About the Reach-Aut Academic Centre

Reach-Aut, the mission

Reach-Aut is an Academic Centre dedicated to autism, with the mission of connecting knowledge about autism from both academic study and practice. Within Reach-Aut, experts in the field of autism will share their knowledge with each other and with a wider public so that this knowledge is both safeguarded and made use of, in practice, in management and in training. Seven work groups of clients, their friends and families, carers, policymakers and researchers work actively within Reach-Aut to jointly realise this mission.


Reach-Aut, the themes

Reach-Aut concentrates on the themes which are important for people with autism throughout their lives, such as failure and success factors, the care network and genetic counselling.


Reach-Aut also concentrates on those stages in the lives of people with ASS which are times of transition. Such times are often those where too little existing knowledge, such as the connections between GGZ, CJZ, educational institutions, and the elderly, is applied.


Reach-Aut also concerns itself with complex problems related to autism and urgent requests for help where policy and management still require improvement, such as emergency clinical treatment and multiplex families.


The goal of Reach-Aut: a robust knowledge infrastructure which will facilitate an improvement in quality of life for people with ASS as well as their close friends and family.

Reach-Aut: the vision

Reach-Aut stands for multidisciplinary, sector-transcending collaboration. We coordinate existing and new knowledge concerning crucial care issues in the lives of people with autism.


Reach-Aut concerns itself with lifelong care, with phases of transition, and with aspects of care policy where knowledge is limited or insufficiently transmitted to practitioners. We want to increase insight into the crucial transitions and both risk and success factors for people with autism.


The aim is to support clinical practice so that in addition to the knowledge gained, for example, from having experienced that something works, there is also recourse to evidence-based knowledge – knowing that something works, and personalised medicine – knowing who it works for.

By means of sharing and disseminating knowledge, the power of clients and those close to them will be strengthened, and more informed decisions can be made about who needs what kind of care treatment, and when. In this way, people with autism will have more opportunities to enjoy a good quality of life and to participate in society.

Reach-Aut: the details

Reach-Aut fulfils a bridging function between scientific theory and practice in the field of autism as follows:

  1. Forming a national, multidisciplinary and sector-transcending knowledge network staffed by a dedicated team with expertise and access to resources.
  2. Involving clients, those involved in their lives, and clinicians with setting goals and product development. The aim is to achieve full awareness of all aspects of the lifelong care and treatment requirements for the subgroup of people with autism, and to ensure synergy between all stakeholders.
  3. Using these links between the experiences of people with autism, treatment practices, education, policy and research by validating knowledge gained in practice and ensuring that scientific knowledge is relevant and accessible. To facilitate the development and implementation of useful products using the combined knowledge gained from theory and practice.
  4. Facilitating the interdisciplinary exchange of data for the growth and dissemination of knowledge about effective diagnosis, interventions and support for people with autism.

Reach-Aut: the organisation

Reach-Aut consists of a steering group, a number of core partners, associate partners and field partners.

Steering group

The steering group of Reach-Aut consists of representatives from the core and other partners. Representatives from the interest groups supporting people with autism also take part in the steering group.


Core partners

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Dr. Leo Kannerhuis Foundation are the core partners of Reach-Aut. In 2011, these two organisations instituted an academic chair for Autism, and in July 2013 began the academic centre dedicated to linking scientific theory and knowledge gained in practice in the field of autism.

Associate partners

Dimence, HAN, Lucertis (part of the Parnassia Group), UMCU and VU (Free University) are the associate partners of Reach-Aut. The partners Leo Kannerhuis Netherlands are also associate partners. Leo Kannerhuis Netherlands is a franchise organisation consisting of the following practices: Altrecht, Amarant/Leo Kannerhuis Brabant, Dr. Leo Kannerhuis, GGZ Noord-Holland-Noord, Jonx/Lentis/Autism Team Noord Nedeland, Mondriaan/Leo Kannerhuis Limburg, Parnassia Group, and Lister (formerly SBWU).


In addition to the infrastructure contributed by the associate partners, they also supplement Reach-Aut in terms of resources (personnel and financial resources). The associate partners generally also provide project leadership and collaborate in project groups.

Field partners

The Field partners of Reach-Aut are the clients themselves, their close friends and families, patient organisations and organisations working with or for people with autism. The Field partners contribute input to the project groups and collaborate in the pilots for the implementation of products.


ZonMw has made a subsidy available for two Academic Centres for Autism. In addition to Reach-Aut there is a second active organisation: Samen Doen! (Do It Together!).


Samen doen! and Reach-Aut decide programming jointly, so results and products will complement each other. ZonMw finances health research and stimulates the use of the results to improve health and healthcare.