Occupational therapists often use the Alert Program® with children with autism and sensory issues to help improve self-regulation. We are trying to find out whether the Alert Program® is effective for all children with autism and sensory issues or just some. We will be studying the impact of the program on children's sensory issues, anxiety and functioning, as well as on parent stress.

Who can take part in the study? 

Children aged 6-12 years with a confirmed diagnosis of autism and sensory issues, and their carers can participate in this study.

Where will the study be held?

The study will be held at the University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus.


What is involved?

Participation in the study will involve several detailed assessment sessions as well as participation in a 10-week therapy program. The research project consists of three parts: 1) screening and baseline assessment, 2) participation in the Alert Program®, and 3) follow up assessment. Further details of each part of the study are provided below.

1. Screening and Baseline Assessment

Screening (40 minutes - telephone interview)

  • we will interview you over the phone to determine if your child may be eligible for the Alert Program®.

Research diagnosis confirmation (2 hour visit)

  • for research purposes we need to confirm your child's diagnosis by conducting autism and IQ assessments.

Baseline assessment:

  • Clinical Visit (2 hours): a registered occupational therapist will assess your child's sensory skills, heart rate and ask you to complete some questionnaires. 

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) (2 hours): we will ask your child to complete an EEG with a trained technician to assess the brain’s responses to daily sensory stimuli. Click here for more information on the EEG and for resources about explaining this to your child.   

You and your child will be invited to attend 10 x 1 hour weekly intervention sessions at the Univers...

2. Alert Program® Intervention

Click below for full participant information details:

3. Follow Up Assessment

At this study visit, we will repeat the Baseline Assessment (Clinical Visit and EEG). In addition, we will ask you to complete a short, 5-minute parent satisfaction questionnaire about your experiences with the Alert Program® intervention.

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