ACER’s extensive research expertise on educational interventions is unique.
We combine decades of experience across health, social services and education, within the state, voluntary and independent sectors, working with both children and adults. This breadth of expertise has led us to recognise the diversity of the autism spectrum population and adopt an eclectic person-centred ethos.
Our research and training activities involve collaboration with service users, with practitioners and carers and through partnership with key policy makers. We work interactively with institutions both inside and outside of higher education and we actively encourage prospective partners locally, nationally and internationally.
ACER Research Strategy
Our strategy over the next three years focuses on advanced knowledge creation, transformation into policies and practice and interaction with users and practitioners.
Advanced Knowledge Creation
ACER is a centre of excellence in interdisciplinary research. We use our particular expertise in education and care to enhance and improve life outcomes for individuals on the autism spectrum.
Transformation into policies and practice
ACER is a major player in national and international debates on policies and practices that support people on the autism spectrum to achieve according to the full range of their abilities, and to live in the community safely and with dignity. Our strategic links with a variety of national bodies mean we are well placed to impact on policy and practice in the field.
Interaction with users and practitioners
We believe it is essential that our research responds to the changing needs of those most directly affected by policies and practice. Accordingly, ACER has initiated two Advisory Groups, one for adults with autism and one for parents/carers. These groups provide input on information, support, and educational needs from their unique points of view. Our training courses keep us closely in touch with the practitioner base and with knowledge and understandings in the field. This in turn influences our research-based knowledge and strengthens our ability to influence policy and practice, leading to a true synergy between teaching and research.
Individual interests include
E-learning pedagogy and good practice in the field.
Early development, interaction and communication in children on the autism spectrum
Educational interventions for children with autism
Evaluation of interventions
The fundamental nature of teaching and learning in autism (particularly the role of perception, memory, concept development, attention and emotion)
Autism and language
Quality of life issues for adults on the autism spectrum
Promotion of self-advocacy and autonomy for adults with autism
People on the autism spectrum as co-researchers
The history of autism and its representation in texts