Social Responsibility

Academics and the autistic community working in partnership

Tue, 29 Mar 2016 10:34:00 BST

Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects how the autistic person makes sense of and interacts with other people and the world around them.

Although awareness of autism is improving, many within the autism community (i.e. autistic adults, parents of autistic children) feel that autism researchers are not working on issues that are important to them. There is a sense that research is something that is 'done to them' rather then 'done with them'. At the same time, many autism researchers are concerned that the research they do should be relevant to and informed by those who live with the condition. Researchers within autism@manchester have begun to tackle these issues during a project funded by the Wellcome Trust Institutional Support Fund.

The project was run in partnership with Salfordautism, a local support group who work in the community to support autistic people and those around them. During three workshops, academics met with those who live with autism to discuss how best to work together in developing, choosing and designing research projects that would have real meaning for autistic people. One joint outcome was a series of short films aimed at increasing understanding of autism from an 'autistic perspective' as well as highlighting research topics of importance to autistic individuals. autism@manchester are inviting people to watch the films and fill in a 2 question survey. Results of the project are being added on the autism@manchester website.

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