Our online research/outreach program Extraordinary Brains started in early 2017. Our initial goal was to do strictly neuroscience-related studies, but we got so much interesting input from the community that we expanded our focus. In particular, autistic women and transgender individuals were very generous with sharing their experiences and opinions, and after a number of preliminary studies, this work has culminated in a large study on restricted interests and motor stereotypies in female/transgender autism (to be published soon). This page lists ongoing, upcoming and closed online-based studies.
We closed the latest study on September 16, 2017, which was a study about special interests and stimming in female/transgender/non-binary people. The next study is coming up in the fall of 2017.
Currently being designed!! Watch this space, or sign up to receive notifications about new studies.
Studies come out regularly, a few times per year.
Coming up soon:
Fall of 2017: A study on childbirth experiences among autistic women, which we hypothesize may differ from those of neurotypical women. We hope that this results in a scientific publication that identifies shortcomings and possible adaptations in hospitals and other settings.
We are planning new studies that will probe brain function in more depth, to figure out how strengths and challenges in autism and other neurodevelopmental differences might be related to variability in brain function. Data collected in online studies will be used to design more specific brain scanning experiments and be published in the scientific literature.
One of our top priorities this year is to gather opinions and experiences from the community to gradually define the areas that need to be addressed.
As always, we are interested in general input from the community on topics that need more attention from scientists, or things that you feel are important for us to know.
Thanks to everyone who's participated so far!
Closed studies (under analysis)
Female autism – what does it look like?
We ask questions that probe whether observations in males are relevant for recognizing autism in women. This study will be analyzed and written up during the fall of 2017 and published in 2018.
Women's perspectives of autism (preliminary study)
We ask women about what kind of issues are associated with autism for them and what should be done to improve support structures for women.
INFORMAL REPORT HERE!
Subjective definitions of autism (preliminary study)
We ask about your own views on what autism is and how it affects your life in good ways and bad ways.
INFORMAL REPORT HERE!
Diversity of strengths and challenges in autism
Mainly based on multiple-choice questions, this questionnaire quantifies strengths and weaknesses in functional domains that are not core symptoms of autism, and asks about how these may affect social life.
BLOG POSTS on specific questions HERE and HERE!
Using personal strengths to overcome challenges (preliminary study)
We ask about what kind of strategies you might use to compensate for the various challenges accompanying autism, and which challenges are particularly difficult to compensate for.
BLOG DISCUSSION HERE!
Are there benefits or strengths associated with autism? (preliminary study)
We ask about whether or not you feel autism is accompanied by strengths and ask what they are in your experience.
Diversity of social challenges in ASD (preliminary study)
This very brief questionnaire consists of a multiple-choice question about your perception of the contributors to social challenges, regardless of whether they are autism-related or not.