Autism

Pharmacological interventions

The Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) Autism Clinic for Translational Research (ACTr) is working to develop the first efficacious treatments to improve social skills in people who have autism.

The team, led by Associate Professor Adam Guastella are world leaders in developing therapies for autism based on the hormone oxytocin. In recent years they have shown that the emotional response of children with autism spectrum disorder improves after receiving nasal spray treatment with oxytocin. The team is now evaluating whether oxytocin, and oxytocin-like compounds, may provide effective treatments for the disease.

Behavioural interventions

Professor Stewart Einfeld and the Developmental Psychiatry team are investigating interventions for young people with developmental disabilities such as autism that aim to promote positive behaviours and mental health for these young people and their families.

As many as one child in every primary classroom has some kind of developmental disability, including intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder. Relatively few families access evidence-based programs designed to reduce mental health problems for these children.

Professor Einfeld and his team have developed a parent training program specifically for parents of children with developmental disability and are currently trialling the program’s effectiveness with families and carers across New South Wales.


Clinical studies

Stepping Stones Triple P Project: Training for parents of children with developmental disability

If you have a child with a disability or developmental delay, who is aged between 2 and 10 years, your input would be valuable to inform how we deliver parenting services. You can register your interest in participating in the SSTP program by completing the MySay survey. Find out more...

Autism Research Register

The Autism Clinic for Translational Research is carrying out studies focused on the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Find out more...

Improving social communication in young children with autism

This study is examining the effectiveness of oxytocin nasal spray (compared to placebo) in improving social functioning in children with autism. We also hope to identify changes in the brain, blood, and thinking that occur in those that see improvements with oxytocin. Find out more...

Improving social and executive functioning in youth and adults with autism or schizophrenia

The purpose of this trial is to examine the effectiveness of oxytocin nasal spray (or placebo) and a cognition training group programme in improving social functioning, thinking, and symptoms, in adolescents and adults (aged 16-40) with an autism spectrum disorder (or early psychosis). We also hope to identify changes in the brain, blood, and thinking that occur in those that see improvements with oxytocin. Find out more...

Social Skills Group for people who have autism

A group therapy for people with social anxiety with the aim to increase understanding of social anxiety and provide participants with effective strategies to overcome anxiety in social situations. Find out more...


Useful links