KEYNOTE SPEAKERS


Prof Patricia Howlin
Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
Patricia Howlin is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Child Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College. Her principal research interests focus on the long-term prognosis for individuals with autism spectrum and other developmental disorders and on developing intervention programmes that may help to improve outcome. Professor Howlin is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, President of the Society for the Study of Behavioural Phenotypes and past Chair of the UK Association of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. She is a founding editor of the journal “Autism” and author of over 200 research publications. Recent awards include the INSAR Life-time Achievement Award and the Kanner -Asperger medal from the German, Austrian, Swiss Society for Research in Autism Spectrum Conditions.
Dr Peter Vermeulen
Autisme Centraal, Belgium
Dr Peter Vermeulen is a Senior lecturer at Autism Centraal, Belgium, and currently the Chief Editor of their bi-monthly magazine “Autisme Centraal”. He is also the President of the editorial board of the Belgian-Dutch Journal of Special Education, Child Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology. He has a Masters in Science, a PhD in Psychology and Educational Sciences, and has worked with people with ASD and their families for more than 30 years. Peter is an internationally respected lecturer/trainer and he presents all over Europe and beyond. He has written more than 15 books and several articles and books on autism including: "This is the title: on autistic thinking” (2001), “I am Special: handbook for psycho-education” (2000, revised edition 2013), and “Autism as context blindness” (2012), a book than won several awards in the USA.
Dr Laura Grofer Klinger
University of North Carolina, USA
Dr Klinger is the Director of the autism program in the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. She also served as the Associate Professor in UNC and the University of Alabama. She has been a member on the editorial board of the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology and the Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment. She also sits on the board of directors of the International Society for Autism Research. Dr Klinger has a PhD in Child Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on learning and memory in individuals with autism and the development of treatment programs based on these learning difficulties.

SPEAKERS


Dr Damian Milton
National Autistic Society, UK
Damian works part-time for the Tizard Centre, University of Kent as a Lecturer in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and for the National Autistic Society (NAS) as Autism Knowledge and Expertise Consultant. Damian also teaches on the MA Education (Autism) programme at London South Bank University and has been a consultant for the Transform Autism Education (TAE) project and a number of projects for the Autism Education Trust (AET). Damian’s interest in autism began when his son was diagnosed in 2005 as autistic at the age of two. Damian was also diagnosed with Asperger’s in 2009 at the age of thirty-six. Damian’s primary focus is on increasing the meaningful participation of autistic people and people with learning disabilities in the research process and chairs the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC). In January 2018, Damian also took up the role of Project Leader on the National Autistic Taskforce (NAT).
Prof Mark Brosnan
Centre for Applied Autism Research, UK
Professor Mark Brosnan is Director of the Centre for Applied Autism Research (CAAR) in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath (UK). CAAR is the newest research centre in the UK and the only one dedicated to applied research that impacts upon the lives of those from the autistic community. Professor Brosnan’s focus has been on engaging with the autistic community to co-develop digital technologies through a process of participatory design. Professor Brosnan is an internationally-leading scholar in this area, having published widely for over 15 years.
Prof Christine Bigby
La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia
Professor Christine Bigby is Director of the Living with Disability Research Centre at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Her research explores the social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities, both during adulthood and into later life. She has published extensively on design of programs to support community participation, and effectiveness of front line practice in supported accommodation services.
Dr Dawn-joy Leong
Independent Researcher & Multi-Artist, Singapore
Dr Dawn-joy Leong is an Autistic researcher and multi-artist investigating the unique expressions of autistic sensory-cognitive idiosyncrasy through her material practice of creating immersive mind-body experiences, with blended elements of music, soundscape, video, photography, installation, narrative, poetry and performance. Lucy Like-a-Charm - a former racing Greyhound that was rescued, is Dawn-joy's creative muse and sensory-alert assistance dog. Dawn-joy has an M.Phil in Music Composition from the University of Hong Kong and holds the 2016 UNSW Art & Design, Australia, Dean's Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research for her Ph.D in Autism, Neurodiversity and Multi-Art Praxis.
Ms Jacelyn Lim
Deputy Executive Director, Autism Resource Centre, Singapore
Jacelyn serves as a Deputy Executive Director at Autism Resource Centre Singapore (ARC). ARC is a charity organisation that provides a wide range of services for people with autism. In her six years with ARC, Jacelyn spearheaded the Employability and Employment Centre programme which trains, places and supports many young adults with autism in open employment. She also heads the social enterprise arm of the charity, The Art Faculty and Prof Brawn Café. Prior to her service at ARC, she enjoyed a career of 16 years in banking.
DR TOM TUTTON
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)
Dr Tom Tutton is the National Manager of Aspect Practice which coordinates Aspect's strategic work on inclusion. Tom trained as a clinical psychologist in the UK and has worked in Australia for Aspect for more than 10 years. Tom is overseeing the development of a disability access and inclusion plan for Aspect and an advisory council who contribute to Aspect's governance. Tom coordinates Aspect's peer mentoring program and the 'Think Tank', a group of autistic adults who reflect on Aspect's service delivery, research and information. Tom regularly collaborates with people on the spectrum in workshops and in consultancies as part of the autism friendly Australia project.
DR KENNETH POON
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION, SINGAPORE
Kenneth Poon is Associate Professor at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. He concurrently serves as Associate Dean (Education Research) at the Office of Education Research, and as Centre Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Child Development. As a researcher Dr Poon has, to date, led S$6 million worth of research projects and has published widely. His research mainly focuses on the developmental psychopathology of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities(especially autism spectrum disorders) and on the development of instruments for assessment their development. Dr Poon is currently the President of Rainbow Centre, Singapore, a charity serving children with autism spectrum disorders and multiple disabilities.Additionally, he serves on the Board of the Academy of the International Society for the Scientific Study on Intellectual Disabilities, and on the editorial boards of several international peer reviewed journals.
Dr Mariam Aljunied
Ministry of Education, Singapore
Dr Mariam Aljunied is a Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. She is currently the Principal Educational Psychologist in the Ministry of Education Singapore, and holds concurrent appointments as Research Associate in the University College London (UK) Educational Psychology Group, and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore. Dr Aljunied research interests and publications in autism include topics such as cognitive assessments of children with ASD, CBT-based interventions, school-wide interventions. Beyond autism, she has a keen interest in the research and practical applications of models of SEN provisions, development of psycho-educational assessment tools, and capacity building of educators and allied health professionals. Dr Aljunied has a longstanding professional partnerships with Autism Resource Center (ARC) Singapore and Autism Spectrum (ASPECT) Australia, and is a board member of the National Council of Social Service (Singapore). With over 25 years of experience in the field, Dr Aljunied is recognised for her contributions to special education in Singapore, and is a twice recipient of the Public Administration Medal awarded by the President of Singapore in 2009 and 2018, respectively.
Ms MERRY BARUA
Director Action For Autism, National Centre for Autism, India
Merry is an activist who pioneered the Autism movement in India, started the first autism specialist school and initiated the first teacher training course. She also started the journal Autism Network, facilitated the start of services across South Asia, and helped catalyse legislative changes that include autism. Merry trains parents and professionals across South Asia, and advocates for the rights of persons with autism as equal citizens of the country. She serves on various Committees and Advisory Boards and is also an Ashoka Fellow, who has received national and international recognition for her work. Merry is parent to Neeraj, her son with Autism.