To facilitate a network of researchers in Scotland in order to foster excellence in autism research that is valued by the autism community.
We aim to:
- provide a platform for sharing, debating and building upon current research
- provide networking opportunities for researchers and postgraduates
- encourage inter-disciplinary participation and collaboration
- facilitate links with other autism organisations and the autism community- in order to promote a coherent programme of scientific research which develops a wider understanding of autism, and responds to the requirements of the autism community.
The Scottish Autism Research Group (SARG), which was founded in 1999, is an interdisciplinary group of academic researchers, postgraduate students and practitioners involved in research into autism spectrum conditions.
The group was formed to provide a platform for sharing research-in-progress, to encourage debate and to offer academic support to post-graduate students in a part of the country where opportunities for sharing their interest with a wider community were limited. By inviting inter-disciplinary participation, the group sought to develop a wider understanding of this complex developmental condition, provide networking opportunities and promote a coherent programme of research in autism.
Meetings are often in the form of 1-day seminars, which are hosted by the SARG committee, and rotated among the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow Caledonian, Glasgow and St. Andrews. Seminar content typically comprises presentation of findings from funded research projects that have been, or are likely to be, published in academic journals, followed by discussion of theoretical and practical implications. Speakers for the seminars are SARG members, as well as academic/clinical researchers in autism from the UK, and overseas.
SARG has also run community day events, to share research findings and discuss future research directions with the local autism community.
Academic members of SARG are based mainly in departments of Psychology, Education, Clinical Sciences, Informatics and Linguistics. Practitioner members are predominantly clinical and educational psychologists and psychiatrists, but also include teachers and therapists in autism.
Membership and seminar/community day attendance is currently free, but members must register for each event. Seminars are also open to non-members when places are available.
A note about language: there seems to be an increasing split within the autism community regarding the use of person first language. Autistic adults often prefer ‘autism’ to come first while parents and practitioners tend to feel more comfortable with descriptions such as ‘person with autism’. In this website we use both person-first language (especially when talking about children, who are more vulnerable) and terms such as “autistic people”. This excellent blog post by Judith Endow has influenced this decision.