Professor Debbie Riby
The Centre for Neurodiversity & Development is keen to increase interdisciplinary conversations and collaborations in the area of autism research. It has been possible to start this process with funding from an IAS Development Project. Our first discussions have included researchers from Psychology, Sport & Exercise, Education, Computer Science, Sociology, Modern Languages & Culture, Business, and Anthropology to discuss current projects and research interests in relation to autism research.
During Michaelmas Term, the group hosted a visiting speaker, Dr Amy Pearson (Sunderland University) to discuss the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach to advancing the field of neurodiversity and autism research. At this event, key themes and overlapping research expertise came to light across researchers in Durham University. These themes touched on the areas of sensory experience, support / intervention design, and well-being / health. A cross-cutting priority for researchers involved in the discussions was the lived experience and the voice of the autistic committee within our interdisciplinary research endeavours (for example through participatory methods and co-production). There was also a strong emphasis on the translation of research to practice, with high quality research evidence underpinning impact work.
These conversations and collaborations lay the way for future interdisciplinary research endeavours across the institution in the field of autism and neurodiversity.