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What is this research study about?

This study aims to determine whether the observation of hand gestures benefits the narrative comprehension of children who are on the autism spectrum.

Why should I help?

The findings of this study may be used to inform gesture-based teaching strategies and interventions that focus on improving comprehension for children who are on the autism spectrum.

Who can take part?

You are invited to take part in this study if you live in the greater Sydney area and your child:

  • Has a clinical diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder
  • Does not have a diagnosis of either an intellectual disability or ADD/ADHD
  • Is aged between 6 and 12 years old
  • Can speak fluently in English.

You are invited to take part in this study if you live in Victoria and you are either currently or have previously been a secondary school student attending mainstream or special education school in Victoria. This includes students with any condition that affects cognitive, developmental (e.g. autism, attention deficit hyperactivity, intellectual disability, learning disorders, communication/language disorders), sensory (hearing or vision), or mobility functions (cerebral palsy), and children who need extra planning for medical reasons.

Who is conducting this study?

The study is being conducted by Dr Naomi Sweller, A/Prof Mark Carter, and Miss Nicole Dargue of the Department of Psychology, Macquarie University.

What will parents be asked to do?

Parents will be asked to:

  • Answer some questions to check your child’s eligibility for this study
  • Fill out a consent form allowing your child to participate and a short paper questionnaire
  • Book in a time for your child to attend a session with a member of the research team.

You will be asked to complete a 15-minute online survey about your experiences in school.

What will parents be asked to do?

Your child will be asked to:

  • Watch two short (2-minute) videos of a girl telling some stories, and then answer some questions
  • Complete a short measure of intelligence
  • Complete a short measure of receptive language ability.

When and where?

The session will take place at a time and location decided with yourself and the researcher. There will be a variety of times to choose from. The session can take place either within a research room at Macquarie University or at your child’s school (provided the school is in the greater Sydney area), If the session is to take place at your child’s school, a location and a time during school hours will be decided upon with your child’s principal. The study is expected to take no longer than 2 hours to complete.

To find out more about the study and register to participate please contact Nicole Dargue

Please feel free to forward this information to others who might also be interested in participating.

Phone us to discuss how we can help you.

Call 1800 277 328

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Enquire with Autism Spectrum Australia