UK

Autistic children need the world to acknowledge the significance of the challenges they face

Nick Hodge, Sheffield Hallam University

Autistic children are increasingly being suspended or expelled from school, because of “behavioural problems” official figures show. Some regions in the UK have seen a 100% increase in these types of exclusions since 2011.

Research carried out by myself and colleagues at Sheffield Hallam University demonstrates the devastating consequences these exclusions have for disabled children and their families.

A landmark legal ruling in August stated that the exclusion of autistic children from school is a violation of their human rights. This decision by the upper tribunal should bring to a halt the alarming rise in the number of school exclusions of autistic pupils.

World's largest autism grant will transform research landscape

The largest research grant ever given for neurodevelopmental conditions has been awarded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative to an international consortium academically led by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London.

The €115 million grant, titled Autism Innovative Medicine Studies-2-Trials (AIMS-2-Trials), will increase our understanding of autism and help develop new therapies to improve health outcomes and quality of life for autistic people.

Autistic people at greater risk of becoming homeless – new research

William Mandy

Tony had lived on the streets for 45 years, and in recent years had become increasingly physically unwell. Despite this he refused all offers of help, and it became clear to his support workers that he found social engagement of any kind very distressing. It was only when it was recognised that he had autism that staff were able to adapt their approach to support him to move off the streets into a hostel.

Autism screening tool may not detect the condition in some women

Rachel Moseley, Bournemouth University and Julie Kirkby, Bournemouth University

Diagnosing autism is expensive and time consuming, so a screening tool is used to filter out those people who are unlikely to be diagnosed as autistic. This is all well and good, but our latest research suggests that a widely used screening tool may be biased towards diagnosing more men than women.

Inclusion is best for people with autism

Professor Rita Jordan

Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett’s article on access for autistic individuals recognised that “autism friendly” sessions are not necessarily a solution, and carry their own dangers (Guess what – people with autism like the cinema too, 2 May).

Many conferences on autism now have modifications such as quiet withdrawal spaces, reduced lighting and “deaf clapping” (silent waving). It is reasonable to meet the needs of known autistic individuals attending an event but not to assume all “autistic” needs are common.

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