Do autism researchers focus on things that autistic people want them to?

Millions of pounds are invested every year in research on autism, yet few of these projects actively seek to include autistic people in their design phases. Many scholars and activists have called for more participatory approaches, arguing that there is a disconnect between the types of studies that are undertaken and what autistic people and their allies actually want from research.

Identifying issues that the autistic community would like to see researchers prioritise on is the central focus of a new study by the University of Sterling’s Eilidh Cage and colleagues, which itself utilises a participatory design: the project was partly led by autistic researchers, as well as community-based autistic co-researchers from the Striving to Transform Autism Research Together — Scotland (STARTS) initiative.

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