Current projects

ABA - Applied Behavior Analysis

The ABA research project investigates the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy which is used for children with autism. The research aimed to gain insight into both positive and negative experiences of individuals with autism, parents, and healthcare professionals who have encountered ABA therapy. Additionally, we sought to better understand the types of ABA therapy offered in the Netherlands.

ATTEND - School absence

The ATTEND research project looks at (prolonged) school absenteeism, also known as 'home sitting', among students with autism in the Netherlands. This research will contribute to a better understanding of early signs associated with the onset or resolution of (prolonged) school absenteeism.

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

CHINA- Autism in China

The CHINA research project is a cross-cultural study between the Netherlands and China, where we aim to investigate the recognition, interpretation, reporting, and experience of autism to inform the development of culture-specific supportive interventions and overcome stigma.

DIGITAL-A - Digital interventions

In this DIGITAL-A research project, we will examine whether digital care can help people with autism. This project focuses on three domains: sleep problems, making and maintaining friendships, and depression. We hope this research will teach us more about how to better support people with autism and improve their quality of life. By exploring digital care, we aim to ensure that everyone with autism can receive effective assistance.

LIFESTYLE - Healthy lifestyle 

The LIFESTYLE research project aims to gain insight into how well autistic adults maintain a healthy lifestyle regarding vegetable and fruit intake, physical activity, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Additionally, we look at factors include, among others, over- or under-sensitivity to light and sound, employment status, professional guidance, marital status, and comorbid diagnoses (such as depression, anxiety, or ADHD).

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.

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.

Previous NAR research projects

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.

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.

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.