This project aims to determine community priorities for future autism research in Aotearoa New Zealand.
In 2021, we gathered opinions from the Autistic and autism communities through two phases.
Phase one (May–Aug 2021). People from the Autistic and the autism communities took part in focus groups and talked about their priorities for future autism research.
Phase two (Nov–Dec 2021). We gathered community opinions on autism research via an online survey. The online survey was open to Autistic people, and the autism community, living in Aotearoa New Zealand.
We shared the findings from this project in a webinar - you can find a link to the recording on this page, under the heading 'resources'.
Meet the project team.
Lisa Marie Emerson, Senior Lecturer, University of Canterbury, and a Senior Clinical Psychologist. My research is about supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people and their families, including the use of mindfulness.
Ruth Monk, Autistic researcher and member of the Autism New Zealand Community Advisory Group. I am involved in several autism research projects and initiatives in Aotearoa New Zealand as an advisor and researcher.
Larah van der Meer, Research and Advocacy Advisor, Autism New Zealand, and Adjunct Research Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington. I am involved in research and advocacy to support the Autistic and autism communities.
Laurie McLay, Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Canterbury. My research focuses on health-promoting behaviours, social communication and behaviour in children on the autism spectrum.
For this project we established the Autistic Partnership Aotearoa New Zealand, which is made up of two advisory groups. The Autistic Advisory Group (AAG) includes Autistic adults from the community. The Partnership Advisory Group includes representatives from the AAG, parents, practitioners, Autism organisations, and researchers. They meet regularly with the project team to discuss methods of data collection and interpretation.