Co-led research priorities a first for autism research in Aotearoa
A University of Canterbury research project in partnership with the Autistic and autism communities will co-produce a set of autism research priorities – a first in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Dr Lisa-Marie Emerson, Associate-Professor Laurie McLay, Dr Larah van der Meer and Dr Ruth Monk
Dr Emerson says the project will bring a unique New Zealand perspective to current autism research.
“Community priority-setting has been undertaken internationally, but this is the first time the approach has been used in Aotearoa. We have a number of researchers in Aotearoa doing great work on understanding autism and developing effective supports for early years. But we could do more to understand autism within the unique culture of Aotearoa, which includes a health and care system that is different to overseas.
“It is important for autism research to address the needs and preferences of the Autistic and autism communities in Aotearoa, so that the research can have greater direct benefit for the community.”
With a focus on participatory research design, the project team are supported by an advisory group of Autistic adults from the community, and a second advisory group of individuals from the broader autism community. The first phase of the project involves a series of focus groups, with the second phase using the emerging themes to inform an online survey.