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.