Dr Carmel Conn specialises in autism education
"As a practitioner and researcher, I have a strong commitment to exploring what theory means to practice and the everyday lives of children and young people with special educational needs and disability. I’ve worked in many areas of special needs, beginning my teaching career working with young people with behavioural, emotional and social needs, and going on to work with children with language difficulty and specific learning difficulties.
For a number of years I worked as a SENCO in a bilingual school for the deaf in central London, teaching through the medium of British Sign Language and taking responsibility for the development of children’s reading.
In recent years, my experience has been in autism education and I’m particularly interested in finding ways of working that are inclusive and naturally oriented towards ordinary teaching and learning processes. I believe that an interdisciplinary approach to autism is really important, combining developmental psychology with theories taken from education, disability studies and childhood studies.
An interdisciplinary approach supports a deeper understanding of children and young people’s experiences of social relationships and other people’s communication, as well as an awareness of their strengths and important interests and what is of value in difference and diversity.
The autism pathway on the MA SEN/ALN will be of interest to those of you who want to gain an understanding of inclusive education as it relates to children and young people with autism. It is designed to give you an understanding of current debates about autism, but it is very practically focused and will help you find new ways of thinking about and working with people on the autism spectrum."