Lynda Smith

Doctoral researcher 

Lynda Smith 2What do family narratives reveal about parental perceptions of societal attitudes to autism and how does this impact upon family functioning?

This qualitative study uses a combination of interpretative and phenomenological methodologies (narrative Inquiry and IPA) to explore the narrative experiences of parents of children with a dual diagnosis of autism and a learning difficulty. It also investigates parent experiences of societal attitudes towards autism, including both negative and inclusive attitudes. This research draws upon two conceptual frameworks of child development, the ecological systems theory and developmental niche, adapting these to help explain parental experience.    

Research Supervisors

Professor Karen Guldberg and Dr Despina Papoudi

Research Interests

  • Autism with learning difficulties and other co-morbid conditions  
  • Lived-experience
  • Societal attitudes to autism 
  • Social inclusion 
  • Coping strategies and resilience
  • Sensory differences 
  • Misconceptions of autism

Research Projects

Lynda has contributed to various research projects, sharing experiences as a parent carer of a child with a dual diagnosis of autism and severe learning difficulties, including their own recent experiences of parenting during the pandemic.   

Research and Professional Organisation Memberships

Contact details

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