Research & Reports
THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY Social Skills for ASD - free 8 week group program
The Social Skills programme is part of a research project we are undertaking under the supervision of Professor Adam Guastella, at our Autism Clinic at the Brain & Mind Centre, University of Sydney.
The social skills group programme follows an 8-week course during which time we meet every week for 2.5 hrs. During this time 2 hrs is devoted to learning and practicing social skills together in group and half an hour is spent socializing together. The course follows a set curriculum which covers many aspects of the skills we need to make and keep friends, from starting and sustaining conversations to how we use electronic communication as well as how we can manage disagreements with our friends if and when they arise.
We also look at the experience of social anxiety, as many of our group members find themselves nervous when meeting new people or mixing in groups. There are sections of the curriculum devoted to understanding this anxiety and how we can bring it under our control.
Each week there are out-of-session tasks to complete in everyday life and our group members are encouraged to identify someone trusted in their lives who can help them to practice the skills they are learning each week in session.
(i) First Appointment:
The first appointment will involve an interview/assessment where we will confirm that you meet our research criteria for involvement in the social skills programme. If you have completed an autism diagnostic assessment in the last five years, please provide us with details and we may not need to complete the full assessment. This assessment will take about 2 hours to complete. During this appointment, we will ask you to complete two questionnaires (the Social Responsiveness Scale - SRS and the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function – BRIEF). We will also give you two additional questionnaire packs to complete, either at this appointment or to take them home to be returned at your next visit. Filling in the questionnaires is likely to take 1-2 hours to complete all together.
We have appointments available next Monday the 6th May at 11am and on Tuesday the 7th May at 08:30am. Please reply as soon as possible if you would like to book one of these appointments.
(ii) Subsequent appointments
If the initial assessment confirms that you meet criteria for group membership and that the social skills group sessions would be suitable for you, you will be invited to take part in the ASD social skills group programme, which is provided free of charge. The next groups are planned to start on Wednesday May 8th 2019 and run from 12:00 - 14:30 and 15:00 - 17:30.
After the group sessions finish, we will ask you to do one final research session to repeat some of the questionnaires from the first appointment. This session will take about 1 hour, and is likely to be immediately after the last group meeting.
ASD Report NSW Government
We belong too Report - ASPECT
Sydney Autism Science is a website bringing together people in the Sydney area with an interest in furthering understanding of autism - including autistic people and their families, clinicians, educators, researchers, and students.
Go to www.sydneyautismscience.com to find out more about who's doing research, what opportunities there are to take part and how to get involved.
The document below is a summary of a research paper requested by Mark Coure MP for Oatley. It gives an overview autism within the NSW/Australian context in 2012.
New Cases of Autism Have Levelled Off After 5-Fold Surge During 1990s
Oct. 16, 2013 — The number of newly diagnosed cases of autism has levelled off in the UK after a five-fold surge during the 1990s, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open....
And they say that both studies provide "compelling evidence that a major rise in incidence rates of autism, recorded in general practice, occurred in the decade of the 1990s but reached a plateau shortly after 2000 and has remained steady through 2010."
Similar widespread sharp rises in the number of children diagnosed as autistic were also seen in the 1990s in other parts of Europe and North America, they add, making it unlikely that better understanding of the condition or a broadening of the diagnostic criteria alone could have been responsible for these simultaneous large increases.
Given the apparent sudden halt in the rise in rates from early 2000 onwards -- at least in the UK -- the "actual cause of the dramatic rise in the 1990s remains a mystery," they write, emphasizing that the suggestion that it might be linked to the MMR vaccine has been conclusively ruled out.
Autism CRC involves a consortium of partners working together to conduct research on Diagnosis, Education and Adulthood. Go to http://www.autismcrc.com.au/research-programs to find out more.
Latest Research By UNSW