A new study into autism research in the UK was published yesterday by the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at the Institute of Education (IOE), London and King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry.
The report, 'A future made together: shaping autism research in the UK' found that:
- the US spends an average of 18 times the amount the UK does on autism research, in accordance with population size
- UK research is dominated by work on biology, brain and cognition, which makes up 53% of all autism research nationally
- people with autism and their families often feel excluded from the research process. Many feel they have no say in how research projects are designed, conducted and publicised.
Responding to the research, Mark Lever, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society (NAS) said
This is a timely report which shows clearly that people with autism and their families do not currently have a big enough role in shaping the UK’s autism research agenda. We are concerned at this finding and urge researchers and funding organisations to listen to the voices of the estimated 700,000 people living with autism in the UK.
Stronger involvement from people with autism would also go a long way to achieving a more balanced research agenda, increasing investigation into currently under-researched areas like diagnosis and support services.
Research has an important role to play in our understanding of autism and how to help people with the condition to live the life they choose. This report offers clear and concise recommendations for the way forward.
Read the full press release here.