THERE is a depressing inevitability that research linking serial killers and autism makes the headlines ("Serial killers share psychological problems", The Herald, May 21).

The question has to be asked of the purpose of research that looks at such a tiny minority and the relevance of this to the estimated 50,000 people and their families who live with autism in Scotland.

A recent report, A Future Made Together, from the Institute of Education highlighted something we feel very strongly about, which is that there is a dearth of research that has meaningful application to the daily lives and experiences of people living with autism today.

We recognise that research is important and can be a powerful force for change but it is time to take cognisance of what we actually need to know and what we do not yet know about the practicalities of services and support systems. This might actually have some resonance and relevance to people with autism, their families and those directly involved in their education and support.

Alan Somerville,

Chief executive, Scottish Autism,

Hilton House,

Alloa Business Park,

Whins Road,