7th April 2021

Bishop Grosseteste University’s LORIC Autism Ideas Café and the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC) held a joint Research Symposium event 24th March 2021.


The event saw four participatory autism researchers showcase their research via short presentations and discussions with other researchers in front of an audience of over 70 attendees (many of whom were autistic) who comprised of individuals, allies, professionals, and academics from around the world.

Research topics discussed were:

“The Precariat” is a good name for a band: Autism, employment and the creative industries – Examining the experiences of autistic individuals as they transition from university into employment within the creative industries.

Parents’ stories involving autism diagnosis for their child – Exploring the advantages and disadvantages of having an autism “diagnosis”.

Autistic Teachers The lived experiences of autistic professionals as they enter, manage, stay in, or exit the profession

Exploring classroom literature from an autistic viewpoint – How lenses of perception can impact on emotional interaction with a text.

Following the presentations, attendees had the opportunity to discuss the research, network and share ideas. This has already led to some interesting collaborations with researchers from all over the UK and overseas, with a range of presentations already lined up for future events. Further details will be released in due course, but to register interest for these events, please visit the LORIC events page.

Dr Clare (Kate) Lawrence (Senior Lecturer in Teacher Development at BGU, East Midlands Convener for the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC) and L.C.C. Autism Champion) explained that she was, very excited by our first event as part of the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC). This symposium showcased how BGU is embedding participatory autism research into our work through interesting and innovative projects that will further enrich and widen understanding of autism. It was a pleasure to listen in to these exciting research projects and on the discussions about them that took place between the participants. This is participatory autism research both in that the researchers are members of the autistic community and in that those researchers are exploring how best to capture the voices of their autistic community participants. There is real richness here, and I feel deeply privileged to be a part of this work.”

Autism Ideas Café founder, Kay Purle, explained “It was very exciting to partner with the Participatory Autism Research Collective to deliver this event and it provided an exciting addition to the calendar of Autism Ideas Café events, which are based on a World Café Model of ideas sharing and collaboration. It was great to see such a positive response to the event in terms of sign up and of feedback so far, and it is hoped that we will be able to run further joined up events in the future”.

Recordings of the event are available to view on the Participatory Autism Research Collective website.

This event was funded by the Research England Strategic Priorities Fund.

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