Conference poster abstracts

Inside Out Conference: Thurs July 4th: Posters: 12-12.20, Grimond Foyer #InsideOutAutism #PlayingApart

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Search “inside out conference 2019” (this will always be found under “My” once you have done this), here you can keep track of the sessions via “schedule”.

Name Title Abstract
Chloe Farahar Experiential Intergroup Contact: Contact without the contact to reduce mental health stigma Within social psychology Experiential Intergroup Contact is a new method of mental health stigma reduction developed by the researcher.  This method emphasises the importance of being the actor during rehearsals (Theatre for Change praxis) so that they might come to empathise and perspective take with the mental health outgroup.  In order to operationalise Experiential Intergroup Contact, the researcher developed a script, Stigmaphrenia©This script follows the experiences of nine-year-old Max and his mother, Alice, as she attempts to break down mental health stigma.  During a weekend with his mother, Max is introduced to the curator of the “Exhibition of Neuro-Divergence”; learns about his mums’ bipolar diagnosis; and comes to embrace neuro-diversity and -divergent experiences as an alternative perspective to mental illness.

The submitted poster will outline the method of investigating the efficacy of this novel mode of stigma reduction, as well as provide a sample of the script.

Gert-Jan Vanaken The ethics of early detection and early intervention for autism: an empirically-informed, participatory approach. In autism sciences, an increasing amount of efforts is oriented towards early intervention programs. Hopes are high that hereby long-term outcomes of infants diagnosed with, or at-risk for autism can be improved. In order to offer these interventions as early as possible, early detection methods based onbiological markers constitute an equally hot topic. However, ethical questions arise surrounding these new developments. E.g., does early labelling of infants impede the opportunities they get in life? What are meaningful, beneficial outcome measures and acceptable methods of intervention?

Building on different conceptualisations of autism, various stakeholders in the field may take different positions towards these questions. In this poster presentation, the outline of an empirically-informed, participatory research project will be presented addressing the ethics of early detection and intervention. In this project normative analysis will be informed by qualitative data exploring opinions, values and priorities from autistic individuals, parents, practitioners and researchers.

Ilse Noens The Academic Collaborative Centre for Autism (ACCA) in Flanders: participatory research on interventions The Academic Collaborative Centre for Autism (ACCA) is a new collaborative network in Flanders (Belgium) funded by the Flemish government. Within ACCA, autistic persons and their family members, professionals, policy makers and researchers work together in prioritizing, designing and carrying out research projects focusing on interventions for autistic children, adolescents and adults and their family. The ultimate goal of ACCA is to improve lifelong participation of autistic persons in society.

More than 40 organisations applied for a research project within ACCA. The selection of projects was based on the rating of different expert panels: autistic adults and parents of an autistic child (relevance), professionals (utility), policy makers (dissemination possibilities in Flanders), and researchers (research opportunities). ACCA has now set up six collaborative projects. In this poster presentation, we will present our current participatory research practices and discuss additional avenues for participation in the different projects.

Gemma North Cannot attend has sent in poster to Jarman Building

Nancy Curry The Story Wheel: A drama curriculum for autistic adults to explore social interaction and develop social literacy Still in the design phase, this drama curriculum addresses the lack of drama-for-autism materials for adults which explore social behaviour within the context of culture, setting, and motivation. Treating autism as a culture rather than a pathology, the participants will learn to “read” social situations and behaviours.

Based on Northrop Frye’s archetypal literary theory and the drama conventions approach of Neelands and Goode, this curriculum uses twelve literary classics to develop drama workshops, following Frye’s framework of romance, tragedy, irony and comedy. Each workshop gives participants the immersive experience of ethnographers in the field, complete with a reflective component in which they discuss insights gained from the drama.

The workshops will be video recorded and analyzed by coding for social interaction behaviours. The results will published as an ethnographic study, tracking the experiences of each participant and recording their responses to the curriculum design.

Aimilia Kallitsounaki A link between autism traits and gender identity: evidence from explicit and implicit measures. Previous research has indicated a link between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and gender identity difficulties. To shed further light on this topic we examined the relation between autism traits and implicit/explicit gender identity. We found that among adults from the general population (N = 101) autism traits (measured using the Autism-spectrum Quotient) were associated significantly negatively with the strength of both implicit and explicit gender identity (measured using the gender identity Implicit Association Task and the Personal Attributes Questionnaire, respectively). These results suggest that individuals with high autism traits might have a difficulty in self-attributing gender differentiating traits. Future research might usefully examine whether this could hinder the consolidation of a gender identity among autistic individuals.

Annette Foster Chloe Faharar Three-Dimensional Autistic Space The arbitrary and erroneous gendering of autistic experience, and the oversimplification of the autistic spectrum are deconstructed and overcome in Farahar and Foster’s Internal-External Autistic Space.  With a more creative, three-dimensional representation, the Internal-External Autistic Space can graphically, and importantly more accurately represent the diversity of autistic experience.  With this more nuanced, complex, but uncomplicated depiction, all autistic genders can be represented as well as the reality of autistic development and growth across time, taking into account contextual and situational factors (among others) that fuel autistic change across a lifespan.

Farahar and Foster wish to articulate the Internal-External Autistic Space to the wider autistic community, the autistic research community, and non-autistic researchers for feedback before publishing the framework.

Susie Bass #MeToo Dress – impact of late diagnosis *NOTE: Trigger Warning* submissions contain reference to sexual assault, rape and abuse.

Intro:  In 2017 a number of factors had a significant impact on my life:  results of assessments in relation to my neurological differences, my passion for Fashion Revolution- a response to the unethical fast fashion industry, the #metoo movement and “Orange the World” – UNite campaign to end violence against women.

Rationale: Being diagnosed as an ADHD autistic female with PTSD at 46 left me incapable of explaining the impact of this realisation. I struggled to cope with the trauma of violent sexual assault, rape and abuse the diagnostic process had unearthed and creativity was my only outlet for expressing my distress and overwhelming sense of injustice. I had so many thoughts and was so limited in my ability to verbalise them.

Content: I reinvented a dress using appliqué and embroidery to represent my interpretation of women’s position in a world that is often dismissive of female experiences. Every stitch helped me process and validate my emotions.

Krysia Waldock


Investigating beliefs toward autistic people in communities associated with religious and humanist belief systems Rationale: Autistic people are reported in academic literature to have smaller social networks and feel loneliness more frequently. Communities associated with belief systems, both religious and non-religious in nature, can provide not only spiritual connections (for religious groups), but interpersonal connections and a sense of belonging. Belonging is a psychological need which can go unmet in autistic populations. This is a novel project, with these themes, to our knowledge, not being explored using participatory methods before.

Content: This project is a PhD by an autistic researcher seeking to examine the beliefs towards autistic people in by attendees of religious and humanist groups, and to see if an educational workshop can alter negative beliefs. Participatory methods are to be used to inform the objectives and aims, interview methods and content for the workshop, among other elements.

Rose Swainston Youth work approaches with autistic girls Last year I began to explore youth work approaches that could support autistic girls who were struggling with making and keeping friends.

Research was carried out with five adolescent girls (aged 11 to 16) at a London school, using art to explore their identity and their relationships. The girls mostly chose to use Manga and illustration. Through art-based discussions the girls revealed they were wearing a mask at school and these workshops helped them to unpick this.

Results highlighted there are no short-term solutions as girls face multiple difficulties making friends, often revealing low self-esteem. However, the main outcome was that a safe, creative space was developed where girls could begin to understand their relationships and their identity. As well as informing discussions with professionals and parents about further support.

The study highlights the need for long-term girl’s groups in supporting adolescent autistic girls to progress: building self-awareness and self-respect.

Rowan Mohammed Investigating medical care access amongst trans-autistic, individuals Rationale: Academic studies looking separately at trans people and disabled people show that medical care access is a significant issue. There has been a recent media focus on transgender people due to the 2018 government call for consultation on the 2004 Gender Recognition Act. Recent autism research has focused on gender and gender variance amongst autistic people.  Media focus has made the overlap contentious, but with little consideration to the impact belonging to an intersection has upon these individuals.

Content: This MA project focuses on collecting life history events of trans-autistic or otherwise disabled peoples concerning issues surrounding care through discussion and interview. Guided by Grounded Theory, the aim is twofold: to evaluate medical access as a quality of life issue for this particular group, and to discuss the wider social narratives that inform the structural inequalities this group faces.

Margaret Dean The experience of the suicidal autistic adult N/A



Ellie Tait Reflections on research from an ND perspective N/A


Playing A/part poster Playing A/Part is an interdisciplinary collaboration (drama, media arts, psychology, visual ethnography) working with autistic girls to investigate their identities and experiences through innovative, creative and participatory methods. The project responds to calls for more research and novel methods to understand more about this under-represented group.

The team consists of researchers, creative practitioners and autistic people who are working together with autistic girls using practical methods as research tools and mixed methods for evaluation. We want to know if creative approaches can tell us what it’s like being an autistic girl, how they experience themselves and their world. Our team will be evaluating how creative activities can have a positive impact on the self-awareness and well-being of our self-selected participants. Activities include improvisation, puppetry, storytelling and collaborative media production.  The project will produce educational resources to include a film, teachers packs, training and information for professionals.  We aim to use creative practices to enhance recognition, education and support for autistic girls in the future.