Updates to the Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) Research Agenda
Autistic individuals, now representing one in 36 individuals in the U.S., experience disproportionate physical health challenges relative to non-autistic individuals. The Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Autism Intervention Research Network on Physical Health (AIR-P) is an interdisciplinary, multi-center Research Network that aims to increase the health, well-being, and quality of life of autistic individuals. The current paper builds on the initial AIR-P Research Agenda (proposed in Year 1) and provides an updated vision for the Network.
Updates to the Research Agenda were made via the administration of a Qualtrics survey, and disseminated widely to all AIR-P entities, including the Research Node Leaders, Steering Committee, Autistic Researcher Review Board, and collaborating academic and non-academic entities. Network members were tasked with evaluating the Year 1 Research Agenda and proposing additional priorities.
Within each Research Node, all Year 1 priorities were endorsed as continued priorities for research on autism and physical health. Specific topics, including co-occurring conditions and self-determination, advocacy, and decision-making, were particularly endorsed. Opportunities for exploratory studies and intervention research were identified across Research Nodes. Qualitative responses providing feedback on additional research priorities were collected.
The updated AIR-P Research Agenda represents an important step toward enacting large-scale health promotion efforts for autistic individuals across the lifespan. This updated agenda builds on efforts to catalyze autism research in historically underrepresented topic areas while adopting a neurodiversity-oriented approach to health promotion.