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PARTICIPANT INFORMATION SHEET

This project has been approved by the Griffith University Ethics Committee, see Griffith University Research Ethical Clearance Ref No. 2016/296.

Dear Teachers,
I am writing to invite you to participate in a research study. We hope this research will shed new light on how to best support children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as they transition into their first year of formal schooling. We are seeking to involve teachers across Australia who are currently teaching children in their first year of formal schooling at mainstream schools (e.g. Prep, Kindergarten). To be eligible for this study you may currently be teaching a child with ASD, or have previously taught a child with ASD.

What are the aims of the study?
Our aim is to gather information about teacher’s knowledge and use of a range of practices when working with children with ASD in a mainstream schooling environment.

Who is conducting this study?
This study is being conducted by Rhylee Sulek, a PhD candidate at Griffith University, as part of her candidature in the School of Allied Health Sciences. This project is under the supervision of Dr David Trembath, Professor Deb Keen and Dr Jessica Paynter (of Griffith University). Contact details are listed at the end of this letter.

What does the study involve?
Participants will complete an online survey that will take approximately 20 minutes. The survey will collect demographic information and participant’s knowledge and use of a number of practices when working with children with ASD in their first year of formal schooling.

How will the information be used?
Results from this research will form the basis of one or more journal articles and/or research presentations. In addition, the findings will be presented as part of Miss Sulek’s research thesis. A summary of findings will also be published on Griffith University’s Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE) website, for those interested.
How will my identity be protected?
To protect the identity of participants, at no stage during the analysis or reporting of results (e.g. journal articles, theses) will any identifying information be revealed. Only the researchers involved in this study will have access to data, which will be de-identified. Electronic data will be stored on password protected computers and research servers belonging to the research team. Data will be retained on these servers for a period of up to 10 years, and will be destroyed using the University confidential waste service, in accordance with Griffith University policy when it is no longer required. We also ask that participants do not post information about the study on social media webpages (e.g. Facebook) to ensure anonymity of participants.

Will I receive any benefits for participating in the study?
While there is no direct benefit to you, your participation is most valuable to help us better understand how teachers work with children with ASD in a formal schooling environment. We hope that the results of this study will in lead to improvements in educational practice that will result in better outcomes for children with ASD and provide assistance to teachers working with these children.

Are there any risks associated with participating in the study?
There are no risks expected to arise from participation in this study.

What are your rights?
Participation in this study is completely voluntary. You are under no obligation to participate and you may withdraw at any time, prior to
submitting the online survey, without question or penalty.

How do you ask a question about this study?
If you have any questions please contact Rhylee Sulek via email at rhylee.sulek@griffithuni.edu.au. Alternatively you can contact Dr David Trembath (d.trembath@griffith.edu.au), Professor Deb Keen (d.keen@griffith.edu.au) or Dr Jessica Paynter (j.paynter@griffith.edu.au ).

How do you make a complaint about this study?
If you have any complaints or queries that the investigator has not been able to answer to your satisfaction, please contact the Manager, Research Ethics on 07 3735 4375 or research-ethics@griffith.edu.au.

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