Scottish autism launches new Centre dedicated to developing autism practice

Categories: News

Scottish Autism has today launched a new initiative aimed at encouraging collaborative effort to further research, develop and share information about what constitutes effective autism practice.


The launch of the Centre for Practice Innovation (CPI) follows findings from last year that only five per cent of autism research funded in the UK was devoted to services to support people on the spectrum and their families.Rather, the vast majority of projects focused on ‘basic science’ e.g. on neural and cognitive systems, genetics and other risk factors.


Scottish Autism, a charity which is committed to helping people with autism to lead full and enriched lives, has now created the Centre with a focus on better understanding autism practice and what kind of support works for individuals and why. The CPI will generate practice based evidence which can then be shared to improve services and outcomes for individuals with autism.


Through the new Centre, Scottish Autism will also seek collaborations with other relevant organisations to improve developments in practice and contribute to the existing body of autism knowledge. This includes building on existing relationships as well as creating new links with universities and across the wider academic community. 12 experts in the field have already shown their support by accepting roles as Research and Practice Associates and together they will form a Steering Group to guide the work of the Centre.


Alan Somerville, CEO of Scottish Autism said: “The Centre for Practice Innovation is a major step forward in our knowledge management strategy. I believe it will be an effective way of developing new ideas and initiatives, utilising the vast array of practical knowledge and experience that resides in our organisation.


“Through the CPI we will also develop more partnerships with the academic community and other organisations to adopt more evidence based practice and to generate practice based evidence, all aimed at delivering on our ultimate goal of further improving the quality of life for people who live on the spectrum.


“While a relatively high level of research is focused on neurosciences, there is a great underinvestment in understanding practice, social factors and socio economic data gathering around autism. If we are to be successful in our aim of enhancing the lives of both individuals and families in Scotland who live with the condition we feel it is vital to invest in more innovation and the development of services which can make a real difference to people’s lives today.”


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