WHAT IS THIS PROJECT ABOUT?
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) provides services for people who have an autism spectrum disorder. We are conducting a research project to find out what life is like for young people aged 12 to 17 who have been diagnosed with autism and Asperger’s Disorder (also called Asperger’s Syndrome). As part of this project, we are sending out a survey (a set of questions) to young people with autism and Asperger’s Disorder all around Australia. We are hoping that about 300 young people will complete this survey.
WHY IS THIS RESEARCH IMPORTANT?
There are some things that teenagers with Asperger’s Disorder and autism may find more difficult than other young people to understand or do well. There are also some things that they are very good at. We want to know what makes life easy or difficult for teenagers with Asperger’s Disorder and autism, so that we can help people like the government, teachers and employers to understand and support them better.
WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE PROJECT?
The project is being run by Dr Debra Costley, who manages the Education Development and Research department at Aspect, and Dr Susan Bruck, the Aspect Research Officer. Their contact details can be found at the end of this page.
WHAT AM I BEING ASKED TO DO?
We would like to invite you to take part in our research project by completing the survey that follows. The survey will ask you some questions about your health, time at school, hobbies, friendships, and plans for the future.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE ME TO FILL IN THE SURVEY?
It will probably take you between 20 and 30 minutes to complete the whole survey. However, there is no time limit – you can spend as much or as little time on it as you want. The survey is NOT a test or an exam, so it is fine if you want to ask a family member or friend to help you understand the questions or write your answers.
WHAT IF I DON'T WANT TO DO THE SURVEY?
You do not have to complete the survey if you don’t want to. You can also stop part way through if you change your mind and don’t want to continue.
IS THE SURVEY CONFIDENTIAL (PRIVATE)?
Yes. We do not ask you write your name on the survey, so no-one will know that your answers came from you. When you return the survey to us online, we will not be able to see your email address even if the survey link was sent to you via email.
CAN I LEAVE QUESTIONS OUT IF I DON'T WANT TO ANSWER THEM?
Yes. If there are any questions that you do not want to answer, just leave them blank and move to the next question. However, it will be very helpful to us if you answer as many questions on the survey as you can.
WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH MY ANSWERS?
We will enter the answers you wrote into a computer program, which only the Aspect research team will have access to. After that, we will put your answers together with all the people who took part in the survey and write a report that describes ‘themes’ or ‘patterns’ in the answers people have given. We will not put your name anywhere in the report.
ARE THERE ANY RISKS INVOLVED IN ME TAKING PART?
Because the survey will ask you about both good and not so good things in your life, there is a small possibility that some of the questions might make you feel upset or worried. If this happens, we would encourage you to call the numbers below for help and support.
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Lifeline is a national charity providing telephone support to people experiencing personal distress or crisis.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
You can contact the Aspect research team at any time to ask questions about the project. Please call Dr Debra Costley on (02) 8868 8502 or Dr Susan Bruck on (02) 8868 8510.