Exciting Local Research: Opportunities!!

Consider three interesting local opportunities for individuals and/or families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder to become engaged or learn about local research (click title below for details).


First Study.

Building Employment Capacity in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Towards a Canadian Network

Dr. David Nicholas (University of Calgary, Vocational Abilities Innovations Lab) is currently seeking participants to take part in a focus group for a study aiming to address employment outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorder, with a focus on gender and other social determinants of health. Participants may include self-advocates, family members, and/or professionals serving the ASD-population. The group will last approximately 90 minutes and will be audio recorded as part of the study. Your decision to participate or not will have no bearing on services you receive. If you are interested in participating, the meeting details are as follows:

When: March 14th 2017 – Two times available:

  • Afternoon session: 1pm / Evening session: 7pm*
  • Where: Autism Calgary, 3639 26 Street NE

*If unable to make either the afternoon or evening session please contact Jesse to discuss the possibility of a phone interview If you would like more information on the study, you can call Jesse Orjasaeter at 780-566-4251. You can also email jesse [dot] orjasaeter [at] ucalgary [dot] ca

*This study has been approved by the Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board of the University of Calgary

Click for a copy of the 2017 03 14 Building a Network Focus Groups (2).


Second Study.

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Alternative Diets Survey

(For Parents of Children with ASD of children diagnosed before age 18 years.)

Dr. Jean-François Lemay (Developmental Pediatrician)

and

Dr. Scott McLeod (Fellow Developmental Pediatrics)

Dear Parents:

Thank you for considering participating in this survey.

This survey will ask you to name any diets that you have placed your autistic child on, and whether you noticed any benefits or worsening of symptoms while using these diets.  Only parents of children who received a diagnosis of ASD before the age of 18 years can take this survey.  You have until April 30, 2017, to complete the survey.  Please also note, you can only take the survey once.

You have 2 (two) options:

Option 1:  You may click on the link below this sentence and you will be taken immediately to the start of the survey (basically skipping the information section explaining the study), meaning you are accepting your participation in the study.

Directions for accessing surveyplace your cursor over top of the link below—if it automatically changes to a pointing hand just click the left side of your mouse and it will take you to the survey.  If no hand appears and you are not directed to the survey, CLICK THE RIGHT SIDE of your mouse and several choices will appear—choose “Open Hyperlink” and you will be taken to the beginning of the survey.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q2NGNSP

Option 2:  You can read the information below explaining the purpose of the study and all other elements required by the Ethical Office at the University of Calgary at the end of which you can then click on the link, once again indicating your acceptance to your participation in the study.

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Alternative Diets Survey

Title: Autism Spectrum Disorder and Alternative Diets

Investigators: Jean-François Lemay, Scott McLeod

Sponsor: University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Background

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is characterized by difficulties in communication and social interaction. The cause of ASD is still unclear. Several causes are currently under investigation. One theory proposed that switching to alternative or modified diets could lead to improvement of ASD features. Literature is revealing increasing numbers of parents of children with ASD are turning to these alternative diets. Through a simple survey, we hope to (a) determine the number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Calgary who are using alternative diets and to (b) see if there were any changes in symptoms while using these diets.

This survey will ask you to name any diets that you have placed your autistic child on, and whether you noticed any benefits or worsening of symptoms while using these diets. Only parents of children who received a diagnosis of ASD before the age of 18 years can take this survey (time to complete the survey:  less than 8 minutes).

What is the purpose of the study?

The main aims of this study include:

  1. To estimate the number of children and adolescents with ASD who have used alternative diets.
  2. To specify any changes noticed in the ASD symptoms of your child after using these diets.
  3. To explore the reasons for starting these diets and the main challenges you encountered while using them.

How can I get involved with this study?

This study will require your participation in an online survey using SurveyMonkey. You should fill out all the questions in the survey and submit it online directly.

With this survey, we are gathering information on your demographics, frequency and types of alternative diets that you have used for your autistic child, reason you chose to use these diets, and whether you noticed any improvement or worsening of ASD symptoms while following these diets. Only parents are allowed to answer this survey. Your child will not take part in any procedure(s), or be asked to use any medication(s), and you will not be asked to do anything else once you complete all thequestions on the survey. You can email or call directly if you have any questions or comments (please see contact informationon the following page).

What are the risks?

As this is an online survey, there are no risks involved.

Are there any benefits for my child?

If you agree to participate in this study, there will not be a medical benefit for the autistic child; however, the information obtained from this study might provide us and other researchers with further insight and knowledge of dietary alternatives as well as education/interventions into that topic.

Is my participation mandatory?

No, your participation in this study is strictly voluntary.

Will we be paid for participating, or do we have to pay for anything?

You will not be paid for participating, nor will you need to pay. All links and forms will be emailed to you directly.

Will my child’s records be kept private?

The email containing the survey link will be sent out by a research coordinator. The email list will be anonymous to the research team. Only the research coordinator will have access to the list linking the names of the participants with their surveys. The investigators will have no knowledge of the identities of the respondents. Data will be collected using the SurveyMonkey database and will be kept confidential and saved on protected servers located in the United States and Luxembourg. The data associated with an account are kept as long as that account exists; however, data can be deleted at any time on request from the participants.

ACCEPTANCE

By answering this survey, you signify your acceptance to the use of the information collected on your autistic child. If you have further questions concerning matters related to this research, please contact:

Dr. Jean-François Lemay, (403) 955-7515

jf [dot] lemay [at] ahs [dot] ca

If you have any questions concerning your rights as a possible participant in this research, please contact the Chair of the Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board, University of Calgary, at 403-220-7990.

The University of Calgary Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board has approved this research study. If you wish to receive a paper copy of the survey confirming your participation, please contact our administrative assistant, Linda Beatty, at (403) 955-7515 (between 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.

Instructions for completing this survey

For the purpose of this survey, alternative diet is defined as adhering to a controlled meal plan that involves the purposeful exclusion of a certain type of food, i.e., sugar-free diet, gluten-free diet, where all foods containing a specific ingredient are excluded.

The questions in this survey are related to your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder and all responses will be treated confidentially. Please make sure to complete each question.

Now you are ready to take the survey—click on the link below

Directions for accessing surveyplace your cursor over top of the link below—if it automatically changes to a pointing hand just left click your mouse and it will take you to the survey.  If no hand appears and you are not directed to the survey, CLICK THE RIGHT SIDE of your mouse and several choices will appear—choose “Open Hyperlink” and you will be taken to the beginning of the survey.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Q2NGNSP

 


Third Study.

A Presentation to Discuss Research Findings:

Ongoing research on the PEERS program

Dr. Adam McCrimmon

An evening event where the ASERT team will share the results of our ongoing research on the PEERS program. Members of the ASD community, teens and their families who have participated in a PEERS program with us, and anyone else who is interested in knowing more about PEERS is welcome to attend!

DATE AND TIME:  Tue, 11 April 2017,  7:00 PM – 8:30 PM MDT

The link for info and registration for the event is:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/peers-community-session-tickets-32479572275

ASERT (Autism Spectrum Education, Research, and Training group) is located in the School Psychology area in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.  Under the direction of Dr. Adam McCrimmon, the group consists of researchers, clinicians, and professionals interested in understanding autism spectrum disorders and improving the lives of individuals with an autism spectrum disorder.

The PEERS Program (The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills)  is a unique social intervention designed to teach teens with ASD how to make and keep friends. It is a 14 week, parent-assisted social intervention developed at UCLA that we have been running locally. It is the singularly most research social intervention for teens on the spectrum and has the most evidence in support of its effectiveness. We are adding to that evidence through our research activities while also providing the intervention to the Calgary area.

 

 

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Disclaimer

Autism Calgary does not support, endorse or recommend any method, treatment, product, remedial center, program or person for people with autism or autism related conditions. It does, however, endeavour to inform because it believes in the right to have access to the information available and to make individual choices.

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I Have Autism

"I have Autism. I may not look unusual, but I experience the world much differently than you do. Autism makes it difficult for me to communicate with you, and sometimes causes me to have unusual behaviour. I am doing my very best. Please be patient with me and my caregivers, who are trying to give me a full and happy life."