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See Autism@Manchester events hosted at The University of Manchester, and find out when our members will be speaking at external events.

Past events

Narratives of 'Cognitive Estrangement' or; Fantastic Autistics and Where to Find Them

David Hartley, PhD Creative Writing  

Wednesday 16th October, 4:00 – 5:00pm

Venue: Zochonis Building Lecture Theatre A, University of Manchester

Autistic identity has had a long and complex relationship with the rhetoric of science fiction; from the casual use of the phrase ‘like an alien from another planet’ to the intimation of robotic brains in the ‘wired differently’ metaphor. But autistic people have also found productive and affirming narratives in the fantastical genres, not least in the identification of ‘autistic-ish’ heroes such as Spock from Star Trek and The Doctor from Doctor Who.

What alternative vision of autistic identity can the fantastical genres help explore? And how might this intersection of neurodifference and genre encourage a reconfiguration in the narratives of both? This talk will explore the ‘estrangement’ of autism within the intersections of neurodivergent writings, science-fiction theory and the encounters explored in my own creative practice. 

View a video of David's talk


Participatory autism research: opportunities and challenges

Dr Laura Crane, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), University College London

Thursday 4th April, 6:00 – 7:00pm

Venue: The Fossils Gallery (just under Stan the T-Rex!) on the Ground Floor of The Manchester Museum, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9PL

In the autism research field, there is growing recognition of the need to conduct research 'with', as opposed to 'on', 'about' or 'for', autistic people and their families (see Pellicano, Charman & Dinsmore, 2014). Despite calls for greater autistic participation in research (e.g., Fletcher-Watson et al., 2018), there is much uncertainty regarding the practicalities and utility of such an approach. In this talk, Laura will discuss participatory autism research, focusing specifically on a co-produced research project examining mental health in young autistic people. She will also discuss some of the perceived challenges of participatory working in the autism field, based on interview data collected from established and early career autism researchers in the UK.

Dr Laura Crane's slides

View a video of the talk (If you can’t see the subtitles, you can access them in settings when you hover over the video with the mouse.)

Transcript of Dr Laura Crane's talk


Autism in Women and Girls

Seminar and Workshop: Postcards from an Aspie World

Hayden Larder, Helen Larder and Dan Redfearn

Mon 26th March 2018, 10:00am – 12:30pm (Registration from 9:30am)

Kanaris Lecture Theatre, The Manchester Museum

Hayden, Helen and Dan will give a presentation about their autism training resource for practitioners.

View: Autism in Women and Girls PDF for more information 

Seminar and Poster Session: Uncovering Hidden Autism in Females

Hannah Belcher (Anglia Ruskin)

Monday 21st May 2018, 1:00 - 3:30pm (Registration from 12:30pm)

Kanaris Lecture Theatre, The Manchester Museum

Females with autism face longer waiting times to receive their diagnosis and many are not identified at all. Increased social motivation and social mimicking strategies are thought to be behind these difficulties in identification. This talk, given by Hannah Belcher who herself is diagnosed with autism, will discuss evidence supporting this theory and speculate on what research needs to uncover to improve the lives of females affected by autism

View: Autism in Women and Girls PDF for more information 


Improving Educational Experiences and Outcomes for Autistic Students: Insights from Parent / Carers and Young People

23 November 2016, The University of Manchester

School can be a challenging place for many young autistic people, as they are more likely than their peers to be excluded, experience bullying, and develop mental health problems. Professor Neil Humphrey explored why this is the case, and what can be done about it.


The Autism Show, Manchester

2 July 2016

Dr Emma Gowen gave a talk titled Building bridges: creating partnerships between autistic and research communities.


Investigating the role of microRNAs in autism susceptibility

17 February 2016, The University of Manchester

PhD student Thomas Bleazard talked about his project to investigate the role of microRNA regulatory molecules, genes that work by controlling other genes inside cells rather than by building or doing things themselves, in autism susceptibility.