Dr Prithvi Perepa

Dr Prithvi Perepa

School of Education
Associate Professor in Autism

Contact details

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

Prithvi is an Associate Professor in Autism Studies within the Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN) and a member of the Autism Centre for Education Research (ACER). He is the joint programme leader for the distance learning Autism Children programme. He also contributes to teaching of the on-campus MA Education programme, the autism modules on our Dubai campus and the Webautism programme. He supervises students on doctoral programmes undertaking their research in the subject area of autism or disabilities. He regularly examines doctoral students and was the external examiner for several programmes related to special educational needs. 

His research focuses mainly on the field of autism, educational provision and family experiences. He has particular interest in the intersectionality of culture and autism, autism and sexuality and the co-occurrence of autism and intellectual disabilities. His research aims to improve the quality of life of individuals on the autism spectrum and their family members.  Prithvi contributes to the discussions about autism by presenting at national and international conferences and public events. 

Google Scholar Profile


  • Doctorate in Philosophy (Autism and Cultural Perceptions), University of Birmingham 
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Speech Difficulties, University of Sheffield 
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Research in Education, University of Birmingham 
  • Post Graduate Certificate (Learning and Teaching in Higher Education), University of East London 
  • Master in Education (Autism), University of Birmingham


Prithvi started his career as a special needs teacher and worked with children on the autism spectrum across the age range (from early years to further education) in India and the UK. He was an advisory teacher for children with autism within mainstream schools where he mainly supported children and staff in early years and primary school settings. Later he worked as a disability advisor at the London South Bank University. In addition to educational settings, he has experience of working in adult care, both in supported living and independent living settings. He has worked for various national and regional charities where he developed parent support groups, established family support teams, and managed play schemes.

Before joining Birmingham, he has worked as a Senior Lecturer at the University of East London and the University of Northampton and was programme leader for special educational needs programmes at both the universities. He developed the MA in Autism programme at the University of Northampton.


Postgraduate supervision

Prithvi supervises doctoral students in the field of autism and education. He is particularly interested in supervising students who want to explore intersectionality of autism and culture, autism and sexuality and co-occurrence of autism and intellectual disabilities.

Current students: 

Melvin Attard
Inderjit Baines 
Lorna Bailey
Karam Bhogal
Charlotte Brookes
Ruth Clifford
Elaine Davis-Kimble
Julie Prentice
Aikaterini Tavoulari 

Former students who have completed their PhD 

Amina Dawood- Affective Computational Model: to Infer Actual Signals of Students’ Affective Status using Deep Machine Learning  

Ratika Malkani - Investigating the Educational Opportunities Provided for First Generation Learners in Rural Maharashtra, India 

Tanya Richardson - An investigation into the relationship between the quality of children’s speech and early years environments

Clare Stockley- Leaping the Hurdles: Using an Ecological Approach to Develop Physical Education for Autistic Students: An Action Research Study


Prithvi is interested in being involved in research in the field of autism which leads to practical benefits. He has authored journal articles, book chapters and books focusing on various aspects of autism. He has been a Principal or Co-investigator for various research, knowledge exchange projects and consultations. Funders have included Autism Education Trust, Department for Education, ESRC, UNICEF, and Whole School SEND.

Recent projects include:

PI- Whole School SEND Autism Resource Suite, funded by Department for Education

Co-I- Developing best practice for schools working with marginalised autistic pupils and their families, (2020-2021) funded by UKRI

Co-I- Autism and school exclusion: A digital resource for school leaders and teachers, (2020-2021) funded by ESRC Impact Acceleration Account

PI- Educational inclusion of children with autism in India- research dialogue, (2019-20), funded by Global Challenge Research Fund

Co-I- Investigation of the causes and implications of exclusion for autistic children and young people, (2019-2020) funded by UKRI

Some of the previous projects:

PI- A feasibility study for the application of the AET professional development model for the children’s social work community (2017-18), funded by Autism Education Trust

PI- Situation Analysis on Inclusive Education and Children with Autism in the Sultanate of Oman- Ten-Year Autism Strategy and Five-Year Autism Action Plan for children with ASD (2015-2016) funded by UNICEF Oman

PI- An investigation of teachers’ attitudes to teaching sex and relationships education to students on the autism spectrum (2013) funded by University of East London

Other activities

External examiner for a doctoral student at the University of Bedford (2017), and a doctoral student at the University of Birmingham (2016). 

Internal examiner for a doctoral student at the University of Northampton (2015) 

External examiner for an MPhil student at the University of Birmingham (2012) 

External examiner for University of Roehampton MA in SEN, PGCert in Autism, PGCert in Dyslexia, SENCO award (2012-16) 

External examiner for Sheffield Hallam University for the MA in Autism and PGCert in Asperger Syndrome (2012-16)


Recent publications


Perepa, P 2019, Autism, ethnicity and culture: working with children and families from minority communities. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London. <https://www.jkp.com/uk/autism-ethnicity-and-culture.html>

Wu, H-F, Perepa, P & Billington, T 2019, The emotional lives of young people with autism: Parents' voices from UK and Taiwan. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne. <https://www.cambridgescholars.com/the-emotional-lives-of-young-people-with-autism>

Perepa, P 2016, Autismus im Kleinkindalter. Junfermann Verlag, Paderborn.


MacLeod, J & Perepa, P 2020, 'Early years practitioners’ knowledge of early signs of autism in England', Support for Learning, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 192-204. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9604.12299

Dawood, A, Turner, S & Perepa, P 2019, 'Natural-Spontaneous Affective-Cognitive Dataset for Adult Students with and Without Asperger Syndrome', IEEE Access. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2921914

Swan, C & Perepa, P 2019, 'Police awareness of autism and the impact on individuals who wander', Good Autism Practice, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 70-76.

Dawood, A, Turner, S & Perepa, P 2018, 'Affective computational model to extract natural affective states of students with Asperger syndrome (AS) in computer-based learning environment', IEEE Access, vol. 6, pp. 67026-67034. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2018.2879619

Tolikas, T & Perepa, P 2018, 'Perceptions of students with autism regarding higher education support services', Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education (JIPFHE), vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 20-39. < https://nadp-uk.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/JIPFHE.ISSUE-10.1-Winter-2018-1.pdf>

Landor, F & Perepa, P 2017, 'Do resource bases enable social inclusion of students with Asperger syndrome in a mainstream secondary school?', Support for Learning, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 129-143. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9604.12158

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Greaves, K, Perepa, P & Bobb, V 2022, Autism, ethnicity and culture: developing culturally responsive practice. in J Gainsborough (ed.), Educational Psychology Perspectives on Supporting Young Autistic People: Insights from Experience, Practice and Research. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, pp. 243-266. <https://www.hachette.co.uk/titles/robyn-steward/educational-psychology-perspectives-on-supporting-young-autistic-people/9781787758209/>

Perepa, P 2019, A curriculum for the dual disability of autism and severe intellectual disability. in R Jordan, J Roberts & K Hume (eds), The SAGE handbook of autism and education. First edition edn, SAGE Publications, pp. 322. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781526470409.n26

Commissioned report

Dobson, G, Curran, H, Perepa, P & Reraki, M 2022, Understanding school workforce experiences regarding access to, and the impact of, special educational needs and/or disability (SEND) continuing professional development (CPD) and expertise.

Perepa, P & Preece, D 2018, A feasibility study for the application of the AET professional development model for the children’s social work community. London.

Other report

Perepa, P, Wallace, S & Guldberg, K 2023, The experiences of marginalised families with autistic children. University of Birmingham. <https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/public-affairs/policy-briefings/2022/autistic-children.aspx>

Guldberg, K, Wallace, S, Bradley, R, Perepa, P, Ellis, L & MacLeod, A 2021, Investigation of the causes and implications of exclusion for autistic children and young people. University of Birmingham. <https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/acer/research/index.aspx>

View all publications in research portal