Autism research has taken great strides toward understanding autism, its causes and its consequences. This research has the potential to transform the everyday lives of those with autism and their families. Yet there is still a huge gap between knowledge and practice, which means that, for the most part, the advances in research fail to impact upon those who need them most: autistic people, their parents and carers and those who help support them.
Commissioned by the charity Research Autism, this project aimed to describe the current landscape of autism research in the UK, embedded within an international context, and to compare the nature of the research being conducted with the views and perspectives of key stakeholders.
The resulting Report is the most comprehensive review of autism research in the UK ever undertaken. It also sits alongside a large-scale consultation of autistic people, their families, practitioners and researchers about what the research agenda means to them.
The Report highlights the many strengths of UK autism research. It also suggests that, for the UK to maintain its position as one of the world’s leaders in autism research, it needs greater investment in under-researched areas and in under-served populations, new strategic oversight and coordination and the involvement of autistic people and the broader autism community in decisions about research.