Researching and Studying Autism

Involving AsIAm in Your Research

AsIAm has taken part in many research projects and studies into autistic people’s lives. We are always keen to contribute to the growing body of knowledge and best practices for engaging with autism, particularly in an Irish context. Our experiences have well-placed us to assist and advise on quality research into a crucial area of needs.

If you would like to discuss AsIAm’s participation in a research project, please contact [email protected].

AsIAm, generally speaking, does not promote studies that are directly related to individual students’ theses, studying at either undergraduate, postgraduate, or doctoral level. Nor do we usually promote studies without AsIAm’s direct and tendered input as an organisation.

We will make exceptions if it is research that is in line with our ethos, has our tendered input, and or if it is being undertaken by an accredited academic body, which our Management Team will decide on a case-by-case basis. 

AsIAm will not take part in any studies which promote the use of Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) among autistic people.

Due to GDPR rules, AsIAm cannot put researchers directly in touch with individual members of the autism community or provide researchers with their contact details. 

Involving Autistic People in Research

AsIAm always encourages researchers to involve members of the autism community as much as possible during any studies into autism.

Shaping Autism, a UK-based autism research charity, has developed a starter pack to help researchers involve autistic people in their work.

For further advice, take a look at the University of Manchester’s guidelines for conducting research with the autistic community.

Talking about Autism in Research 

Autism has enjoyed greater visibility and awareness in recent years. Some uncertainty still exists over what language is appropriate to use when talking about it and those individuals on the autism spectrum. This confusion is particularly felt in academic and professional circles.

AsIAm, through our advocacy work, have found that many within Ireland’s autism community have indicated a preference for using identity-first language when talking about themselves and their condition.

We therefore follow a policy of using identity-first language when discussing autism and those on the spectrum within during our campaigns and literature.

AsIAm have developed a briefing document around best practices for autism and language. We would encourage any researchers, current as well as prospective, to familiarise themselves with these recommendations going forward.

Autism: the International Journal of Research and Practice

Read the latest autism research reports in Autism: the International Journal of Research and Practice

It is published eight times a year by SAGE Publications, in January, February, April, May, July, August, October and November.

For further information, visit its page on the National Autistic Society’s website here.

Studying Autism 

A number of universities and colleges around the island of Ireland run courses (including distance-learning courses) for professionals working with autistic people. 

Please note that inclusion on this list should not be taken as a recommendation by AsIAm. Contact the establishments for further details of the courses they offer, or find out about general health, social care and education qualifications.

Dublin City University (DCU)

National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG)

National University of Ireland Maynooth (NUIM)

Queens University Belfast (QUB)

Trinity College Dublin (TCD)

University College Cork (UCC)

University College Dublin (UCD)

University of Limerick (UL)

Ulster University (UU)

General Qualifications

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