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Autistic Adolescents’ Perspectives on Behavioral Interventions

October 24, 2022 - March 31, 2023

The goal of this study is to understand how autistic adolescents feel about common intervention goals and strategies used to support autistic children and young people. Autistic people have not historically been a part of the development of these interventions and autistic advocates have voiced concerns saying that these interventions are unethical and caused harm to autistic people. It is important to seek autistic feedback to determine where these practices fail to align with the values of autistic people and where they can be improved.

What are the goals of the study?

A primary goal of the study is to understand how sensory processing develops over adolescence. We hope to identify neurobiological mechanisms related to sensory over-responsiveness (SOR) with the goal of informing the development of targeted interventions.

What will happen during the visit or online?

The researcher will set up a time to meet with the teen (participant) and their parent via zoom or in person, depending on location and preference. During the meeting, the parent and participant will participate in a consent/assent process. Once both parties consent/assent to participate, the teen will be sent the survey link and answer the survey items. If preferred, they can have the survey items read to them and the researcher can fill out the survey based on their dictated answers. The survey will take approximately 30-45 minutes.

How will this help families?

There are no direct benefits to participants or families. However, we hope that the findings from this study will help clinicians provide supports to autistic children and young people that are more in-line with what the autistic community desires.

Eligibility Criteria

We are recruiting autistic adolescents (13-17 years old, with a formal- or self-diagnosis of autism) from diverse backgrounds, including across gender identities, races, and ethnic backgrounds. Participants must speak English to participate in this survey. Parents of participants will need to be able to participate in the consent process.

View the study flyer here.

Contact Information

Kaitlynn Penner – kpenner@ucsb.edu

Research Study Website
Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, UC Santa Barbara

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