Dr Lila Kossyvaki

Research Fellow

School of Education

Dr Lila Kossyvaki

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom


Dr Lila Kossyvaki is a Research Fellow in the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) which is a research centre within the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN) in the School of Education.

Lila is a chartered psychologist and an autism specialist teacher. She has a strong interest in school and home-based interventions to promote social communication and play skills in children with autism and learning difficulties. She primarily uses participatory action research designs working in close partnerships with participants in real world settings. Lila has worked on a number of research projects exploring Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) in typically developing children and children with autism (i.e. ECHOES, The Shape project, Share-It).

She is also a Regional Tutor supervising students from undergraduate to Masters levels on the University's distance education autism courses.

Before her PhD she worked for a research centre in the University of Athens and as a lecturer in the Public Institute of Vocational Training (Greece). Lila has also worked in special schools and day care settings for adults in Greece and the UK. During her PhD studies she worked as an academic and social support worker for the disability and learning support services in the University of Birmingham.

She is part of the advisory team of www.specialeducation.gr and a governor in charge of Teaching, Learning and Assessment (autism specialist) at Hamilton School



  • PhD, University of Birmingham
  • M.Ed., University of Birmingham  Special Education: Autism (children) 
  • B.Ed., National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece)  Philosophy-Pedagogy-Psychology (Major: Psychology)

Lila is fluent in English, French and Greek.

Doctoral research

PhD title 'A study into the effect of adult interactive style on the spontaneous communication of young children with autism at school'. 


Lila’s main research interests are:

  • The impact of adult style on the communication of young children with autism
  • Autism and severe learning difficulties

  • Video Interaction Guidance (VIG)
  • Technology enhanced learning environments for individuals with autism
  • Play skills
  • Staff and parents' training
  • Cultural differences and autism

She has worked in the following research projects:

TRANSFORM AUTISM EDUCATION: enhancing the skills, knowledge and understanding of teachers in the UK, Italy and Greece. European Commission Funded (November 2014- August 2017).
SHARE-IT: School-Home Autism Research Environment through Intelligent Technologies, EPSRC funded (July 2013- present).
SHAPE: Shaping the future of technology use in the classroom, ESRC Follow on funding (May 2012- June 2013).
ECHOES 2: Improving children’s social interaction through exploratory learning in a multimodal environment, EPSRC/ESRC, TLRP-TEL funded (May- December 2011).


Kossyvaki, L. (in preparation) Adult Interactive Style Intervention and Participatory Research Designs in Autism: Bridging the gap between academic research and practice. Routledge Research in Special Educational Needs.

Kossyvaki, L., Jones, G. and Guldberg, K. (2014) Training teaching staff to facilitate spontaneous communication in children with autism: Adult Interactive Style Intervention (AISI), Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs.  DOI: 10.1111/1471-3802.12068

Kossyvaki, L.(2013) Adult interactive style and autism: reviewing the literature to inform school practice, Good Autism Practice,14(2) 23-32. Abstract

Kossyvaki, L., Jones, G. and Guldberg, K. (2012) The effect of adult interactive style on the spontaneous communication of young children with autism at school, British Journal of Special Education, 39(4): 173-184. DOI: 10.1111/1467-8578.12001

Avramides, K., Bernardini, S., Foster, M.E., Frauenberger, C., Kossyvaki, L.and Mademtzi, M. (2012) ‘State of-the-art in TEL to support social communication skill development in children with autism: a multi-disciplinary review’, Int. J. Technology Enhanced Learning, 4 (5/6): 359–372. DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2012.051819

Kossyvaki, L.(2011) Autism, play and social interaction by Gammeltoft, L. and Sollok Nordenhof M (2007). Book reviewed in Good Autism Practice, 12 (1), 94.

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