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Past Research Projects

A list of completed research projects that Autism SA has been involved with is available below.

Thesis abstracts have been included for download where possible. Some theses are available from the Autism SA Resource Centre.

We thank the researchers involved for their contribution.



All research is approved and vetted, but not endorsed, by Autism SA. Autism SA is not liable for any findings, conclusions or recommendations included in any research project listed here.

Research Subject Institution(s) Date of Document

Parental Acceptance and Understanding of Autistic Children

The University of Queensland

The use of off-the-shelf game, Minecraft® to promote social collaboration skills in autistic pre-teens: A pilot study was a joint research project between Adelaide University and Autism SA commencing in October 2022. 12 participants were involved, attending either face-to-face or online groups, either high intensity- over two weeks, or low intensity- over eight weeks. Two facilitators from Autism SA lead the program; Josh Collins and Jordan Eve Hefferan. Participants and families have shared positive experiences, stating they formed friendships though the project.

The University of Adelaide and Autism SA


The LEGO® ROBOTICS Guide: A guide to facilitating LEGO®

Robotics sessions for autistic teens


Flinders University and Griffiths University


How do autism assistance dogs influence children with Level 3 Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families?

The University of Adelaide

Does repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), compared to sham rTMS, improve social communication in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

The University of Adelaide

Understanding camouflaging/masking in autistic adults

University of Western Australia School of Psychological Science

A random and controlled trial of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for insomnia in autistic children

Flinders University

The phenomenology of echolalia: Implications for cross environmental policy and practice – the perspectives of parents and caregivers

Echolalia as an expression of neurodiversity 

Echolalia as defined by parent communication partners 

Mapping the parent experience of echolalia

University of Melbourne

Autism and Experiences with the Police

Murdoch University, WA


Are Positive Behaviour Support plans (PBS) accessible and useful for non-specialised support people.

Flinders University
South Australia


Use and Effectiveness of the Smiling Mind Smartphone Application for Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Caregivers

The University of Adelaide


Research Forum

Autism SA


Evaluation of the Autism SA Acceptance & Commitment Therapy Group

The University of Adelaide


Exploring experiences of friendship in girls and young women with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder

The University of Adelaide


“How was your day?”: Home conversations about their school day in children with ASD

University of Melbourne, Victoria
OTARC / La Trobe University, Victoria
Griffith University, QLD
University of Queensland, QLD
Autism QLD, QLD


Development and Evaluation of an Autonomous, Virtual Agent Based Social Skills Tutor for Children with Autism

Flinders University


iMSocialTM at School

The University of Adelaide (SA)


Friendship experiences of primary school age girls with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parents’ and teachers’ perspectives

The University of Adelaide


Parental stress in families with a typically developing child and child diagnosed with ASD: Influences of gender and birth order

La Trobe University


Resilience in families raising a child with a neurodevelopmental disability 

University of Adelaide


Caruso – The impact of Autism Spectrum Disorder on parents and families: An investigation into parenting stress, self-efficacy, parental identity and use of social support

University of Adelaide


The Effect of Brain Stimulation on Social Abilities in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Flinders University


Adolescent girls with an Autism Spectrum Disorder: presentation, challenges and support needs in the mainstream education system

Flinders University


The Efficacy of Models for Educational Service Delivery for Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Visual Summary

Macquarie University


Pilot study of a Parent Education Package for ASD Intervention Decision-Making

Macquarie University (NSW)


Adolescents with Asperger’s Disorder and high functioning autism: experiences, needs and service requirements

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)


Factors Affecting Social Skill Maintenance Following a Group-Based Video Modelling Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

University of Adelaide


Early development concerns for females with late-diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder

Flinders University


Investigating eye movement in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Flinders University


Exclusion of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders from mainstream schooling: effects of the Disability Standards

Flinders University


Measuring the participation of children and adolescents in everyday activities

University of South Australia


 The effects of the Disability Standards for Education on the Exclusion of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders From Mainstream Schooling

Flinders University


The development of infants with an increased risk of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Flinders University


Time demands of caring for children with autism : what are the implications for maternal mental health

University of Adelaide


Nutrigenomic investigation of the molecular and metabolic determinants of autism with respect to the folate/methionine pathway

Autism Research Group, Sansom Institute, University of South Australia, CSIRO Division of Human Nutrition


The effect of animated social stories on emotion recognition and social functioning in children with pervasive developmental disorders

Flinders University


Autonomous virtual agents as social skills tutors for children with autistic spectrum disorders

Flinders University


Employment and adults with Asperger syndrome: a phenomenological study which explores the employment experiences of eight adults with Asperger syndrome.

University of South Australia


Investigating the relationship between quality of life and career development of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder.

Flinders University Business School


Face recognition and metacognitive monitoring in individuals with autism spectrum disorders

Flinders University


Information needs of caregivers surrounding autism and complementary and alternative medicines and dietary interventions

University of South Australia


Autism and immunisation: sifting myth from reality

University of South Australia


Complementary and alternative medicines and dietary interventions in autism: a call for action

University of South Australia


Complementary medicines and autism: a survey and literature review

University of South Australia


Developing a laboratory test to diagnose and subtype autism using metabonomics

University of South Australia and Flinders University