Marginalised families and autism: Understanding the experiences of children and their families

Wednesday 8 December 2021 (18:00-19:00)
Family holding child in the street
Marginalised families and autism: Understanding the experiences of children and their families

Many of us are coming to realise that we know very little about the lived experiences of autistic children who don’t have English as their first language, have different ethnic backgrounds, are on free school meals or who live in deprived areas of the country.

Meanwhile, children in the UK from these often-marginalised groups were identified by UNICEF (2020) as those who experienced the greatest negative impact of COVID 19 on their education. At such an uncertain time in education, those autistic pupils who are marginalised need specialist support for them to be given the best opportunity to succeed.

This panel session consists of a group of people are passionate about understanding the experiences of families who are marginalised due to ethnicity, language and/or economic status. The panel will discuss their work and will talk about what needs to be done to improve the experiences of those families.

The format: Panel members will speak for 7-10 minutes each, followed by a discussion. Audience members will have the opportunity to post questions and comments.

Chair: Professor Karen Guldberg, Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) and Head of Department of the Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs Department (DISN). 

Eli Gemegah is an Early Career Fellow at the Institute of Advance Studies, Warwick University and her research investigates factors that influence the wellbeing of black caregivers of autistic children. 

Prithvi Perepa is a lecturer in Autism Studies at University of Birmingham with a particular interest in the intersectionality of culture and autism, autism and sexuality and the co-occurrence of autism and intellectual disabilities. 

Lorna Bailey is a Head teacher of an independent school that caters for children and young people with a primary diagnosis of autism, and her PhD research focuses on the experiences of mothers of Afro-Caribbean origin. 

Sonia Gannon leads a neurodiverse outreach service that works with settings across a Local Authority (PVIs and schools), professionals, families and autistic children and young people. They work hard to recognise the economic, cultural, social and ethnic or racial barriers that may exist for their families in order to ensure they can reach the families and children that need support.

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