Skip to main content

What is this research study about?

The research team know that for many young people, learning how to navigate sex and relationships can be challenging. This path is especially fraught for young people on the autism spectrum. In this project, we want to understand what sex and relationships mean to young autistic people and those who support them – their parents and teachers.

Why should I help?

The research team would love to hear YOUR views and experience. Your participation will help inform future educational practices that promote and maintain young autistic people’s health, well-being and relationships.

Who can take part?

You are invited to take part in this study if you are

  • A young autistic person, aged 16-25
  • A parent with an autistic child, aged 8-18
  • A primary or secondary school teacher of sex and relationships education

Who is conducting this study?

Professor Liz Pellicano, Madison Hecht and Dr Jac den Houting of Macquarie University as well as Robyn Steward will be conducting this study. Both Jac and Robyn are autistic researchers who are involved in the design and development of this project.

What will I be asked to do?

For young people and parents, the research team would like organise a face-to-face interview with you, lasting about 1 hour. The research team can also do the interview over video conferencing (Zoom or Skype). For teachers, the research team would like to organise focus groups.

The research team will let you know about the main questions we would like to ask before the interview or focus group, and you can tell us if there are any topics you would prefer not to talk about. The research team will record the interview for later typing up and analysis, but you can choose whether or not you agree to have this done. Afterwards, the research team will show you the typed-up interview and you will be able to take a look and remove anything that you are not comfortable with sharing. Any travel expenses involved in doing the interview will be paid for and you will receive reimbursement of $20 per hour gift voucher for generously sharing your time and expertise.

When and where?

If you are a young person or parent, you can take part either in-person at Macquarie University or another place you choose or remotely through video conferencing (Zoom or Skype).

To find out more about the study and register to participate:

If you would like to take part or learn more about the study, please get in touch with Madison Hecht:

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

Send us a message and we'll get back to you.

Enquire with Autism Spectrum Australia