Damian E M Milton

Doctoral Researcher


Current Status

5th year part-time – data collection phase

Research Topic

Educational discourse and the autistic student: a study using Q-sort methodology

Research Summary

The proposed project will aim to see how stakeholders (adults on the spectrum, parents of secondary school age children on the spectrum, practitioners, and academics), construct educational discourse. It will also investigate how these discourses are translated into educational practice, and how people position themselves in respect to various dominant narratives within the field. The discourse of the various stakeholders in the education of people on the autism spectrum will be analysed using both quantitative and qualitative data obtained from a Q-sort methodology, administered online through PoetQ software.

Research Interests

Educational discourse 

  • Q-sort methodology 
  • Empathy 
  • Knowledge production and ‘insider’ positionality

Research projects

Autism Education Trust – Training Materials (2012), Competency Framework for practitioners (2012), Early Years Materials (ongoing), Guide for Parents (ongoing).

Lead consultant – Ask autism project, National Autistic Society: http://www.autism.org.uk/askautism

Research Supervisors

Dr Kerstin Wittemeyer and Dr Glenys Jones



Membership of Research and Professional Organisations

Autism Education Trust. (member of the Programme Board),
British Psychological Society. 
Institute for Learning.
British Sociological Association.
King’s College Autism Ethics Group.
Research Autism. (Member of the Scientific and Advisory Committee),
The Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies. (Member of the Editorial Team – Autonomy),
The International Journal of Research and Practice. (Member of the Editorial Board - Autism)  

Selected publications

Milton, D. (2014) Autistic expertise: A critical reflection on the production of knowledge in autism studies. Autism DOI:10.1177/1362361314525281

Milton, D. (2013) ”Filling in the gaps”, a micro-sociological analysis of autism. Autonomy: the Journal of Critical Interdisciplinary Autism Studies. Vol. 1(2).

Milton, D. and Bracher, M. (2013) Autistics speak but are they heard? Medical Sociology Online. Vol. 7(2): 61-69.

Milton, D., Mills, R. and Pellicano, L. (2012) Ethics and Autism: Where is the Autistic Voice? Commentary on Post et al. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Published online 11/12/12.

Milton, D. and Moon, L. (2012) “And that Damian is what I call life changing”: findings from an action research project involving autistic adults in an online sociology study group. Good Autism Practice. Vol. 13(2): 32-39.

Milton, D. and Lyte (2012) The normalisation agenda and the psycho-emotional disablement of autistic people, Autonomy: the Journal of Critical Interdisciplinary Autism Studies. Vol. 1(1).

Milton, D. (2012) So what exactly is autism? [resource linked to competency framework]. Autism Education Trust.

Milton, D. (2012) On the Ontological Status of Autism: the ‘Double Empathy Problem’. Disability and Society. Vol. 27(6): 883-887. DOI:  



Damian Milton