Getting around and living life on the autism spectrum

We are running a study exploring the experiences of young adults on the autism spectrum who are using public transport or driving without any help, or in the process of learning how to get around. We are interested in finding out how this affects young adults' participation in everyday life. We are also exploring the perspectives of parents and carers to find out how you supported your young adult to become independent with getting around.

Who can participate?

You are invited to take part in this study if you are

  • A parent or carer of a young adult (18-25) on the autism spectrum, who has supported the young adult to learn to get around in the community independently. This may include pedestrian safety, cycling, using public transport or driving.
  • A young adult (18-25) on the autism spectrum, who is driving or using public transport independently (or learning to do so); living in Western Sydney, Hawkesbury, Riverina, Mid North Coast or Lithgow areas.

The studies are separate so if you want to participate but your family would prefer not to (or vice versa), that is okay.

We are also seeking people on the spectrum to provide advice to the researchers about how to make this research appropriate for people on the spectrum.

What does my participation involve?

For parents

  • 60-90 minute interview (either in person or over the phone) about your perspectives on what it took for your young adult to achieve independence in getting around in the community and participating in community activities.

For young adults

  • The researcher would like to meet you in a familiar environment that is suitable for you. This may be your home or a local library or shopping centre and will involve a first interview, completing some questionnaires and getting to know you.
  • The researcher will then go out with you in the community one or two times to see how you experience public transport or driving, and how this relates to your leisure, work and education.
  • You will be asked to take photos of some of the places you go for a few weeks.
  • The researcher will then visit you again to talk to you about your photos and experiences and help you to put together a digital photo journal.

Will I be paid to take part in the research project?

No, you will not be paid. However, you will be making a highly valuable contribution in furthering knowledge and contributing to work that aims to improve the mobility and inclusion of young people on the autism spectrum.

All participants will receive a gift card, and young adults' public transport costs when accompanied by the researcher will be paid.

Contact information

If you are interested in participating in this study or have any questions, please contact: 

Michelle Kersten 02 45701756

This study has been approved by Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee.

Further information

For more information on Autism CRC projects related to transport, visit: