Autism Spectrum Disorder Studies

ASD Studies @ Queen's University
Humphrey Hall, Room 107
62 Arch Street, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6
Phone: 613-533-2894; Email:

ASD Studies is a group of researchers at Queen's University interested in understanding how individuals with and without Autism Spectrum Disorders develop over time. Autism Spectrum Disorders are a group of developmental disorders that typically involve impairments in communication and language, difficulties with social interactions and a restricted range of interests. People with an ASD may demonstrate repetitive behaviours and may have unusual reactions to their everyday environment.

What is Autism?

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterized by impairments in language and communication, difficulties with social interactions and a restricted range of interests.

What are Autism Spectrum Disorders?

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is a blanket term used to encompass a group of developmental disorders that share characteristics of autism such as social difficulties, rigid interests and difficulties with communication. Because of the wide range of abilities and difficulties that people with ASD show, it is useful to characterize autism as a spectrum disorder. Autism, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger Syndrome are distinct disorders that fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorder umbrella.

Cases of ASD have been documented worldwide, and studies have found similar prevalence rates between countries. Autism Spectrum Disorders occur in more males than females at a rate of 4 males for every 1 female.

Common Characteristics Associated with ASD

  • difficulties with communication

  • insistence on and need for routine and sameness

  • difficulties transitioning between activities

  • poor or absent eye contact in social situations

  • difficulties taking the perspective of others

  • poor or absent imaginative play

  • difficulty understanding figurative language and indirect speech

  • difficulty understanding abstract concepts

  • delayed motor skill development, clumsiness

  • obsessive interests

  • over or under sensitivity to sensory stimuli

For Undergraduates

Are you interested in volunteering with the ASD Studies lab? If so, keep an eye out for emails from the Psychology Undergraduate Assistant. When we're looking for new volunteers, you will receive an email to your Queen's account with instructions on how to apply for our research assistant positions. When applying, please remember to include your resumé and unofficial transcript.


ASD Information