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Their Voice: BYU seeking help with autism research

By Monica Villar - | Oct 9, 2021


Monica Villar

I’m sure I am not the only one who is surprised by where we still are in this pandemic. There was a point at the beginning of summer where it looked like things were improving only to find ourselves somewhat better but far from “normal.” COVID-19 has changed us in a multitude of ways and, in some aspects, we will never be the same. I have read numerous articles and studies over the last 18 months of the impact that COVID-19 has had on the disability community that I hadn’t thought of before although I do see a lot of it in the people that I support.

Brigham Young University is currently undergoing a study to get more information on how the pandemic has specifically affected the autism community. The study title is “Sensory processing and intolerance of uncertainty in autistic individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic: A mixed approach”

They are reaching out to the community for information that will help in this study and specifically looking for families with a child or children with a diagnosis of autism. These families are being asked to participate in the study aimed at discovering the effects of COVID-19 have had on children with autism and their families. The study began in February and is continuing through November.

Participation is taking place online so it can be done with a good Wi-Fi connection and a smartphone or laptop computer. First, the family will complete an online questionnaire and possibly participate in a Zoom interview.

Participants for Phase 1, which is simply filling out the online survey will be entered into a drawing to win one of four $50 Amazon gift cards. Those participating in the Zoom interview will receive compensation at the rate of $30 an hour. The biggest and most long term benefit, of course, is helping researchers learn about the long term effects of large-scale uncertain situations on children with Autism and their families.

To participate you can  contact the Study Coordinator, Mollie Bradley, by email at byu.ask.covid19study@gmail.com

BYU is also looking for participants for another autism related study focused on assisting in diagnosing autism earlier and more effectively. They are looking for children between the ages of eight years and 18 months who either have an older sibling with Autism Spectrum Disorder or do not have any relatives with the diagnosis. For information on this study contact them at cogndevelopment@gmail.com or (801)422.5977.


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