As many as 1 in 100 children have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Beyond the suffering for the individual and family, the lifetime economic cost of this condition is estimated to be £3-4 million per individual in the UK. Although research has advanced our knowledge on evidence based practice in areas of early identification, diagnosis and intervention, much of this knowledge is not reaching policy and practice. Likewise some key issues affecting individuals with autism that are being articulated by third-sector organisations and government agencies are not impacting on research.
The aim of this knowledge exchange project is to create a unique Autism Research-Policy-Practice Hub that will reach across research, policy and practice communities to enable the co-production of knowledge of autism. The goal of this initiative is to facilitate advances in health and wellbeing by providing insight into public policy and practice agendas and increasing access to knowledge on evidence-based approaches to autism. This Research-Policy-Practice initiative builds on a unique foundation of policy and research partnership made possible by the Wales Government’s autism strategy, the first government strategy for autism in the world. It will provide the first national research-policy-practice model of its kind, and a model for the UK and internationally, both within the field of autism and beyond.