For immediate publication: 10th October 2017

Autistic people need better support say experts

Autistic people, their friends and families, are invited to take part in a series of free, expert discussions on autism in central Birmingham on 25th and 26th October, and 15th and 16th November. The talks are being hosted by leading UK autism research charity, Autistica, in partnership with Deutsche Bank. 

Called ‘Delving into the Mind: A series of talks on autism and neurodiversity’, presentations from some of the UK’s leading autism researchers, ambassadors and businesses will include topics such as employment and mental health. The talks aim to discuss the challenges and benefits that autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions can bring.


One in a hundred people in Birmingham are autistic1,2* - with eight out of ten having experienced mental health problems,3 and eight out of ten not in full-time employment.4


“People with autism spectrum disorder can face enormous challenges in everyday life,” says Professor Chris Oliver, director of the Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Birmingham.  Professor Oliver, who will give the first in the series of talks on mental health says: “Mental health has been identified as the number one area of concern by autistic people and their families -  yet research and services in this area have been sadly lacking.”

Jon Spiers, Chief Executive of Autistica, comments: “We hope the talks will be inspiring and generate a wide range of discussion regarding the issues facing autistic people and their families.” 

At the events, people will also be invited to sign-up to a new autism research network called Discover, which will enable them to get involved in research at leading UK centres.

“We need families to share their experiences and trial therapies so that we can develop the services that they need.  We can do bigger and better research if we work together to build longer, healthier happy lives,” adds Spiers.


Paul Anderson, Head of Deutsche Bank, Birmingham, says: “We are delighted to be able to collaborate with Autistica and use the talks as an opportunity to raise awareness of these important issues within our local community and the workplace.”


For more details on the talks and to register attendance, visit:

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Note to editors:

Schedule of talks:

  • 25th October: Understanding mental health in autism
  • 26th October: Faces of neurodiversity panel discussion
  • 15th November: Closing the gap on autism and employment
  • 16th November: What the future holds for autism research

Location: Deutsche Bank, Five Brindley place, Birmingham B1 2BL 

About autism

Autism is a spectrum of developmental conditions. The condition changes the way people communicate and experience the world around them. Every autistic person is different. Some are able to learn, live and work independently, but many have learning differences or co-occurring health conditions that require specialist support.

It is estimated that 1 in every 100 people in the UK is autistic. 1,2 Research suggests that the differences seen in autism are largely genetic, but environmental factors may also play a role. 

There's currently no 'cure' for autism, and indeed that is not a priority for the autism community, but there are a range of specialist interventions that aim to improve communication skills and help with educational and social development. 

About neurodiversity

'Neurodiversity' is a relatively new term that refers to people who have dyslexia, autism, ADHD, dyspraxia and other neurological conditions. The neurodiversity movement frames these conditions as natural human variations that should embraced and supported to bring talent and diversity to the workplace and wider society. 

About Autistica

Autistica is the UK’s leading autism research charity. Autistica’s research is guided by families and autistic individuals, with the aim of building longer, happier, healthier lives for all those living with autism. They support research into autism and related conditions to improve autistic people’s lives and develop new therapies and interventions.  Since 2004, Autistica has raised over £12 million for autism research, funding over 40 world-class scientists in universities across the UK. 

For more information visit:
Twitter @AutisticaUK

About Deutsche Bank’s Charities of the Year programme

Deutsche Bank provides commercial and investment banking, retail banking, transaction banking and asset and wealth management products and services to corporations, governments, institutional investors, SMEs, and private individuals. Autistica was chosen as one of two UK Charities of the Year by employees for 2016-17, as part of the bank’s Born to Be youth engagement programme.          


Figures extrapolated from UK data

1. Brugha, T. et al., (2011) Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adults in the Community in England. Archives of General Psychiatry. 68 (5), 459-66.

2. Baird, G., et al., (2006) Prevalence of disorders of the autism spectrum in a population cohort of children in South Thames: the Special Needs and Autism Project (SNAP). Lancet. 268(9531), 210-5/

3. Lever, A. G. & Geurts, H. M. (2016) Psychiatric Co-occurring Symptoms and Disorders in Young, Middle-Aged, and Older Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 46, 6, 1916–30.

4. Redman, S. et al. (2009) Don’t write me off.  National Autistic Society.  

For further information, please contact:

Lynsey Conway E: M: 07778 304233

Edel McCaffrey E: M: 07770 282245

Rebecca Sterry E: M: 07716 426896 T: 0203 857 4348