A study of intervention outcomes in children with autism

This is a research project that you have the option to take part in if you have a child with autism aged 8-12 years old.

The research is being conducted by the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC) in conjunction with the University of New South Wales, Aspect and Neuroscience Research Australia.

The aim of this study is to improve our understanding of autism and help us to determine which factors are associated with good outcomes for children on the spectrum.

What is required of parents?

Should you choose to participate in this study, you will be asked to:

  • Answer some questions to check your child’s eligibility for this study.
  • Fill out some paper forms and questionnaires. The questionnaires will take approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours to complete.
  • Book in a session for your child to attend a clinical assessment session. The clinical assessments will include an evaluation of IQ and reports will be provided to families outlining the results of these assessments. The clinical assessments will take approximately 2 hours to complete. We will be conducting assessments at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and there will be a variety of times to choose from.
  • Fill out the same paper forms and questionnaires 12 months later.

What is required of your child?

Should your child choose to participate in this study, they will be asked to:

  • Play some games and answer some questions.
  • Optional: MRI Scanning

What is an MRI?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a safe and non-invasive procedure we used to take pictures of the brain. There are no chemicals or radiation involved, instead the MRI machine uses magnets and low energy radio waves to create images of soft tissue in the body which can be viewed on a computer. During an MRI scan the participant needs to lie very still in a long donut-shaped machine while we take pictures of their brain. Click the link below for what the MRI experience will be like:


After the clinical assessments you will be given the option to participate in the MRI scanning component of the study. MRI scans are extremely expensive and time consuming to acquire so the MRI component will require two trips to the Neuroscience Research of Australia (NeuRA) building. The first trip will involve a mock or training scanner. This is used to see if your child can tolerate being in an MRI machine for an extended period of time. The second trip will involve the actual scan. This will take approximately 45 minutes to complete.

You will be reimbursed for any reasonable travel and parking expenses associated with the research project visit/s.

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact:

Lidan Zheng

Phone: 02 9385 0623

Email: lidan.zheng@student.unsw.edu.au

Taking part in research is voluntary. You may choose not to take part. If you decide not to take part in this research, you decision will have no effect on your relationship with the Autism Cooperative Research Centre, the University of New South Wales, Aspect or Neuroscience Research Australia.

This research has been reviewed and approved by The University of New South Wales Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have any complaints or concerns about the research project please email humanethics@unsw.edu.au or phone +61 2 9385 6222 quoting the following number HC14304.