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.
Dr. Lila Kossyvaki will be leading a new study funded by Erasmus Plus.
She will be working with nine partners from four different countries (UK, Greece, Spain and Israel) and the collaboration involves universities, schools and a professional development body. The team have been awarded nearly €300,000 and the funding is for two years.
The main objective of the project is to provide resources on the topic of attention and autism for teachers and professionals working with children with autism. It will generate three intellectual outputs:
- A report on best practice on attention in autism in the four participating countries.
- A freely available cross platform version of CPAT, a successful attention intervention programme (Shalev et al., 2007) together with a detailed implementation protocol
- A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) targeted at teacher professional development on the topic in the 4 languages of the programme
Recently funded research and development work
National Council for Special Education (NCSE)
ACER team members worked under the direction of Associate member Dr Sarah Parsons to conduct a literature review on educational interventions for children with autism. This is an international review of the literature of evidence of best practice provision in the education of persons on the autism spectrum submitted to NCSE, the funding body.
International Review of the Literature of Evidence of Best Practice Provision in the Education of Persons with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
In May 2008 Dr Glenys Jones secured funding from DCSF for ACER to develop two important national resources: the DCSF’s national Inclusion Development Programmes in autism. Dr Glenys Jones led the development of the content for the Primary/Secondary resource and Dr Karen Guldberg led the development of the content for the Early Years resource. The IDP resources was launched nationally to all schools and early years settings in England in April 2009, and became available internationally through the web.
Educational interventions and provision
- Department for Education (1998): Literature review of research evidence for educational interventions in ASD (1998)
- Scottish Office Education and Industry Department: Survey of educational provision for children with ASD (1996)
- Nottinghamshire County Council: Evaluation of a new secondary unit for children with ASD (2002)
Provision of good quality information for practitioners
NHS NES Scotland Web Resource created for Primary Health Care professionals, see www.nes.scot.nhs.uk/asd (2006)
Ascertaining the current situation with respect to policy and provision
Commissioned by the Council of Europe to survey the governments of member states to ascertain policy and practice in the diagnosis, education and social inclusion of children with autism spectrum disorders; collect and disseminate examples of good practice; and make recommendations.
Ascertaining the needs of individuals on the autism spectrum
Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People (NICCY) researching stakeholder views of support and services for 10 to 18- year-olds with Asperger syndrome (2007).
Information and communication technology
- Collaborative projects in Virtual and Augmentative Reality with the Institute of Robotics, the University of Valencia.
- Reactive Colours Project with Wendy Keaybright and team at University of Wales Institute Cardiff. Current research and consultancy involves evaluation and the development of a learning pack.
E-learning, Continuing Professional Development and Good Autism Practice
- Kaleidoscope European project: European network of excellence, together with Dr Rachel Pilkington from the School of Education. The Webautism programme was accepted as a Case Study for our ERT (European Research Team).
- Evaluation of student’s response to e-delivery of autism spectrum training.