If you could change autism research today, what would you do?
Look at epilepsy in the general population. Successful management via meds means no seizures. Now look at many autistics - same meds every day, but seizures still happen. Poor control. Or take depression. Autistic and non autistic mostly manage with meds. Yet we autistics are nine times more likely to kill ourselves. Why are our outcomes so much worse?
Many autistic people have sleep problems. That is another co occurring condition that merits more study. The number of problems associated with these co-occcurring conditions make me think that a large fraction of the pain and suffering we autistics experience comes from those things, and if we could relieve that it would be a really big deal.
John Elder Robison is an autistic adult and advocate for people with neurological differences. He's the author of Look Me in the Eye, Be Different, Raising Cubby, and Switched On. He serves on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Dept of Health and Human Services and many other autism-related boards. He's co-founder of the TCS Auto Program (A school for teens with developmental challenges) and he’s the Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and a visiting professor of practice at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts.