Aging and Autism Study


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This project examines the relationship between aging and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) characteristics in older adults. Research on ASD in older adulthood lags significantly behind that of research in other age groups. In this project, Canisius is partnering with community organizations to recruit individuals aged 65 and older to participate in a two-phase study protocol. 

You do NOT need a medical diagnosis of ASD or be 65 and older to participate in this study. An important component of this research project is the assessment of adults of all ages with varying degrees of ASD characteristics from no ASD characteristics to very high. 

Study participants complete a set of online surveys with a sub-sample completing a battery of in-person assessments. Participants are characterized on ASD symptoms alongside multiple domains of aging including physical health, cognitive performance, and psychological well-being. 

Don't want to complete an online survey?
Contact us and we will provide you with a paper-and-pencil version.

Want to take the survey online but don't have reliable internet access?
Contact us and we will set up a time for you to come to the IAR to complete the survey on one of our computers.

Contact info:

Jennifer Lodi-Smith, Ph.D.
Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs
Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
Institute for Autism Research

Jonathan D. Rodgers, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Institute for Autism Research

This project will facilitate subsequent longitudinal studies of aging in adults with and without ASD characteristics. This project also tests potential indicators of positive aging outcomes with the aim of identifying targets for future intervention research in this understudied and underserved population.

This work is being supported by the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health Grant R21 AG059051-01, awarded to Jennifer Lodi-Smith, Jonathan D. Rodgers, James P. Donnelly, Christopher Lopata, and Marcus L. Thomeer at Canisius College.