The University of Warwick is proud to stand with neurodiverse communities during Autism Awareness Month. This month, the University aims to raise autism awareness and acceptance, while celebrating the diversity of all individuals that make up the University of Warwick community. According to the National Autistic Society, there are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK.
As part of ongoing research into the best way to support neurodiverse individuals, academics at the Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR) are launching two clinical trials and are encouraging autistic adults to consider taking part. The first trial aims to determine whether a medicine called sertraline, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) commonly used in treating depression, is helpful for anxiety. The second aims to determine whether a psychological therapy reduces symptoms of low mood and depression. Both trials are recruiting autistic adults who live within Coventry and Warwickshire as well as from other regions in England.
The clinical trials aim to address the challenges faced by autistic individuals and provide them with the necessary support and resources to improve their overall well-being. Experts believe that providing support to autistic people that has been developed with autistic people themselves can to more people reaching their full potential.
Professor Peter Langdon, Honorary Consultant in Clinical Psychology at the University of Warwick said: “Participation in clinical trials is essential to advancing our understanding of the best way to support autistic people with their mental health”.
Professor Kylie Gray, Professor in Neurodevelopmental Disorders or Psychology and special educational needs at the University of Warwick said: “By joining a clinical trial, autistic people can play an active role in shaping the future of autism research and NHS services while helping to improve lives”.
During Autism Awareness Month, the university is calling on everyone to join in promoting acceptance, understanding, and inclusion for all individuals, regardless of their neurodiversity.
Ben Althen, Welfare Officer for Autistic students at Warwick, said: “Being autistic is like everyone has a book on all the rules of how to act except you, but nobody will give you a copy or show you theirs. I am reassured by the ongoing efforts by the University of Warwick to increase levels of awareness and acceptance as well as their commitment to further understanding autism. Together, we can build a more equitable and inclusive society.”