Autism-Europe is an international autism association whose main objectives are to improve public awareness of autism and to advance the rights of autistic people and their families. In September, the third edition of their publication “People with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Identification, Understanding, Intervention” was published. This document provides an overview of current evidence-based knowledge and practice around autism.

With the publication, AIMS-2-TRIALS partner Autism-Europe aimed to share a summary of current evidence-based knowledge about autism with a wide audience, to improve general understanding and impact positively on practice and policy in Europe.

The purpose of this publication is to enhance awareness and understanding of autism and related practices, by making current concepts of autism easily accessible to the wider public.

It highlights major areas of knowledge, ranging from processes involved in identification and diagnosis, to understanding the underlying mechanisms and causes of autism. Autism-Europe hopes this document helps to recognise and tackle disparities that exist within Europe regarding public access to evidence-based knowledge.

The document is written for autistic individuals, their families and members of their wider support networks, including support workers, clinicians and policy makers. To increase accessibility, the publication includes an ‘easy to read’ section, which translates information into a readable format for those who may have difficulty reading and understanding complex or long texts.

The publication can also be used as a resource to inform clinical guidelines of ‘good practice’ across Europe, in terms of developing practical strategies of support for autistic people. For example, emphasis is placed on the value of individualised life-long support plans, which should account for every individual’s personal needs. This approach focuses on setting attainable goals, in view of achieving a good quality of life.

This publication was co-authored by four experts in the field of autism including Dr Joaquín Fuentes, the lead for Fundación Policlinica Gipuzkoa Fundazioa Donostia, an AIMS-2-TRIALS regional Autism Champion. Dr James Cusack from partner Autistica was one of the reviewers and will be part of the expert team for the next publication.