which you can find in our Research publications.

Understanding the lived experiences and needs of people on the autism spectrum

Aspect has been at the forefront in researching the everyday life experiences and needs of people on the autism spectrum. This research helps to raise awareness, promote discussion and pave the way for improving the services and supports that are essential for a good quality of life.

Aspect conducted the first We Belong study in 2011 to profile the experiences, needs and aspirations of a sample of adults with higher-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome across a broad range of life domains.  Visit the We Belong microsite for more information.

We Belong Too was conducted by Aspect in 2013 to build on the previous We Belong study. In a first for Australian research, adolescents with autism, along with parents, were directly surveyed in a study of this scale to create a statistically sound profile of the life experiences, aspirations and future support needs of this growing group of young Australians with autismFind out more here.  

The We Belong study was extended in 2016 with the publication of the book Shining a Light on the Autism Spectrum: Experiences and Aspirations of Adults. In a unique collaboration between Aspect researchers and adults on the autism spectrum, the book illustrates the original data with personal stories and case studies written by adults on the autism spectrum to present their experiences, aspirations and needs in their own words.  

As the next step in this series of studies, in 2017 Aspect commenced work on a new research project, Aging on the autism spectrum. The aim of this project is to identify the service needs of older adults on the autism spectrum as they age. Phase 1 of the project will gather the opinions of older adults on the autism spectrum about their expectations for their future needs, as they age.

Our research partnerships

In addition to undertaking our own research and evaluation projects, we also partner with universities, government bodies and other external organisations on research projects.

Aspect is an essential partner in Australia's Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC), the world’s first national, cooperative research effort focused on autismFind out about Aspect’s CRC research projects or Visit the Autism CRC website.

If you wish to discuss a possible research collaboration with Aspect Research, including conducting research at an Aspect school or service, please contact Dr Trevor Clark, National Director, Aspect Research at tclark@autismspectrum.org.au

Help for other autism researchers to recruit for their studies

We also offer help for researchers who want to recruit participants for their own autism-related studies.  Find out more.

You can take part in an autism study

If you are interested in taking part in an Aspect-approved autism research study, find out more.

 If you are interested in taking part in an Autism CRC research project, find out more here.

 

Research