Seeking parent input into experiences of support: What you need, when you need it, and how it helps

What’s this project about?

We have learned that social support is a critical source of assistance to parents of people with autism, and I am conducting research to understand how best to help families gain the kinds of supports they are looking for. This study is looking at social support parents receive.

How did we go about doing this research?

Parents will be invited to complete an online questionnaire. This questionnaire takes between 30 and 45 minutes to complete. Parents will also be invited to complete shorter follow-up questionnaires 6 and 12 months later. Participating parents will be entered in a raffle for $50 gift certificates, as thanks.

Who can be involved?

Any parent of a school-aged child with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, living in Canada. The person with ASD needs to currently be between 5 and 18 years of age. Only parents are needed to participate in this research.

What will we do with our research findings?

This research can make a difference by informing the ways we train service providers to support families. We will share our findings at national and international conferences, and publish an article summarizing the results. A summary will also be posted on this website and the summary will be shared with participants.

What is the next step?

We are currently recruiting for this study. You can access the online survey at:

Want to know more about this project?

If you have any questions or would prefer a paper copy of the survey, please contact Suzanne Robinson by email at, or by phone at 416-736-2100 ext. 44032.

This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.