Friendships in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders


Dr Pauline Howie (Associate Professor, University of Sydney), Dr Sandra Heriot (Adjunct Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney) and Sandy Vickerstaff (Doctor of Clinical Psychology/PhD student, University of Sydney).

Does your child have a previous diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder? Is your child aged between 8 to 14 years?

If you answered yes to the above questions, you are invited to take part in this research study.

What is the study about?

This study is being conducted at the University of Sydney and aims to explore the experience of friendships in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The information obtained from this study will add to our understanding of friendships in ASD and may also help in the development and implementation of interventions and treatment plans for these young people.

Who can participate in the study?

We are seeking children aged between 8 and 14 years who have a previous diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (i.e. Aspergers, Autism, PDD), and their parents.

What will the study involve?

Participation in this study will involve an assessment with a registered psychologist at the Psychology Clinic at the University of Sydney. As a parent, you will be asked to complete 3 short written questionnaires. Your child will be asked to complete an IQ assessment, a fun interview about friendships and a short written questionnaire about friendships.

The assessment will take approximately 1.5 hours and it does not cost anything. Following the assessment, you will also receive a written report summarising the results of the assessment (i.e. IQ results).

The interview has been designed to be interesting and fun for your child and confidentiality will be maintained at all times.

How can you contact us?

If you would like your child to participate or if you would like more information regarding this study, you can contact Sandy Vickerstaff on (02) 9351 8476 or email her on