Participate in Research

This page lists current and upcoming research participation opportunities. 

 If you have a study you would like to feature here, please contact the Department of Psychiatry at

These studies are conducted by individual researchers and research teams.  Studies, researchers and teams that are or, are not affiliated with the Developmental Disabilities Program maintain their own study data and are responsible for their own ethics protocols. 

S3 Camp: An inclusive camp promoting Stem, Social Skills and Inclusion

Dr. Nicole Neil is an associate professor at the University of Western Ontario.  She is conducting a study examining science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills, social skills, and friendship formation in youth ages 10-13 with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities in an inclusive informal learning environment, called the S3 Camp.  


Participant selection is based on meeting the following criteria (a) between the ages of 10 and 13 and; (b) have an interest in participating in the camp. Participants with intellectual and developmental disabilities must also have a diagnosis of IDD from a regulated health professional (e.g., pediatricians, psychologists). 


During the study, participants attend the camp during the week of July 10 to 14th or July 17th to 21st, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. Children will collaboratively work with other children who are about the same age on different kinds of STEM activities including computer coding and robotics activities. Children will be taught daily social skills lessons involving communicating and interacting with others. They will also receive short lessons on disability awareness. Caregivers and children will attend a 1-hour and 25-minute baseline assessment, and a 45-minute post-assessment. If they are in the waitlist-control first group, they will conduct an additional 45-minute baseline assessment.  


Attached here you can access a recruitment flyer. If you would like more information on this study or would like to receive a letter of information about this study, please contact the researchers at the contact information given below. 


Kailee Liesemer, MA (she/her/hers).

Nicole Neil.  519-661-2111 Ext. 88603.

Care Relationships of Adult Disabled and Nondisabled Siblings

Do you have an adult sibling that is disabled or are you disabled and have a sibling: we want to talk to you!


The Centre for Caregiving Excellence, Siblings Canada, and Western University Disability and Medical Anthropologists are aiming to look at the mutual care relationships between adult siblings (disabled and nondisabled).

Who is eligible?

  • Participants must be over the age of 18
  • Has a sibling who is disabled or is disabled and has a sibling
  • Must be able to speak Englsish

Contact for more infomation: Pamela Block (Ph.D.), Principle Investigator for this study.

Please view the official recruitment flyer here.


phone (519-661-2111 x85077)

Individuals with Autism and Intellectual Disability Transitioning to Adulthood

Researchers at Western University are looking for volunteers to participate in a study investigating individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability transitioning into adulthood.

The study includes two 30 minute to one hour interviews: 1 with the youth with ASD and ID, and one with the caregivier.  

The criteria for participation in this study are:

  1. Must have been out of highschool in the past 2 years.  
  2. Must speak English
  3. Must have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder AND mid-moderate Intellectual Disability


For more information, you can contact Richa Mehta at, and/or view the flyer for this study here: flyer.  


A Virtual Reality Study for Teaching Perspective-Taking Skills

Researchers are looking for volunteers to take part ina  study to examine whether a newly developed virtual reality (VR) program can teach perspective-taking skills to individuals with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability (e.g., Down Syndrome) and/or developmental disability/delay.

Parents/guardians that have a child who is diagnosed with autism spectrm disorder, intellectual disability, and/or developmental disabilty/delay, has verbal communication (e.g., can answer questions), and are above the age of 5 are eligible to participate in this study.

More information can be found on the flyer available here: flyer.


You can also contact Emily Erb in the Faculty of Education at Western University at for more information or to volunteer for this study.  

Quarantine Responses: Virtual Emotional Skills Training for Preschool Children with Autism

University of Western Ontario - Quarantine Responses: Virtual Emotional Skills Training
for Preschool Children with Autism

Looking for Child Participants
Child must have a diagnosis of autism, between 5 – 8 years of age and have functional verbal
communication (can have a dialogue of up to 5 back-and-forth interactions where child is able to
respond and ask questions). Participants will also be those who need to learn primary skills in
emotion recognition and emotion regulation.

Time commitments:
A maximum of 3-4, 30-minutes telehealth training sessions per week for 2-3 months which
includes video recording of participants while providing intervention on 5 different emotional
skills through multiple images and exemplars, to then transfer the skills with your child
A minimum of 30-mins of support on the first 2 days of training your child by parent.

The intervention:
The intervention looks to teach five emotional skills to children with ASD with deficits in these
skills. The five skills are: 1) basic emotion recognition; 2) context-based emotion recognition; 3)
context-based emotional self-awareness; 4) emotion regulation; 5) seeking help. The study will
utilize images presented through zoom, and verbal responses to track child’s progress. The
instructional programs include verbally identifying emotions of themselves and others with and
without context, teaching emotion regulation techniques, and helping the child identify when to
use them and aiding in demonstration and learning how to and when to ask for help from an

Materials required:
Access and experience in using a computer/iPad with a built-in camera, downloaded Zoom
application, email and internet speed of 25 Mbps.

If interested, please contact:
Dr. Gabrielle Lee, M.Ed, PhD by email at
Nethnie Nandadasa, BSc at 226-503-4083 or by email at:

Examining the Effects of a STEM Program on the Inquiry Skill Development Among Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

This study’s purpose is to determine the effects of a video-modeling intervention package on the inquiry skill development among children ages 8-10 with a diagnosis of an intellectual and/or developmental disability. These target skills will be practiced within a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) one-on-one virtual Zoom lesson. Appropriate exploration and investigation skills required in a STEM learning environment will be the focus. During the study, children will attend 1-hour sessions 5 times a week for approximately 6 weeks in addition to five 1-hour follow-up sessions two weeks after the program has ended. Throughout the STEM lessons, caregivers may be required to assist with the preparation of STEM materials needed for the lesson. 

For more information, contact Kailee Leisemer at 

A recruitment flyer is available for viewing here:  flyer