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Although it is estimated that autism costs the UK £32bn per year in lost earnings and care and support (more than heart disease, stroke and cancer combined), only around £4m per year is spent on autism research.

Our aim as a charity is to increase evidence of the best educational approaches for children and young people with autism. This evidence-based approach underpins all of our other outcomes.

Ambitious about Autism's research and evaluation programme aims to:

  • continually evaluate our practice so that we can understand how our work impacts on the quality of life and outcomes for autistic children and young people and their families
  • understand what existing research and evaluation tells us about autism education
  • commission or support research where there are gaps in knowledge, and where research would enable us to better understand the needs of autistic children and young people and their families
  • disseminate and share best practice within our organisation and externally.


We are committed to involving autistic children and young people in every aspect of our work and co-produce key pieces of research by involving our Youth Patrons. We have worked on two pieces of co-produced research between autistic young people and the Centre for Research in Autism Education (CRAE) - Know Your Normal, and a study on post-16 education.

We choose projects that align with our organisational priorities, are ethical and where we can work in partnership, for example with universities and other charities. Please contact us if you would like to discuss research collaborations.