Young people with learning difficulties and their families have helped to identify key areas of research that could improve their lives.
Ten research priorities – which include devising approaches to tackle bullying and creating the best learning environments – will be used to inform new research initiatives at the University of Edinburgh and worldwide.
The list is the result of a consultation to better understand the needs of people living with learning difficulties and professionals who support them.
Dyslexia and autism
Estimates suggest as many as one in five children in Scotland has a learning difficulty, which are often linked to conditions such as dyslexia, ADHD and autism.
Tests to spot early signs of difficulties and identify the best ways that professionals can support families were highlighted as key goals in the consultation.
More than 700 responses were received from across Scotland during the consultation, which was promoted by charities, professional organisations and on social media.
The project was led by The Salvesen Mindroom Centre and the University of Edinburgh in partnership with the James Lind Alliance, a non-profit organisation that helps set research priorities.
"It is vital that people with learning difficulties are given a voice and are involved in research design from the outset. We are delighted to now have clear priorities for our research going forward and are hopeful that the project will lead to improvements in diagnosis and support," says Professor Anne O'Hare.
"Today's launch is an exciting step towards ensuring that every person with a learning difficulty in Scotland receives the recognition and the support they need to achieve their potential. We look forward to working alongside the University of Edinburgh and wider research community to make that happen," says Christine Carlin, Chief executive of the Salvesen Mindroom Centre
"It is so good that young people have had as much of a voice in setting the top 10 as parents and professionals. Kids, as much as adults, know what is important when you have a learning difficulty," says Sam McGovern,Dyslexia Scotland Ambassador
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