Our Beginnings

The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) SIRG was first introduced during the planning stages of the 2016 IASSIDD 15th World Congress in Melbourne, Australia, where there was a strong presence of autism research, with a robust and well-attended series of ASD papers on the programme. In addition, one of the conference keynote speakers, Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto, was chosen to reflect this growing interest of IASSIDD members in ASD research and spoke about environmental influences on ASD. The group also put together a panel of discussants following Irva’s well-attended talk.

The first meeting of the members of the new ASD SIRG also took place at the 15th World Congress in Melbourne. Professor Jan Blacher is the founder of the ASD SIRG and served as its Chair until the 2019 IASSIDD 16th World Congress in Glasgow, when a new Executive Committee was selected.

Founding Principles

The rationale for the ASD SIRG is simple. There has been much publicity about the increase in ASD prevalence, yet the focus of autism research community has been primarily on individuals who do not have co-occurring intellectual disabilities, particularly with respect to educational, employment and social outcomes.

For this reason, the ASD SIRG is focused exclusively on those individuals with ASD who have co-occuring intellectual disabilities and their families. Many of these individuals have unique and challenging needs that require targeted research and interventions. The ASD SIRG aims to fill that need by bringing together researchers from across the globe to identify and develop a research-to-practice agenda for the most pressing social, educational and policy challenges faced by this population.

ECR Virtual Lightning Talk Competition

The Autism Spectrum Disorders Special Interest Research Group (SIRG) is excited to announce an abstract call for a Virtual Lightning Talk Competition. The competition will take place in mid-October 2021 on Zoom.

What is a Lightning Talk?

A Lightning Talk is a concise (3-minute maximum), oral presentation designed to quickly introduce people to a research project. A Lightning Talk should be understood by a lay audience and should convey the main goal of the research, broader impact, and how it extends the ASD literature. By presenting a Lightning Talk, participants will gain experience in communicating their work in a concise and simple, yet thought-provoking and inspiring way.

Who will present the Lightning Talks?

This competition features two categories of presenters:

  1. Students/trainees (e.g., MA, MSc, MPhil, PhD, DClinPsy)
  2. Early career researchers (individuals who are within 8-10 years of their PhD or within 6-8 years of their first academic appointment).

How to apply to present a Lightning Talk

Applicants may apply to present a Lightning Talk by completing the application form below. Applicants selected to participate in the program will be notified by September 30, 2021.

Prizes awarded

Awards will be presented to the top three presenters in each category who receive the highest scores. Please see Judging Criteria below. The award-winning presentations – with the presenters’ permission – will be shared via the ASD SIRG Twitter and newsletter, and published on the ASD SIRG website


Mission Statement

ASD SIRG Mission Statement

Executive Committee Meetings

Minutes 12/01/2021


As per IASSIDD bylaws

Newsletter Archive

Issue 1

Issue 2

Executive Committee:

Chair: Ewelina Rydzewska ewelina.rydzewska@glasgow.ac.uk

Co-chair: Yasamin Bolourian ybolo002@ucr.edu

Secretary: Caroline Richards C.R.Richards@bham.ac.uk

Treasurer: Yurgos Politis yurgos.politis@ucd.ie

Representative to council: Jan Blacher jan.blacher@ucr.edu

Communications officers: Yasamin Bolourian ybolo002@ucr.edu and Cormac Coyle ccoyle05@qub.ac.uk

JPPID Associate Editor: Dawn Adams dawn.adams@griffith.edu.au

International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) 

The International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) is the first and only world-wide group dedicated to the scientific study of intellectual disability.

Founded in 1964 as the International Association for the Scientific Study of Mental Deficiency, IASSIDD is an international, interdisciplinary and scientific non-governmental organization which promotes worldwide research and exchange of information on intellectual disabilities.


Please contact the IASSIDD international office for questions about joining IASSIDD, renewing your membership or general questions.
© 2018 International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD)