Autism

 

The research programme into Autism is focused on the diagnosis, treatment and underlying mechanism of the Autism spectrum disorders condition, with the ultimate goal of improving the care of people with Autism.

 

Diagnosis of Autism

Research is carried out to determine ways to recognise and identify this developmental disorder at an earlier stage. To this end, we test questionnaires designed to recognise autism in children at the earliest stage possible. We also train clinicians to use standardised methods for diagnosis and how to implement these methods in their daily clinical practice. We can then continue to study these methods.

 

Characteristics of Autism
We look at a number of characteristics that are often associated with autism, such as sensory sensitivity, fears, behavioural problems, thinking problems and psychosexual problems. Furthermore, we not only research the problems but also the strengths and talents of someones autism. We continue studying the characteristics over an extended period of time to determine the course of development and see which factors can predict a prognosis.

 

Treatment of Autism
We identify whether treatments have the desired effect and we research the amount of care required by a family with a child with autism. In addition, we study the effects of a standard treatment undertaken at Yulius and what changes there are to the problems and skills of the person concerned. We also test the effects of a specific training programme called the I-Adolescent study. In the coming years we aim to investigate the effects and the costs of even more specific existing (current??) and innovative support programmes.

 

Influential Processes
As part of this research programme we also look at the possible underlying factors that may affect autism. We identify the characteristics of the parents and siblings and we also study other factors such as biology, family and upbringing. In addition, we study the thought processes of young people with autism and research the relationship with sensitivity to social stress. In the coming years we will focus on how biological processes determine the results of the treatment and whether these processes themselves are changed by the treatment.