Seminar 2: Delegates’ Feedback & Summary


Video interviews with the presenters can be found here.

Professor Ouriel Grynszpyn’s Presentation

  • What is the relevance / appropriateness of making people focus on faces if this is not something that they want to do or find aversive?
  • Getting the first person perspective (from people with ASD) about what is appropriate to focus on is really important.
  • Remember the individual differences in ASC – people may choose to focus on different things.
  • How much may be attributed to visual hypersensitivity and inability to process / filter information and, therefore, attend to the areas presenting least information?
  • Intensive interaction is about following the lead of the child / person
  • How do we measure transfer of skills from the lab to the world?

Dr Antonia Hamilton’s Presentation

  • Good to be reminded that performance in tasks by participants with an ASC can actually be superior to neurotypicals – move away from a deficit model.
  • Social imitation is the area research should focus on more.
  • Children with an ASC need to be told explicitly what to copy and then they can!
  • Valuable to have an avatar ask the questions because this means that this can be consistent across participants; we need to be careful to think about how the question is asked.

Mr Mark Bushby’s Presentation

  • Important to start from the ‘ground up’ i.e. where people with autism are at / their perspective
  • We need to do things ‘properly’ and what do we mean by ‘properly’?
  • Make sure people are comfortable with what you are asking them to do.
  • Remember the sensory issues – Magnolia works really well!
  • Try to get it right when interacting with a person with autism, but if you get it wrong – learn from it.
  • Neurotypical syndrome – assuming their way is the right way and that way is superior.

Professor Vasu Reddy’s Presentation

  • Use the existing type of engagement that children with ASC enjoy as a gateway for social interaction, e.g., rough and tumble, tickling or singing games.
  • Try to take what interests the child in the moment to establish engagement.
  • It is important to remember that engagement occurs between two people and that the neurotypical adult needs to give of themselves to draw out more from the autistic child.
  • Do not just try to adapt ASC children to fit into our environment, but make adjustments to the environment to help them.

Audience General Comments

  • ‘Small’ practicalities can be more of a barrier to functioning in the real world (e.g. filling out a form).
  • Connecting research and practice – services have the data but they need help with interpreting this; partnerships between services and universities are important.
  • More joined-up services are needed.
  • Evidence base is important because basing an argument for resources on research helps to make the business case.
  • Funding for a laptop is a big deal; this research is a long way away from this context.
  • Why ‘Digital Bubbles’?

Below are photographs and presentation material from the seminar.