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 were invited to complete an online questionnaire. This questionnaire was between 30 and 45 minutes to complete. Parents were also 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 autism, living in Canada. The person with autism needs to currently be between 5 and 18 years of age. Only parents were 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?

You can access the online survey at:

Want to know more about this project?

For more information, please feel free to contact Dr. Jonathan Weiss, Principal Investigator on the study, at

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