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To ensure we provide the best opportunities for people on the autism spectrum, we must first seek input and perspectives from Autistic people and their families/carers about what matters most to them to have a good life, and the issues that may prevent them from having a good life.

We will use these perspectives to inform the future focus of ARCAP’s research.

How can we ensure ARCAP’s future program benefits Autistic people and those who support them?

The research

In line with Aspect’s participatory approach, this project will engage with Autistic people and their families at every stage of our work to ensure our research is relevant, respectful and positively impacts the lives of people on the spectrum and those who support them.

The Aspect Research Priorities Project will be shaped and steered by an Advisory Group (pictured) of Autistic people, parents of Autistic people, Aspect practitioners and researchers. The group will:

  • provide expert advice to ARCAP to inform the design and conduct of the project
  • assist with the promotion and rollout of the project
  • provide input to the interpretation of project results
  • assist with the dissemination of results from the project.

The research project design comprises two studies:


Through an online survey and in-depth interviews we asked what matters most to Autistic people and their families in Australia to have a good life? We also investigated what issues may prevent them from having a good life?


Using the key issues identified from in-depth interviews with Autistic people and their families/carers in Australia in STUDY A, an online survey was devised to find out which issues Aspect participants and families/carers using Aspect services, and service staff think are the most important to have a good life.

Making a difference

This project will generate a ranked listing of priority areas for research in autism practice in Aspect as well as nationally based on the direct input of Australian Autistic people and their families/carers. The findings will direct our research towards the areas of autism practice that are aligned to the priorities of Autistic people and their families/carers and with input from Aspect practitioners. The results may also provide valuable information for the future development of Aspect services and thereby inform Aspect’s organisation-wide approach to supporting Autistic participants and their families/carers − the Aspect Comprehensive Approach (ACA).

The results will be available towards the end of 2021.

Research team

Project Convenor

Dr Trevor Clark, National Director, Research, ARCAP






Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)