Cooperative Research Centre For Living With Autism
Autism Queensland played a key role in the development of a bid for a Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) and is an essential participant in the CRC. Dr Jill Ashburner, Manager Research and Development is currently leading a number of projects that have been funded by the Autism CRC.
Dr Jill Ashburner, Manager Research and Development is currently leading the following projects which have been funded by the Autism CRC:
- Overcoming the difficulties of students with ASD in written expression through the use of assistive technology and writing strategy instruction. Students with ASD frequently have difficulties with handwriting and the conceptual aspects of written composition. In this project, the use of assistive technology in combination with explicit writing strategy instruction in mainstream classrooms is being evaluated by researchers from QUT and Autism Queensland.
- Helping students with ASD stay on-task and transition between tasks. Students with ASD often have difficulty attending to tasks, and transitioning between tasks. Structured teaching approaches such as the use of visual schedules and explicit cues to prepare students for transitions have been used extensively in special school classrooms, but have not been effectively researched in mainstream schools, where most students with ASD are educated. The application of structured teaching approaches to mainstream classrooms is being evaluated by Researchers from Griffith University, Aspect and Autism Queensland are contributing to the project.
- Enhancing social, confidence and pre-vocational skills through the Studio G Multimedia Program for young adults with ASD. Autism Queensland’s Studio G Program aims to support young people in their transition to post-secondary school education and/or vocational opportunities. Young people with ASD are paired with skilled mentors with industry experience in multi-media, with the aim of enhancing their technical skills and social engagement. The program was evaluated by researchers from Autism Queensland and the University of Queensland. Read the report.
- The development and evaluation of a goal setting tool for adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum. People on the spectrum often have difficulty articulating their goals, due to social and communication difficulties and social anxiety. This is likely to impact on their capacity to actively engage in the planning processes of organisations such as the National Disability Insurance Agency, schools and disability services providers. The Adolescent/Adult Goal Setting Tool will assist adolescents and adults on the spectrum to develop and prioritise their goals in a range of areas such as independent living, tertiary education and training, employment, and social and community activities.
The Autism Queensland Research and Development Department is also contributing to several other Autism CRC projects including:
- Impact of improved classroom acoustics on the educational outcomes of students with ASD. Sound Field Amplification systems (SFAs) have been shown to improve the capacity of typically developing students to understand instruction, attend and perform academically. The effectiveness of SFAs with students with ASD will be evaluated in collaboration with researchers from the University of Queensland.
- ASD Educational Needs Analysis: A nationwide online survey on the educational needs of students with ASD. This project is now closed. Read the report.
- Early Years Behaviour Support Project. This study will evaluate the application of tele-classroom consulting practices to support classroom teachers to meet the challenging and complex needs of students with ASD aged 5 to 8 years. Autism Queensland will contribute a multi-disciplinary team to carry out the intervention in rural locations in Queensland.
- Transition Models of Practice in Primary School and Secondary School. Models of practice and related multimedia resource packages to support students with ASD in transitioning into primary school and secondary schools will be evaluated. Autism Queensland staff will be involved in in-class and online coaching of teaching staff in Queensland schools.
Visit the Autism CRC website for information on other research projects and findings.