Autistica is Europe’s leading independent funder of autism research, focused on creating long, happy, healthy lives for everyone on the autism spectrum through the power of cutting-edge science.
Founded in 2004 by philanthropist and female tech pioneer Dame Stephanie Shirley, Autistica funds research into the autism community’s most urgent priorities. With such limited funding going into research, it is vital that autistic people and their families are able to direct scarce funds to wherever they can have greatest impact. With autistic people facing some of the worst outcomes in society, including high unemployment, social isolation, poor mental and physical health and stigma, research is vital to change futures and save lives.
Autistica’s research portfolio proudly includes studies into early intervention, autism in adulthood, mental health, epilepsy, language and employment. They also fund vital scientific infrastructure and support the next generation of research leaders, including autistic academics.
They are recognized as global leaders in autistic involvement, with autistic people pivotal to their work as reviewers, supervisors and advisors. The charity works to engage people across the spectrum and at all ages including those with additional needs who are rarely heard. Autistica advises governments, companies and non-profits on autistic priorities and the best ways to include the community in their work, always led by the best available evidence.
Their policy and influencing work has catapulted the issue of premature death in autism to the top of the political agenda around the world and catalysed new studies to tackle the mortality gap between people on the autism spectrum and the rest of society.
With the support of the Althea Foundation, Autistica can offer US resident donors the opportunity to support the rising stars of autism research through their competitive Future Leaders Awards. These prestigious annual awards support the best early career scientists to develop their own independent research and set them on the path to becoming the autism research leaders of tomorrow.