We are now accepting abstracts for our Autism Research Conference, taking place on the 27 June at Reading University.

The only autism research conference in the UK, this event will bring together autism researchers, autistic people and/or family members and the professionals who work with and support autistic people to discuss the most cutting-edge science around autism.  

By bringing everyone together we can start to make real progress towards long, happy, healthy lives for all autistic people.  

Along with a range of interactive workshops and keynote talks, the conference will have two sets of four parallel sessions, either side of lunch. These sessions will cover eight themes that have been chosen by the autism community and researchers as priority areas. Each session will have multiple speakers and will vary in format, consisting of a mixture of long and short talks. 

We are looking for submissions for long talks, short talks and poster sessions. Additionally, we will have a lunch time presentation session on technology around autism, and an ideas hack, where you can present unfinished work to get feedback, which you can apply to through the same form.

All abstracts need to be under 250 words and in English.

The deadline for abstract submissions is midnight on the 20 February.  

If accepted, we will send you detailed information and a link to purchase your ticket for the conference. 

We are interested in research-based talks on social science, neuroscience, and health technologies, as well as those based on lived experience and community action, that fit into one of these themes:

Mental Health, Anxiety & Suicide

This session will address cutting edge research exploring mental health within the autism community, from understanding the scale of mental health challenges that many autistic people face, to exploring unique causes and features of those mental health challenges, to guidelines for best practice and interventions. We welcome any applications based on work that will expand attendees understanding of the topic.

Sleeping & Eating

This session will address common areas of challenge within the autistic community that can have a huge impact on quality of life: eating and sleeping. We invite papers exploring the potential origins of these issues, the physical and mental health implications, and practical interventions. We look favourably on papers that offer a new understanding of challenges and/or practical solutions.

Sensory Processing

We are inviting papers that explore potential origins of sensory processing, the physical and mental health implications, and practical interventions. We look favourably on papers that offer a new understanding of challenges and/or practical solutions.

Gender & Sexuality

This session will address cutting edge research around areas such as gender differences, gender presentation, challenges facing particular genders, sexual identity and sexual expression. We welcome applications from any researchers exploring such themes.

Autism and Co-occurring conditions / issues

This session will offer researchers space to explore pioneering research that addresses co-occurring conditions, examining areas such as screening, impact on primary diagnosis, tailored interventions and educational and employment impact. We welcome applications from researchers who are exploring any of the nuanced themes associated with co-occurring conditions.

Language and Communication

This session will focus on challenges and strengths related to social communication and language in the autism community. From language development to challenges faced by minimally/non-verbal community members, from alternative methods of communication to unique patterns of language and social cognition. We welcome applications from any researcher exploring issues that can impact and practically improve the communicative choices available to autistic people.

Autism and Ageing

Autism in infancy and childhood has typically been the predominant focus for autism researchers. This session will examine the experiences of the under-researched majority: autistic adults. We invite applications exploring a broad range of themes such as: late diagnosis, employment, pathways to diagnosis, age-related conditions in autistic communities and necessary community supports.  

Services and pathways for autistic people

This session will explore current and potential services and support available to the community and adaptations that may be implemented. It will focus on themes such as barriers to service access, appropriateness of service provision within the autism community, adaptations to better serve the community and streamlining of pathways to access. We welcome applications from any researcher working to create innovative change in service access and provision for autistic people. We are also interested in the impactions on how services could change.