Interviews on Early Intervention

As part of our focus on early intervention, we are conducting a series of interviews with prominent autism specialists and influencers who have contributed significantly to promoting early identification of and intervention in autism.

Scroll down for interviews with:

  • Dame Stephanie Shirley
  • Professor Simon Baron-Cohen
  • Professor Tony Attwood
  • Gina Davies
  • Guy Shahar
  • Dame Cheryl Gillan MP
  • Dora Raymaker
  • Thomas Henley
  • Dr Carole Buckley
  • Professor Martin Knapp
  • Professor Jonathan Green
  • More to come.....

Dame Stephanie Shirley

Dame Stephanie (Steve) Shirley speaks here about her fascinating life as the mother of a highly autistic child, who eventually lost his life, to being a prominent and influential autism philanthropist, having donated over £65m to autism charities.

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen is a world-renowned developmental psychologist, author and researcher, specialising in autism.  He speaks to us here about Early Intervention, a lost generation, the experiences of girls with autism when it comes to diagnosis, and what parents can do to identify autism early and help their children.

Clips:

Importance of Early Intervention (1:19)

A Lost Generation (5:01)

Diagnosis - Boys vs Girls (4:43)

Early Signs of Autism (3:57)

One thing to improve childrens' lives (1:15)

Never insist on eye-contact (1:37)

Find out more about Professor Baron-Cohen's current work at the Autism Research Centre website.  You can take the Q-CHAT (Quantitative Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) yourself here: it can be used to assess the probability of autism in a child of 18-30 months.

Tony Attwood

Professor Tony Attwood is a world-renowned British autism specialist based in Australia.  He speaks to us here about the underlying nature of autism and how anxiety fits in, early intervention, the ideal role of parents, social development, and the difference between boys and girls with autism.

Clips:

Early Signs of Autism (2:20)

Why Early Intervention (0:54)

Choosing an Intervention (5:04)

The role of Anxiety (2:00)

Allaying Parents' Fears (3:32)

Boys vs Girls with Autism (1:49)

Learn more about Professor Tony Attwood at his website.

Gina Davies

Gina Davies is a speech and language therapist and trainer who has developed a remarkable and compassionate method of evoking the potential of very young children with autism to live more balanced and integrated lives. In this conversation, she discusses the cornerstones of her method.

Clips:

Why to approach autistic children differently (1:07)

The Importance of Early Intervention (1:34)

Advice for Parents (1:58)

Gina Davies is a renowned speech and language therapist and trainer, and founder of the Gina Davies Autism Centre.

Guy Shahar

Transforming Autism's CEO, Guy Shahar is finally interviewed himself (rather than asking the questions) about areas including:

  • His family's journey since visiting Mifne
  • Autism Parenting Guilt
  • Bolstering a child's confidence
  • Sensitivity and false perceptions of autism
  • What we can learn from Autistic people

You can also see the much longer full unedited interview here.

Clips & Additional Material:

Communication Problem or Tremendous Asset?  (2:19)

Creating and passing on Self-Belief to an Autistic Child  (6:21)

Wrong Perceptions of Autism  (1:45)

Supporting Resilience:  Getting the Right Balance   (1:08)

Guilt as an Autism Parent (3:51)

The Writing Process of "Transforming Autism"  (12:34)

Thomas Henley

Thomas Henley is a British Taikwando Gold Medalist, Independent Film-maker and Autistic Advocate.  Here, he shares his experiences of growing up as an autistic child and offers parents insights and understanding of what their own autistic children may be going through and how best to support them.

Clips & Additional Material:

How Parents Can Support an Autistic Child (6:33)

Supporting a Child Having a Meltdown  (7:52)

Giving Time and Space to an Autistic Child (7:17)

Can an Autistic Person Live A Happy & Connected Life?   (7:44)

Thomas also interviewed Guy for his Thoughty Auti podcast.

Thomas's new documentary, Aspergers in Society.

Visit Thomas's Aspergers Growth Youtube channel, including his documentary (above) and more episodes of his Thoughty-Auti podcast.

Dora Raymaker

Dora Raymaker is an Assistant Research Professor at Portland State University in Oragan.  Autistic herself, she has been a pioneer of research into the phenomenon of Autistic Burnout.  Here, she discusses with us the findings of her latest research.

Professor Martin Knapp

Professor Martin Knapp is Professor of Social Policy at the LSE as well as the author of 2017's influential Autism Report. Here, he talks about the main findings of the report and their implications on many aspect of autism policy.

Clips:

Difficulties getting a Diagnosis (2:11)

Why are Diagnosis Wait Times still so long?  (1:09)

After the Autism Dividend Report (not in full interview) (3:40)

Professor Jonathan Green

Jonathan Green, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Manchester, has pioneered ground-breaking research into early intervention in autism, and has created the PACT approach, focussing on training parents to bring out the best in their children. Here, he discusses his approach with us.

Clips:

The Importance of Early Intervention (0:55)

Parental Involvement in Therapy (0:54)

Advice for Parents (1:45)

Jonathan Green's PACT (Pre-School Autism Communications Trial)  approach to early intervention focuses on training the parents to bring out the best in their autistic children.  Training for professionals is also available.  Find out more about his work at the PACT website.

Dr Carole Buckley

Carole Buckley is the former Clinical Champion for Autism at the Royal College of GPs.  Dr Carole Buckley was the national, clinical champion for autism for The Royal College of General Practitioners from 2014-17. During this tenure, she developed the Autism Spectrum Disorders Toolkit which she describes in her interview with us.

Clips:

Why is Early Intervention Important (1:09)

The Autism Toolkit (1:58)

Advice for Parents & GPs (1:41)

Find out more about Carole Buckley's work, and discover the Autism Spectrum Disorders Toolkit (which she describes in her interview) here.

Dame Cheryl Gillan MP

Dame Cheryl Gillan MP is a member of the British Parliament at Westminster, and chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism (APPGA).  She talks to us about her thoughts on autism policy and how this may develop.

You can learn more about the current work in Parliament of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism (APPGA), by visiting the APPGA website.