In this section, we would like to highlight a number of research projects that may be of interest to you, whether this is research undertaken by Autism Forth Valley for the Autism Strategy or research conducted by other groups. You might wish as a professional to share this information with families and individuals with ASD. Families and individuals with ASD might wish to take part to any of the research projects listed. The section will also highlight interesting papers.

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Self-Awareness and Relationships in adults with high-functioning autism/ Asperger Syndrome

Research project taking part at Stirling University: Seeking to recruit 20 adults (age 16 or more) with high- functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome, and 20 adults without a diagnosis to perform a series of 4 simple tasks. The tasks are designed to measure the degree of self-awareness and social skills.

If you want to take part to this study please contact:

Yvonne Plenderleith (Researcher): Psychology, University of Stirling
Telephone: 07557657092 or E-mail:

Upon completion of the study, you will be entered in to a prize draw to win one of two £25 vouchers. 

The research has been approved by an independent group of people forming a Research Ethics Committee (REC). 

To read more about the study click here.

Adult Autism Spectrum Cohort-UK

The Adult Autism Spectrum Cohort-UK aims to find out about the lives of adults on the autism spectrum and their relatives and how people’s lives change over time. The researchers hope the research findings will lead to some improvements in support services for adults and their relatives. You can register to take part by going to the website  and clicking ‘Register with the Adult Autism Spectrum Cohort - UK’. You can complete all the forms on this website.

If you would like to hear more about the research and/or have any questions, please telephone 0191 282 1380 or email

Facebook: Adult Autism Spectrum Cohort – UK
Twitter: @uk_asc #ascuk

Quality of Life Research Project

We have partnered with Stirling University to evaluate the benefit of using Quality of Life Indicators as a means of providing evidence-based evaluation of the strategy outcomes.The research involved 64 participants with autism, aged 16 to 49. This work is currently being compiled for publication and was presented at a National Autism Strategy meeting (September 2015). The QofL Indicators will be used as part of a mixed-data collection monitoring approach, which also includes service user and professional questionnaires, case studies and interview-based research to reliably and objectively monitor the outcomes of the autism strategy.

What is the project about? Quality of Life is defined by the World Health Organisation as “the individuals’ perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live, and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns”. Very little research has been conducted within the field of autism and learning disability in relation to QoL, primarily due to the challenges of assessing the well-being of individuals with social communication and/or learning difficulties. Measuring QoL is a priority in order to support individuals and plan and commission appropriate services. This work will inform Stirling and Clackmannanshire’s local Autism Strategy.

What does the research involve? Individuals with an ASD or ASN or a parent or carer on behalf of young person with an ASD or ASN will be asked to complete a set of standardised questions. Questions will cover demographics, evaluations of QoL and the Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales-II which measures the adaptive skills of individuals.

We will report of the publication outcome in due course.