RESEARCH – Ageing, Social Functioning and Anxiety in Older Adults with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Conditions – University of Queensland

Researchers at the University of Queensland invite older adults with high functioning autism (aged 50+ years) and their family members or partners to participate in a research project on ageing and autism.

This project will be investigating ageing, social functioning and anxiety in older adults with high functioning autism spectrum conditions (ASC).

Research Aim

To investigate changes across the lifespan in the social and emotional functioning of older adults (aged 50+ years) with high functioning autism spectrum condition (ASC), and in doing so to improve our understanding of ageing on the autism spectrum.


There has been very little research into the experiences of older adults with autism. In particular, little is known about how, if at all, social and emotional functioning changes in these individuals over time, and how these changes may impact on the lives of older adults with high functioning autism.

Therefore, research projects into ageing in people with high functioning ASC are critical in helping to inform the development of appropriate diagnostic and assessment tools and interventions specific to these individuals. Research is also important to assist in planning for and establishing suitable social and medical services. Ultimately, the development of such tools, interventions and services will ensure the needs of older adults on the autism spectrum are met, and that good quality of life is attainable for these people into old age.

Please participate!

To participate in this project you must be:

  • an adult aged 50 years or older with an Autism Spectrum Condition (e.g., Asperger’s Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1);
  • a family member or partner of an adult on the Spectrum who is aged 50 years or older.

Please contact Berthine Ommensen

by email at

or by telephone on 0449 880 220

for a detailed information pack about this research project and how to get involved.


We look forward to hearing from you!

This study is being conducted by Berthine Ommensen as part of the requirements for a Research PhD at The University of Queensland under the supervision of Associate Professor Kate Sofronoff, Professor Tony Attwood and Professor Nancy Pachana.  

This study has been cleared in accordance with the ethical review processes of the University of Queensland and within the guidelines of the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. The Ethics approval number is 16-PSYCH-PHD-29-JS.


Principal Researcher: Berthine Ommensen

(pron. “Bettina”)

PhD Candidate | Autism and Ageing

School of Psychology

University of Queensland

Tel: 0449 880 220