Current projects

CARE - Autism Support

The CARE research project delves into the various types of support and care individuals with autism utilize. This includes a study into alternative treatments which explores non-standard treatments for autism, revealing the prevalence of their use and underscoring the need for clearer guidelines and information

EGAL - DNA and environment

The EGAL project investigates the roles of genetics and environment in influencing the experiences and behaviors of individuals with autism. By collecting DNA via saliva and assessing 'objective' environmental factors, the study aims to understand how these factors interplay and affect individual variations in behavior, health, and well-being. This project is part of a larger initiative, the ALONG, which also includes other studies such as the OMA project.

HOME - Living, leisure and happiness

The HOME project examines the living situations, needs, and challenges faced by autistic youth and adults in the areas of housing and leisure. It aims to understand their levels of life satisfaction, especially in comparison to non-autistic individuals, and the factors that influence their housing situations and leisure activities. The study also seeks insights into how life satisfaction and living conditions have evolved over time, considering events like the COVID-19 pandemic, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the quality of life for those with autism.

LKO - Children with autism

The LKO project investigates changes in school placements of autistic students since the introduction of "Passend Onderwijs" and the factors influencing these placements. The study aims to understand how specialized educational environments impact the functioning and development of autistic students, such as the effects of being in a school with only autistic peers, the teacher's role in fostering self-awareness, and the influence of the school's physical layout on sensory processing. Collaboration is done with the Leo Kanner Onderwijsgroep, which offers specialized education in the Leiden region, and parents are invited to participate through surveys.

OMA - Measuring autism online

The OMA project seeks to collect data on autism in a novel way by offering online tasks related to perception, emotional attention, and memory. The objective is to discern differences between adults with and without autism in how they complete these tasks. If differences exist, these tasks might enhance future diagnostic evaluations for adults. Currently, adult autism diagnoses are challenging due to diagnostic tools originally designed for children and missing early developmental information. The project aims to improve diagnostic assessments for adults, and participants can view both group and individual results online. 

SAM - Stress in daily life

The SAM study explores factors contributing to daily stress experiences, and the effectiveness of the SAM-NAR app, a smartphone application co-designed with autistic individuals. "SAM" stands for Stress Autism Mate. Users of the SAM-NAR app receive periodic short surveys about their experiences in the past four hours. Upon completion, the app provides feedback on stress levels and relaxation tips.

Previous NAR research projects

BECAUSE - Sensory Sensitivity

People with autism often experience over-sensitivity or under-sensitivity to sensory stimuli. With a neuroscientific study within the NAR, we aim to better understand how the brains of people with autism process sensory stimuli.

COVID-19 - Autistic Children

The well-being of autistic children depends on individual and environmental factors. The COVID-19 lockdown provides an opportunity for deeper insight into the precise role of the environment on well-being. This study focuses on how autistic children and their caregivers are affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.