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Research at The Redpath Centre

The Redpath Centre endorses a researcher-practitioner model in which our practice informs our research and our attention to current research means our practices are evidence-informed.  We are engaged in numerous research projects at any time that relate to supporting individuals with Asperger Syndrome and related symptoms, their families and communities. We have identified five areas that are research priorities:

Understanding Adult Profiles and Service Needs

"Diversity in Ontario’s Youth and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Complex Needs in Unprepared Systems" was released February 5, 2013. This report highlights the profiles and needs of this sample are both complex and diverse. Current systems of care and support are largely inadequate, although some positive experiences and supports exist in the province which can be expanded and emulated. To address these multiple unmet needs, research and data collection must be ongoing, significant changes must occur across multiple systems and provincial ministries, and regular feedback must be elicited from a wide range of consumers and stakeholders. Thanks to Autism Ontario, Kerry's Place Autism Services, Geneva Centre for Autism Foundation, and the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services for their generous financial support of this project.

Supporting Families

The research on the needs and effects on families is sparse and often based on samples from other countries. Data regarding the mental health of parents will soon be published in a peer-reviewed journal. A second series of studies examines marital satisfaction and high-conflict divorce and separation in families of individuals on the spectrum. We are currently reviewing Canadian family court decisions where families of children with ASDs are involved.

Developing Assessment Measures

We are developing our own measure (The Asperger Screening Questionnaire for Adults) that will assist in the diagnosis of adults with AS. This is a self-report measure and factor analysis is under way. Phase two of this project will be devoted to developing an informant measure. The measure will also be standardized on a general population sample. We are also involved in a project with other academics, examining the effectiveness of other diagnostic measures in the assessment and diagnosis of AS and related issues.

Adapting Evidence-Informed Practices

A major concern in our field is the lack of evidence-based practices that clinicians can use with individuals and their families affected by AS. We are currently adapting the use of CBT approaches in a group for adults with AS and co-morbid anxiety/depression. Another project is looking at the adaptation of an evidence-based mood and behaviour regulation intervention to children with AS and their families in cooperation with The Child Development Institute in Toronto.

Building Community Capacity

At any time, we are involved in projects that are intended to build capacity and expertise in community-based services and supports. We have received funding for a study on the experiences of children and youth with "mild ASDs" in pediatric Canadian hospitals.

 

Research Funding:

The Redpath Centre is grateful to the following organizations and Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services for their generous financial support of our research.

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