Research Autism will be launching its latest research project, Remapping Autism Research: Identifying Priorities for the Decade Ahead at a Parliamentary Reception on Thursday 3 May 2012 at 16:00. The chief guest will be Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and other speakers will include Professor Tony Charman from the Institute of Education and Claire Enders of Enders Analysis. The research project will be led by Professor Tony Charman and Dr Liz Pellicano from the Institute of Education.
This project is a follow up to the seminal Mapping Autism Research: Identifying UK Priorities for the Future (Charman and Clare, 2004), which sought to capture UK research activity in the autism field. Autism is now recognised as a key societal issue by the Government and by research funding agencies and charities. The need for a better understanding of autism, and for an evidence base for interventions, has therefore never been greater.
The UK has been a world-leader in many areas of autism research, including early screening, genetics and how people with autism think. This research project aims to establish what research is being funded in the UK compared to the rest of the world, and the priority research areas for families and people with autism.
Importantly, the research will actively engage people with autism by capturing their opinions on research priorities. Parents and carers, and people with autism, are rarely actively engaged in the research process - in saying how an issue is researched, how it becomes funded, who undertakes the research and so on. This re-mapping exercise will continue a much-needed dialogue between these communities and researchers, and enable parents and people with autism to shape actively the future UK research agenda.
Deepa Korea, Chief Executive of Research Autism says:
"We are delighted to be launching this timely project, to be led by Professor Charman and his team. With autism levels reported to be rising, and those with the condition facing challenges every day, in every facet of their lives, the need for an evidence-based approach to autism interventions has never been more urgent. This important project will help to identify the state of autism research both within a UK and international context, and allow those with the condition to have a voice in shaping the future agenda for autism research."
Bernard Fleming, Information Manager, Tel. 020 3490 3091, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Research Autism is the only UK charity dedicated to the production of quality, trusted information on autism treatments and other approaches. Its Information Centre is informed by world experts and accredited by the NHS Information Standard, an independent kite-mark of reliability and quality. It guides people through the minefield of interventions on offer, allowing them to make informed decisions based on impartial, factual information, including risks and hazards. Its research programme is derived from the priorities of autistic people and families and addresses areas that affect everyday life.
The Remapping Autism Research project will: identify areas of urgent need and gaps in research; inform the research agenda for the next decade; and, in so doing, help people with autism in the UK flourish, support their families, and contribute to scientific understanding and knowledge. The project also has the potential to ensure that research funding is targeted to areas where it is most needed - as decided by the communities for whom scientific research is most relevant - over the coming decade. It will also help to engender a cross-community dialogue, ensuring that future research is focused on those areas of need identified by people with autism and their families, and that the evidence base for interventions and services is duly strengthened.