January marked the start of another exciting year of research at the Autism Association. In 2018, several projects initiated last year will come to a close. This includes the Debunking Autism Myths project and the Stakeholder Perspectives project.
The Debunking Autism Myths project looked at combating harmful myths surrounding the perception of Autism and associated intervention models. We are excited to announce results of this project will be presented at the 25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development (ISSBD 2018) on the Gold Coast. Our other project coming to a close in 2018 is the Stakeholder Perspectives project, a study aimed at improving our understanding of how families experience the transition to school.
Also in 2017, the Autism Association embarked on its first major study of our First Steps for Autism model. The study has become known as the Service Delivery project and attempts to contrast our centre based service model against the long day care model utilised in our Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre (ASELCC) in Bedford. At the start of last year the team set an ambitious target to recruit 80 families before the end of the year. Our passionate Key Therapists, led by Heather Kell and Charlotte Le Poidevin, exceeded this target by recruiting over 90 families.
The team is now gearing up for the second phase of the study which will run during 2018. In this second phase families and children will be reassessed 12 months after starting in the program. We will be interested to see what progress the children have made and how the service model has contributed to this progress.
Be sure to look out for regular updates throughout the year on these projects and the other exciting research projects running at the Autism Association.