Dame Stephanie Shirley

Autism changes the way in which the brain develops, affecting each person uniquely. It can involve special qualities that are valued by individuals and their families; but for too many, autism is a lifelong struggle. Typically diagnosed in early childhood, autism lasts a lifetime. People with autism have social and communication difficulties, and a range of repetitive interests and behaviours. The incidence worldwide is 1 in 167 children with a 4:1 bias to boys.

Autistica (www.autistica.org.uk) funds medical research to understand the causes of autism, improve diagnosis, and develop new treatments and interventions. It is the UK's largest autism medical research charity, and is committed to funding translational research that will make a difference to people's lives.

Since being founded in 2004 by Dame Stephanie Shirley, Autistica has raised over £8.5 million in support of autism research, and become established as the UK’s leading autism research charity, working in partnership to ensure research responds to the needs of all those impacted by autism. Autistica has funded over 40 world class scientists in universities across the UK, ensuring that the brightest minds are focused in this important area. Here are just some of their key achievements:

  • Their scientists have lowered the age at which differences in brain development can be detected to just six months, a finding recognised as the ‘top autism discovery of 2012’ by leading US funder, the Simons Foundation.
  • They have funded the earliest intervention study worldwide, trialling a parent-mediated intervention in the first year of life, which used video-based therapy for families with babies at risk of autism. The intervention has shown improvements in infants’ engagement, attention and social behaviour.
  • They funded the establishment of the first Autism Brain Bank in the UK, enabling crucial new understanding of the neurobiology of autism.

Autistica is 100% reliant on voluntary donations and receives no government funding. If you would like to support the charity please visit the website or contact them:

Email: friends@autistica.org.uk 

For further information please go to: www.autistica.org.uk.

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Dame Stephanie
Shirley CH

An inspiring biography of Dame Stephanie Shirley CH