IAR - Participate in Research

Advances in the understanding and treatment of autism and related developmental disorders are dependent on sound research. Faculty at the IAR are dedicated to conducting rigorous studies that shed light on key aspects of the disorders and identify effective treatments and educational programming that maximizes the quality of life of those affected and their families. If you are interested in participating in research, please consider one of the projects listed below. These projects are currently accepting applications.

MAXfit Pilot Study

We are currently conducting a pilot research study, MAXfit, for 7-12 year old children with autism spectrum disorder whose cognitive and language skills are intact (HFASD). In MAXfit, the children engage in fitness exercises/activities while also practicing social/social-communication skills.  MAXfit is conducted twice a week on Monday and Friday afternoons from 4:30 PM to 5:45 PM for 11 weeks at the iar at Canisius.  The program was created to address the need to increase the activity level of children with autism while also providing a structured environment to increase their socialization.  The MAXfit program takes the structure of our empirically-validated summerMAX program and adapts it to teach the children with HFASD exercises and activities to improve their fitness in an outpatient format.  Like we do in our other MAX programs, the children will be introduced to social skills and given multiple opportunities to practice these specific skills while engaged in the exercises and activities of MAXfitMAXfit sessions are designed to address all of the components of fitness at least once per week (cardiovascular endurance, strength, stamina, flexibility, balance, coordination, speed, agility, power, accuracy). Sessions will be led by trained staff members with a child to adult ratio no greater than 4:1. Activities include combinations of cardiovascular, gymnastics, body weight and weightlifting movements scaled and modified for both the age and abilities of the children. Designated sessions will focus on group/cooperative-completed skills and games while others will focus on individual-completed skills and games.  We will also hold three parent sessions over the course of the 11 weeks so that parents are informed of the program elements and how they can incorporate learned skills into home and community settings.  There is no cost to participate in the MAXfit program

To apply, please submit the following information:

  • Documentation of Diagnosis/Prior Evaluation reports (psychological, psychiatric, and/or speech and language reports)
  • Family Information Form (required) – please print, complete, and submit
  • Most recent IEP or 504 Plan (if child receives special education services)

Please send, fax or email this information to:

Institute for Autism Research
Canisius College
2001 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14208
Fax Number: (716) 888-8540
Email: iar@canisius.edu


Aging and Autism Study 

In this NIA/NIH funded project, the IAR is partnering with community organizations to recruit adults for a study of the relationship between aging and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) characteristics.


Online Survey for Families of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder who are Transitioning to Adulthood

Researchers from Michigan State University are developing an online family psychoeducation program to support caregivers who have a family member with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) transitioning to adulthood. Dr. Gloria Lee and her colleagues are seeking families who have a transition-age family member (age 14 and up) who has ASD to participate in this 10-minute online survey. The survey asks about users' internet utilization and needs which will then be used to help Dr. Lee and her team develop a web-based psychoeducation program for families and caregivers of individuals with ASD who are transitioning to adulthood.  Participants will be eligible to participate in the program once it is developed.  

The survey has been approved by Michigan State University’s institutional review board, and can be accessed by clicking this secure link here.

Please feel free to contact Dr. Lee, at Michigan State University if you have further questions via her e-mail: leekalai@msu.edu.