An Expert Discussion on Knowledge Translation in Autism in Adulthood Research

This expert discussion is housed within an issue of the journal Autism in Adulthood focusing on the state of the science in autism in adulthood research. As research on autism in adulthood grows, it is critical that researchers are not merely expanding knowledge, but consciously and proactively attending to how that research can and should be integrated into policies and practices that improve the lives of autistic adults.

For this expert discussion, we use “knowledge translation” as a broadly encompassing term for the process of bridging research and practice.

Knowledge translation is a complex, iterative process of integrating research evidence into new policies and practices to improve lives. It can take years, even decades, for new knowledge to be integrated into practice—moreover, only a small portion of research is ever translated into practice. Knowledge translation can be aided by implementation science, the study of ways to promote the adoption of empirical findings into routine practice. To promote knowledge to action, knowledge translation should not be left unattended to or as an afterthought in scientific investigations.

In this expert discussion, we examine the current state of knowledge translation for autism in adulthood research, critical issues for researchers to attend to, and recommendations to make progress on knowledge translation in our growing field.

Moderators: Anne V. Kirby, Katherine E. McDonald.

Participants: James Cusack, Brenna Maddox, Cheryl Mangan, Lisa Morgan, Anne Roux, Nidhi Singhal, and Dori Zener.

Published in Autism in Adulthood Online Ahead of Print: February 1, 2021

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