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There has been a substantial increase in autism research publications and funding during the past decade, both in the UK and abroad. But while there have been some significant advances, we still have not come close to a full understanding of autism. Research into effective ways of responding to the needs of autistic people and their families is less advanced still. This means that the promise of research, although rightly championed by many, is far from fulfilled.

It is our belief that this knowledge should be of immediate practical help to all those seeking to ensure that future autism research provides the most benefit for the most people.

The purpose of this Report has been to document the nature of autism research currently funded and conducted in the UK and to map that on to the priorities of autistic people and the broader autism community.

Many of the recent UK policy and practice initiatives on autism are a direct response to the recognition that autism is both common and has a substantial impact on individuals and society.29 The amount of autism research activity – both in terms of funding and publications – has also grown significantly.

In addition to this general ambition, we conclude by highlighting three main recommendations, which emanate from our findings.

First Recommendation: Investment in new areas of autism research

Our analysis suggests, however, that UK funding and productivity is not keeping pace with developments in some other parts of the world, particularly the US. We recommend that the UK thus continues to accelerate the level of investment into autism research. We recognise, of course, that at a time of economic difficulty for the whole country this will not be easy. It is,

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A future made together: Shaping autism research in the UK  

A future made together: Shaping autism research in the UK  

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