Our research and advocacy into public understanding and acceptance of autism and autistic people’s lived experiences is helping to develop resources and practices that enable autistic people to thrive by focusing upon strengths and identifying inclusive approaches.

 

Research

Amaze 2017 - Community Attitudes & Behaviours towards Autism; and Experiences of Autistic People and their Families

The Attitudes survey sought to explore community attitudes to autism in Australia. The survey was conducted with 2,424 (primarily non-autistic) people who completed a survey on autism-related knowledge and attitudes. A primary aim of the survey was to measure understanding of autism and levels of belief in facts and myths. A number of misperceptions and knowledge gaps were identified in the general community.

The Experiences survey sought to better understand the experiences and challenges faced by autistic people, their family members and carers in Australian society. The survey was conducted with 1,353 people who were primarily parents and carers of autistic people. A primary aim of the survey was to promote voices and views of autistic people, as well as what they would most want the public to know about how autism affects them. 

The reports below outline the research findings from both the Attitudes and Experiences surveys:

Autism Alliance 2020 - Survey to inform submission to the Senate Select Committee on Autism

A total of 3,884 people completed the survey, making it the largest known survey on the experiences of autistic people in Australia. Of these participants, 769 were autistic adults responding on behalf of themselves; and 3115 were parents/carers responding on behalf of an autistic person they care for. The survey included a mix of multiple choice and open-ended questions, and covered a broad range of topics including the diagnostic process, accessing the NDIS, experiences participating in education, employment, wellbeing and housing.

Amaze 2021 Experiences Survey: Experiences of autistic people (and parents/carers)

The Experiences survey seeks to better understand the experiences and challenges faced by autistic people, their family members and carers in Australian society. Participants will be recruited from subscribers to Amaze’s information and communication publications. The first wave of the Amaze Experiences survey was conducted with 1,353 people in 2017. This second wave of data will enable us to understand how the experiences and challenges faced by autistic people may have changed since 2017.

Amaze 2021 Attitudes Survey: Community attitudes and behaviours towards autism

The Attitudes survey seeks to explore community attitudes to autism in Australia. The first wave of the Amaze Attitudes survey was conducted with 2,424 people in 2017. Similar to the Experiences survey, participants will be recruited from subscribers to Amaze’s information and communication publications. This second wave of data will enable us to understand how the community’s autism-related knowledge and attitudes may have changed since 2017.

Autistics in Academia

Anecdotal evidence tells us that there are a significant number of autistics working in academia. There are many things about the university context that utilise the strengths of autistic people, however there are also an array of issues and areas where support is needed for autistic people in academia. To date, there is limited research published on the experiences of autistic academics.

The aim of this research is to understand the experiences of autistic people working in academia; and particularly to understand the barriers and facilitators of successful academic careers for this cohort.

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Book Chapters

  • Jones SC (2020) Defending the ‘I’ in tribe. In Freeman D (Ed.) Tribalism’s Troubles. The Kapunda Press, 115-130.

Journal Articles

  • Jones SC, Gordon C, Akram M & Sharkie F (in press) Autism in Australia: Community knowledge and autistic people’s experiences. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (accepted 25/11/20)
  • Smith O & Jones SC (2020) ‘Coming out’ with Autism: Identity in People with an Asperger’s Diagnosis after DSM-5. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 50, 592-602.
  • Garner A, Harwood V & Jones SC (2016) Discourses of autism on film: An analysis of memorable images that create definition. In O’Reilly M & Lester JN. The Palgrave Handbook of Adult Mental Health. Palgrave Macmillan, 151-166.
  • Cridland E, Jones SC, Stoyles G, Caputi P, & Magee C (2016) Families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Roles and responsibilities of adolescent sisters. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities 31(3), 196-207.
  • Cridland EK, Caputi P, Walker BM, Jones SC & Magee CA (2016) A Personal Constructivist Approach for investigating the patterns of dependency of adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Case study of two families. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 29(1), 30-50.
  • Cridland E, Caputi P, Jones SC & Magee C (2015) The perceptions and experiences of adolescent boys with autism spectrum disorder: A personal construct psychology perspective. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability 40(4), 354-367.
  • Cridland E, Jones SC, Caputi P & Magee C (2015) Qualitative research with families living with autism spectrum disorders: Recommendations for conducting semi-structured interviews. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability 40(1), 78-91.
  • Garner A, Jones SC & Harwood V (2015) Authentic representations or stereotyped ‘outliers’: using the CARS2 to assess film portrayals of Autism Spectrum Disorders. International Journal of Culture and Mental Health 8(4), 414-425.
  • Cridland E, Caputi P, Jones SC & Magee C (2014) Understanding high functioning autism during adolescence: A personal construct theory approach, Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability 39(1), 108-118.
  • Cridland E, Jones SC, Caputi P & Magee C (2014) Being a girl in a boys' world: Investigating the Experiences of Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorders during Adolescence, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 44(6), 1261-1274.
  • Cridland E, Jones SC, Magee C, Caputi P (2014) Family focused Autism Spectrum Disorder research: A review of the utility of family systems approaches. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice 18(3), 213-222.
  • Jones SC & Harwood V (2009) Representations of autism in Australian print media, Disability and Society, 24(1), 5-

Student research

Parents’ Adaptation to Their Child’s Diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Rachael DeLuca - MPsych

Supervisors: Prof Sandra Jones and Prof David Kirchhoffer

Completed: 2017

The Impact of the DSM-5 Changes on Identity in Adults with Asperger’s

Olivia Smith - MPsych

Supervisors: Prof Sandra Jones and Prof David Kirchhoffer

Completed: 2017

Qualitative study of Victorian teachers’ perspectives on supporting autistic secondary students undertaking online learning during COVID-19

Clare Mcinnerney, Masters of Psychology (Ed & Dev)

Supervisors: Professor Sandra Jones, Dr Chloe Gordon & Dr Lisa Milne

Anticipated completion date: July, 2021

Qualitative study of Victorian parents’ perspectives on supporting autistic secondary students to learn from home during COVID-19

Rebecca Powers, Masters of Psychology (Ed & Dev)

Supervisors: Professor Sandra Jones, Dr Chloe Gordon & Dr Lisa Milne

Anticipated completion date: July, 2021

University Educators’ Understanding of Autism, and of Reasonable Adjustments for Autistic Students

Charlotte Skinner, Occupational Therapy (Honours)

Supervisors: Professor Sandra Jones, Dr Chloe Gordon & Associate Professor Annette Joosten

Anticipated completion date: November, 2021

Exploring the creation of an autism- friendly university environment

Maxine O’Connor, Occupational Therapy (Honours)

Supervisors: Professor Sandra Jones, Dr Chloe Gordon & Associate Professor Annette Joosten

Anticipated completion date: November, 2021

Media portrayals of autism

Emma Trott, Masters of Psychology (Ed & Dev)

Supervisors: Professor Sandra Jones, Dr Chloe Gordon & Dr Lisa Milne

Anticipated completion date: November, 2021

An evaluation of Surfing the Spectrum

Caitlin Carlos, Masters of Psychology (Ed & Dev)

Amy Syer, Masters of Psychology (Ed & Dev)

Supervisors: Dr Mathew Pink, Professor Sandra Jones, & Dr Lisa Milne

Anticipated completion date: November, 2021

Analysis of Autism Alliance data

Rabi’atul Adawiyah Jali, Masters of Psychology (Ed & Dev)

Kyle Moat, Masters of Psychology (Ed & Dev)

Supervisors: Professor Sandra Jones, Dr Chloe Gordon & Dr Lisa Milne

Anticipated completion date: November, 2021

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