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Supporting children and young people on the autism spectrum

Supporting children and young people on the autism spectrum

“Supporting children and young people on the autism spectrum” will be the topic in focus in the upcoming “From a Distance” Facebook Live Series from DCU’s Institute of Education on Tuesday, May 19th at 1.00pm.

Dr Neil Kenny from the School of Inclusive and Special Education will host the third instalment of the series which is looking at how Covid-19 is changing how we think about education, schooling and learning.

Speaking about the upcoming broadcast and topics in focus Dr Kenny said,

“The current pandemic related lockdown is having significant impacts on all families given school closures, lack of early childhood care, and parents working from home (if at all).

However, the particular challenges the current lockdown presents for autistic children, young people and adults can often be acute.

The sudden removal of services and social outlets, along with disruption to familiar routines and access to interests or hobbies can be very challenging.

The ensuing lack of structure and predictability can mean heightened levels of anxiety and distress."

Topics in focus includes the features of autism and the diversity of how autism manifests for each person.

Supporting communication within families, listening to those on the autism spectrum, and taking a family-wide perspective will also be discussed.

A graduate of UCD and Maynooth University (PhD) Dr Kenny has over ten years applied experience in special education settings working directly with families and children with complex learning needs.

This experience involved utilising a range of psychological assessments to design, supervise and deliver evidence-based education programmes to individuals ranging in age from early intervention services for young children to adult residential services.

He has researched extensively across a number of higher education institutions in the areas of Education and Psychology.

Following completion of an Irish Research Council post-doctoral research project at the University of Limerick in 2015/2016, Dr Kenny has been the principal investigator across a number of other collaborative research projects and published in a range of peer-reviewed international journals.


15th May, 2020
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