We believe that research should answer questions raised by autistic people and their families. 

To understand what these questions are, we led a James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership, with a number of partners including the National Autistic Society, Autism Research Trust and Autism Alliance. 

We asked over 1,000 people for their top questions for autism research. These were then ranked by the community and sorted into a top ten list in a final workshop attended by autistic people, parents, and professionals. 

Our research strategy now addresses many of these priorities, and we are working with partners to answer all of the top ten.

Your top ten questions for autism research:

  1. Which interventions improve mental health or reduce mental health problems in autistic people? How should mental health interventions be adapted for the needs of autistic people?
  2. Which interventions are effective in the development of communication/language skills in autism?
  3. What are the most effective ways to support/provide social care for autistic adults?
  4. Which interventions reduce anxiety in autistic people?
  5. Which environments/supports are most appropriate in terms of achieving the best education/ life/ social skills outcomes in autistic people?
  6. How can parents and family members be supported/educated to care for and better understand an autistic relative?
  7. How can autism diagnostic criteria be made more relevant for the adult population? And how do we ensure that autistic adults are appropriately diagnosed?
  8. How can we encourage employers to apply person-centred interventions & support to help autistic people maximise their potential and performance in the workplace?
  9. How can sensory processing in autism be better understood?
  10. How should service delivery for autistic people be improved and adapted in order to meet their needs?

To understand the priority setting process, read our report:
Your questions: shaping autism research.