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Research Study

Before and After an Adult Autism Assessment

Please read the below information regarding research that you may wish to participate in:

Maria Downey as part of her masters in psychological science research project under the supervision of Dr Cliódhna O’Connor in the School of Psychology, University College Dublin, is conducting a research study looking at the experience of receiving a diagnosis of Autism in adulthood.

What is this research about?

There are many barriers which prevent adults with Autism from receiving a formal diagnosis. An increasing number of adults are seeking a diagnosis despite there currently being no direct route in the public health care system (HSE) for pursuing an adult diagnosis. This research aims to understand the practical and personal experiences of an adult receiving an Autism diagnosis.

Why have you been invited to take part?

You have been invited to take part because you (a) are aged between 18-65 years old, (b) currently on a waiting list to get an Autism assessment, and (c) have not been previously diagnosed as Autistic (for example Asperger’s syndrome during childhood).

What will happen if you agree to take part?

If you agree, you will be asked to take part in two interviews with a member of the research team, one before your Autism assessment and one after. Each interview will last around an hour and will be recorded. The aim of the interviews would be to gain insight into your experience of receiving an Autism assessment in your own words. The interview will take place at a convenient time for you, either through Zoom, phone call, email, or in person at UCD.

The interview is entirely voluntary. There is no obligation on you to take part in the study. If you do decide to participate, you can end the interview at any time. If you do change your mind during the interview, you can request that the data that you have already provided be deleted. However, after the interview has finished, it will not be possible to facilitate later requests to remove your data because participants’ names will not be stored with their data.

For further information please see the participant information sheet here.

If you have any further questions, please contact:

Head researcher: Maria Downey, (, School of Psychology, UCD
Supervisor: Dr Cliódhna O’Connor (, School of Psychology, UCD