Keynote 3: Transforming autism research and practice: building a participatory framework

There has been a substantial increase in research activity on autism during the past decades. Research into effective ways of responding to the immediate needs of autistic people is, however, less advanced, as are efforts at translating basic science research into service provision. My talk will address why this might be the case.

I will consider some of the social and ethical issues that might help or hinder us from doing our research – and our practice – well. I will talk about some of the decisions that researchers, clinicians and educators make every day, including the focus of autism research, the terms we use to talk about autism, and the kind of practices that are used intervene with autism people, and the potential impact that these decisions have on autism research and practice. I will conclude by offering an alternative way to transform the future of autism research, and potentially, the future lives of autistic people. 


Professor Liz Pellicano, Professor of Autism Education, Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK

Liz Pellicano is Professor of Autism Education and Director of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London. She is committed to understanding the distinctive opportunities and challenges faced by autistic children, young people and adults and tracing their impact on everyday life – at home, at school and out-and-about in the community.

She is also dedicated both to ensuring that the outcomes of her research are as influential as possible in education policy-making and to enhancing public understanding of autism, its challenges and opportunities.

Liz trained as an educational psychologist in Perth, Australia, where she also completed her PhD on the cognitive profile of children with autism, before becoming a Research Fellow in Psychiatry at the University of Oxford. She became Director of CRAE in January 2013.