Operational Policy on Research Inquiries

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network welcomes opportunities to assist researchers with grant proposals and research projects that utilize Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR or PAR) methodologies. The CBPR approach brings together professionals and community members to serve as equal partners throughout the research process, focusing on research that is relevant to the community.

Although we sometimes make exceptions, ASAN’s general policy is not to pass along research inquiries unless they are developed in collaboration with the self-advocate community. Additionally, the use of arbitrary eligibility standards in research questions should be avoided. For example, the term “high-functioning autism” has no commonly agreed upon definition or criteria; and consistent distinctions have not been made between Asperger’s and other autism spectrum diagnoses, which tend to be applied interchangeably. We encourage researchers to adopt functional eligibility criteria when targeting a study to a particular population, such as Autistic adults who use or need specific services, who are employed or seeking employment, et cetera.

As a rule, we do not support or disseminate research funded by Autism Speaks or other entities working against the interests of the Autistic people.

Our statement on genetic research is available here.