Skip to main content

Addressing the needs of autistic individuals and the autism community

Researchers from the Curtin Autism Research Group, Australasian Autism Research Council and Griffith University are looking for autistic adults, their families and caregivers, and the professionals who work with autistic people of all ages to share their experiences in one or more of the following topics:

  • Built environment
  • Independent living (choice of housing)
  • Health and disability services delivery
  • Family and caregiver support
  • Gender, diversity and inclusion

Experiences about these topics will be collected in a series of meetings/focus groups from July 20th to August 11th, 2023. Each meeting will discuss only one topic. Input from participants will play a crucial role in shaping the future of autism research.

Participants must be 18 or over.

To participate or ask questions, please email Tanya Picen

View flyer for more information.

This project has been approved by Griffith & Curtin University Ethics Committee (2023/392 & HRE2023-0159).

Community strengths-based activities studies

A team of researchers from the Curtin Autism Research Group (CARG) is looking for parents/carers of children with and without physical/cognitive/developmental/mental/behavioural conditions for two studies from April to July 2022.

Study 1: Accessibility of community arts events for children with physical/cognitive/developmental/mental/behavioural conditions and their family (a teleconference interview/focus group with caregivers of children aged 0 – 12 years)

Study 2: An evaluation of arts and leisure activities for children with and without physical/cognitive/developmental/mental/behavioural conditions (an online survey of caregivers of children aged 4 – 12 years)

These projects aim to understand the participation of children with and without physical/mental/cognitive/developmental/behavioural conditions in arts and leisure activities and the barriers and facilitators to this participation. Caregivers can participate in either one or both studies if they meet the inclusion criteria. As a token of appreciation, a $20 gift card will be given to participants for their time for each study.

These projects are led by Prof. Sonya Girdler, the director of CARG and approved by the Curtin Human Research Ethics Committee. To express your interest in participating or to find out more, please contact: Dr Elinda Lee at (08) 9266 1790 or 

View Study 1 flyer

View Study 2 flyer


Tele-TRANSITION© Program: An online program supporting transition to adulthood (2022)

A team of researchers from the Curtin Autism Research Group are looking for autistic adolescents and young adults to participate in a fully-online and free program designed to support the autistic individuals with their transition to adulthood, the Tele-TRANSITION©. The Tele-TRANSITION© program will cover information on adult life areas such as employment, education, finances, housing, health, leisure and relationships through online modules and online group discussions. This study aims to evaluate the Tele-TRANSITION© program based on the outcomes related to adult life goals and daily living skills for the participants. More information regarding this study can be found in the flyer below. If you have any questions about this study or are interested in contributing in this study, please contact Sowmya Kasiraman, the PhD student leading this study via email.

View flyer

Content validity of assessment of functioning measures: Why it is important?

For a long time, researchers and clinicians have thought that assessment measures are assessing all the things they need to (called content validity). However, some CARG researchers have compared common measures of functioning to the World Health Organization’s ICF and have found that some measures are better at assessing the things they need to than others. You can read the full research article (for free) here.

Our PhD student, Emily D’Arcy has also explained how and what they did here.

Flexible working arrangements study

A team of researchers from the Curtin Autism Research Group is looking for autistic adults with flexible working arrangements experience and employers or line managers with experience in providing flexible working arrangements for autistic adults. This study aims to develop an employment support tool to facilitate successful employment outcomes for autistic adults in a flexible working environment. If you are interested in contributing to this study or finding out more, please contact Elinda Lee

Your feedback and input will be greatly appreciated.

View Employees Flyer

View Employers Flyer


Sense and Sensitivity Exhibition

This exhibition Sense and Sensitivity: Immerse yourself in a sensory world will showcase the work of two neurodiverse artists from 17 November to 15 December 2021 at John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University.  Perth-based landscape photographer Simon Philips and Singapore-based musician and performance artist Dawn-Joy Leong joined creative forces to produce a series of sensory stories for public exhibition. All are welcome.

Date: 17 November – 15  December 2021

Time: Mon – Fri 11am – 5pm, Sun 12pm-4 pm

Venue: John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University, Bentley Campus

More information about the exhibition can be found here.

ExteND Testing: Superior software and data quality engineering through neurodiversity

Neurodiverse individuals, including individuals on the autism spectrum, have unique skills such as extreme attention to detail, increased pattern recognition, sustained concentration, and out-of-the-box thinking that make them very valuable employees.

Founded in 2019,  ExteND Testing based at Curtin University aims to provide superior software and data quality engineering services by harnessing the skills of neurodiverse individuals.

The services of  ExteND Testing is timely given the skills shortage in the technology industry, especially in strategically important and rapidly expanding fields such as software testing and data engineering. More importantly, the consultants at  ExteND Testing excel at and enjoy tasks that most software and data quality engineers find boring.

ExteND Testing is an initiative of the award-winning Autism Academy for Software Quality Assurance (AASQA) founded by Professor Tele Tan that provides individuals on the autism spectrum training, education and mentoring programs to create pathways to valued, long-term employment. Launched four years ago, AASQA has supported over 200 autistic high school autistic students through STEM clubs, placed over 30 high school students on work experiences at 12 companies, helped 17 students complete the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) certification examination, and created over 35 internship scholarships placing students at companies like BHP, Bankwest, Deloitte, Woodside, and Government Departments.

This initiative is financially supported by the Department of Communities Western Australia. Therapy Focus, the premier provider of disability services in Perth, the Curtin Autism Research Group (CARG), the WA Data Science Innovation Hub support this initiative through in-kind contributions.

To discuss your project and how ExteND Testing can support you, please contact Mortaza Rezae.

Strength-based coding clubs benefit autistic teenagers

Recent evidence suggests that strengths-based programs with activities tailored to focus on strengths and interests of autistic students may support them to develop their skills and realise their own potential leading to meaningful employment.

In a recent study, Dr Elinda Lee and her colleagues from the Curtin Autism Research Group have found that autistic teenagers who participated in strengths-based programs such as the computing coding clubs that focus on their strengths, interests and skills show improvement in

  • sense of belonging
  • confidence and self-esteem
  • health and well-being
  • social relationships and interaction
  • activities and participation

The full article can be accessed at this link.

Neurodiverse School Holiday Program

Firetech is launching two school holiday courses this April for neurodiverse students, please use the links below for booking or for more information.

Video Game Design (2 Days)

Coding with Python (2 Days)

View flyer


Help us learn about autism diagnosis

Many people on the autism spectrum were not able to receive a diagnosis when they were children. Researchers at the University of New South Wales and Autism CRC would like to learn more about autism spectrum diagnosis (including Asperger’s syndrome) in adulthood.

Any adult with a formal diagnosis or thinks they may be on the autism spectrum is welcome to participate, but currently we are looking for adults who were diagnosed before age 18 and adults with intellectual disability and autism. We are also looking for carers/support persons who helped an adult get an autism diagnosis. You will have the option of taking part in an online survey, telling us your experiences in an interview, or both. The interview can be done in-person, via phone or online.

You will have the chance to win a $100 gift card for completing the survey, and/or receive a $60-$80 gift card for the interview depending on format.

To see if you are eligible, please click to  view our flyer and Easy Read flyer.

If you are interested, please click on the following links:

Survey for adults:

Survey for carers:

Expression of interest for interview:

If you have any questions, please contact Yunhe Huang at or 02 9385 3025.