Stephanie Shirley

Stephanie Shirley was a computing pioneer who set up an early software house in 1962. Her long commitment to ASD stems from her late son, Giles, who had regressive, indeed aggressive, autism. She served as a trustee of the National Alliance for Autism Research in the US and, through The Shirley Foundation, founded and took into sustainability the Kingwood Trust support service, Prior’s Court residential school for pupils with autism, including a Young Adult Centre, Autism Cymru which succeeded in getting a national strategy for autism implemented in Wales, and Autistica which funds autism research in the UK. She has contributed to some 100 autism projects, mainly in the UK, at a total cost exceeding £50m, and she has made charitable donations of more than £65m in total. A founder member of the National Autistic Society, she is a Champion of the Autism Alliance and received the Research Advocate Award at the International Meeting for Autism Research in 2013.