In the interest of promoting autism awareness, we feel it is important to help spread the word about autism spectrum research studies that are being conducted in our area. For the first time, we are giving individuals and organizations the opportunity to advertise their research studies in future ASCEND e-newsletters and on our website, for a nominal fee without first becoming ASCEND members. Use this Research Study Form to submit your study. 


Understanding the Experience of Entering Adulthood and Employment for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

We are looking for adults with autism and their parents/caregivers to gain further information to help contribute to future programs aiming to improve support services for adults with ASD.

More details here.

By Jessica Bischoff, Occupational Therapist, as part of completing her Occupational Therapy Doctorate degree at Salus University



College Success on the Spectrum (graduate study)

Hello -   I am a doctoral student in the school of education at Saint Peter’s University and I am working on research for my dissertation.  I am interested in studying how students on the spectrum find support so that they are able to successfully graduate.  If you are a recent college graduate on the spectrum,  I would love to talk with you! If you know someone who fits that description who would want to talk with me, please let me know. I would like to interview qualified people about their experiences in college and what they did to succeed.  Interviews will take place during the Fall semester via Google Meet.  I would also like to interview faculty peers, family members, university staff, or community members who were helpful to the success of the graduate.  Any participant in my study will have a say in everything that is written and will be a part of all data analysis regarding themselves.  The comfort and safety of all participants is important to me and I will be sure to keep all participants at ease.  Also be aware that your confidentiality will be respected at all times.  You will be able to choose a pseudonym to use during the research project if you want.  The person or department forwarding this email to you has nothing to do with this research project and has no interest or concern regarding your participation.  Participants who complete the project will receive a $200 gift card.

Please contact me for more information and if you are interested in participating: [email protected]


Social Coordination at The Center for Autism Research

This study compares how people with different backgrounds and medical conditions use language and non-verbal methods to interact. We are looking for children between the ages of 12 and 17 to participate along with their parents. Typically developing children as well as children who are diagnosed with ADHD, Anxiety Disorder, Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, or Oppositional Defiant Disorder are invited to participate.


Team IEP: A cloud application to improve transition outcomes for ASD youth through iterative, collaborative and synchronized implementation of transition goals by youth, parents and key providers.

Study Info: The Autism Institute at Drexel University is doing a research study that involves developing and designing a web application to improve transition-based outcomes for autistic youth and young adults. This virtual tool is designed to help autistic individuals meet their life goals by engaging autistic youth/young adults, their parents/legal guardians, and providers in the collaborative process of implementing and achieving goals during the transition to adulthood. The study team is seeking youth/young adults ages 13-29 on the autism spectrum who are transitioning to adulthood. They are also looking for these youths’ caregivers and providers. If you are interested in learning more, please fill out the Interest Form at or email our team at  [email protected]. 

Name:  Elizabeth McGhee-Hassrick
Phone:  215-571-3216
Primary Email: [email protected]


Evaluating Transportation among Adolescents

Description: In collaboration with the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP, we are conducting a study that you can participate in completely from home through web-based surveys. Our study is seeking parents/guardians of young adults between 16 and 21 years of age, who have not yet gotten a learner’s permit or driver’s license and are on the autism spectrum. Participants must be residents of Pennsylvania or New Jersey. We are asking if you will partner with us as we learn more about the decisions you make about transportation, including driving. We also hope to learn about how transportation influences quality of life and other outcomes. You will be compensated for your time and effort. If you would be interested in participating, please contact our research study team by phone at 267-586-5199 or email at [email protected]


Police Safety Study:
We are looking for teens and adults ages 12 and older with autism spectrum disorder to participate in a research study to test whether virtual reality (VR) could be a useful way for people with autism to practice interacting with police officers. Participants will be asked to make one to four virtual study visits, participate in either VR intervention or a treatment- as- usual condition, and complete questionnaires and talk about experiences. Participants will receive compensation for participating. For more information, please contact: Alison Russell [email protected]



CHOP Study: Social Communication Skills in Children with Older Siblings
We are enrolling children ages 6-12 months for a study on the development of social communication skills in children who have an older sibling. Participants are asked to make two visits to CHOP which involve comprehensive evaluation and completion of easy motor behavior tasks. Participants will receive compensation for their time and a written feedback report. 


PARSEC is an intervention done by phone aimed at helping young adults (18-25) with ASD increase their community participation activities in non-urban areas of PA.

Are you a young adult with autism who would like to better engage with your community? 
ABOUT OUR STUDY This study will evaluate an intervention designed to help young adults with autism increase participation in their communities.  
FOR MORE INFORMATION Jayde Nagle 717-531-0003 ext. 285543 [email protected]


The Prevalence of Genetically Linked Autism & Vitamin D Deficiency in Hispanic Families
Contact Faith Hess, RN for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital at [email protected]

The Experiences of Stigma, Stress, and Social Support Among Fathers of Children on the Autism Spectrum 
Are you a father of a child or teenager (ages 5-18) with autism? Have you ever felt that people don't understand what your life is like and how you feel? Have you ever been rejected, judged, or embarrassed by friends, family, or even complete strangers because you are the father of an amazing and wonderful child with autism? Your experiences as a father of a child with autism are unique and important. As a parent, you are the only person who really knows what it's like to raise a child with autism. You have experienced the ups and downs, the laughter and tears, the joy and pain. We are inviting you to participate in a research study and share your experiences of stigma, stress, and social support. Your perspective will increase our understanding of what your life is like. You can help us know how it feels to be a father of a child with autism. The entire survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. As a small token of appreciation for your participation, you may choose to be entered into a raffle for one of four Amazon Fire 7 tablets.



SPARK for Autism
We are enrolling any individual with autism spectrum disorder and their biological parents into the nation’s largest autism study, called SPARK. The goal of SPARK is to speed up autism research and find the genetic causes of autism. All participants enroll online at and then provide a saliva sample via kits that are mailed to the home. Families who return the saliva collection kits will receive compensation and access to free webinars and an interactive and informational dashboard. For more information:267-769-8163 [email protected]


Social and Motor Communication Study 
The goal of this research study is to better understand differences in the way children with autism move their bodies and faces compared to children who are developing typically. Children who are diagnosed with ASD or who are typically developing are invited to participate in this study, which will include a visit to CAR to complete simple social skills tasks, motor behavior and language tasks as well as an IQ test. Participants will be compensated for their time and effort and will receive a brief report of their behavioral and IQ tests results. For more information: [email protected] | 267-425-1192


Transportation Research Study

We are looking for adults with autism ages 18 and older to participate in a study looking at the impact of travel training on use of public transportation to access the community (i.e., social events, medical appointments, work).



Infant Brain Imaging Study (IBIS)
In an attempt to learn about patterns of brain development in children, we are studying the differences in brain patterns between children with autism spectrum disorders and typically developing children. Infants between 3-6 months of age with an older sibling who is diagnosed with an ASD are invited to participate. .