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Developing Excellence in Autism Research and Practice

Elgar Concert Hall, Bramall Music Building (R12)
Friday 27 September 2019 (17:30-18:30)

For more information, please contact Abbie Cooper by email or by phone on +44 (0)121 414 4726.


As part of the College of Social Sciences inaugural lecture series, we are delighted to present the inaugural lecture of Karen Guldberg, Professor of Autism Studies.  

"At least 1% of the population worldwide are autistic and autistic pupils represent the fastest growing group of children with special educational needs (SEN) internationally."

"Autistic pupils are three times as likely to be excluded from school than pupils who do not have special educational needs."

"In a recent survey by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Autism, 60% of young autistic people said that the main thing that would make school better is having a teacher who understands autism, yet fewer than five in 10 teachers say that they are confident about supporting a pupil with autism. "

Appropriate education and support can play a vital role in making a difference to the lives of autistic children and young people. In this talk, Professor Guldberg presents a framework for good autism practice in education. This consists of eight principles that illustrate the preconditions for inclusive practice, as well as the specialist teaching approaches and methods that are needed when working with autistic children and young people.

Based on a bio-psycho-social model which engages with the lived experiences of autistic people, the framework draws on the knowledge bases of research, policy, current educational practice and the insights of autistics people themselves and their families. Professor Guldberg highlights the needs of autistic children and young people in relation to communication and social understanding, interests and information processing, and sensory processing. Her argument is that unless there is a pedagogical and curriculum response to these specific needs, the academic progress and wellbeing of autistic children and young people will suffer.

About Professor Karen GuldbergKG_Photo_jpg

Professor Karen Guldberg is Director of the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER). Her research focuses on educational approaches and practice, the training needs of practitioners, and technology enhanced learning for autistic pupils. She has been a principal investigator on a number of international research projects working in partnership with schools, practitioners and parents. Her recent focus is on formulating a conceptual framework for inclusive practice for autistic pupils. Professor Guldberg has a particular interest in online learning and developed the first blended e-learning programme in autism education for practitioners and parents. 

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About the College of Social Sciences Inaugural Lecture Series

An inaugural lecture is a key milestone in any academic's career, signifying their promotion to 'Professor'. It is an opportunity for our new professorial colleagues to present their innovative research first-hand. All of these events are free of charge and attendance is open to all, and we look forward to sharing the experience with you.

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