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Autistic adults with a learning disability are 40 times more likely to die prematurely (most commonly from epilepsy), and 9 times more likely to die from suicide. The UK’s largest study yet into the condition, the Spectrum 10k study, is gathering data to investigate why conditions like epilepsy are most common in people with autism, and to explore ways to improve their wellbeing. But autistic adults are calling for the study to be halted, fearing it could lead to a ‘screening’ test, as is commonly offered to pregnant women for Down’s Syndrome. Public awareness of issues relating to neurodiversity in general has improved in recent years, but has all that awareness translated into meaningful change, especially in terms of medical treatment, for autistic people and their families?
Illustration: Charlotte Ager
editor and invited experts
Chief Executive, Autistica
Chief Executive Officer, Ambitious About Autism
Marie Van Herteryck
Self-Advocate and Co-Founder of Neuro Diverse Self Advocacy (NDSA)