Autism and Challenging Behaviour – it doesn’t have to be like this

The Research Autism/Lorna Wing
series of conferences and seminars presents

Autism and Challenging Behaviour –
it doesn’t have to be like this

Thursday 27 June 2012, 8.45 am – 4.30 pm
Ambassadors Hotel, London, W1 Individuals with autism who display what are referred to as ‘challenging behaviours’ are known to be among the most vulnerable in society. The appalling events that led to the closure of Winterbourne View hospital in Bristol last year are just the latest in a very long line of similar cases that have occurred over many decades. We continue to see families struggling daily with the enormous demands of managing such behaviours in the home – often to breaking point. We see staff in schools and care services struggling to manage and vulnerable individuals frequently excluded. But does it have to be like this? Despite growing evidence of poor efficacy and the harm they do we continue to see young people prescribed powerful drugs to mask the effects of pain, their personality or their attempts to communicate. We see restrictive physical interventions, punitive sanctions and the physical and emotional abuse of people who are already suffering huge levels of stress and anxiety. Additionally they may be placed far away from their homes- often at a high financial cost and for very long periods of time. But does it have to be like this? This conference, chaired by Lorna Wing and Richard Mills will bring together some of the foremost experts in the field to share their experiences of working with this exceptionally vulnerable group. Speakers will describe research and methods of working that have been shown to be effective and ethical yet avoiding those approaches that cause harm not just to the person but to all of those concerned.

Speakers include:  Professor Peter Tyrer, Imperial College, London ; Dr Juli Crocombe, South Staffs NHS Trust ; Mr Ben Higgins, Broomhayes School, National Autistic Society ; Mrs Linda Woodcock and Dr Andrew McDonnell, Studio 3;  Professor Chris Oliver, University of Birmingham ; Dr Caroline Richards, University of Birmingham

Conference sponsor

We are delighted to announce that Rompa Ltd, world leaders in sensory equipment and multi-sensory environments, will be supporting the conference and exhibiting on the day.
08 45
Registration and coffee
09 15
Welcome and Chairs’ opening
Lorna Wing
Consultant Psychiatrist
The National Autistic Society and Trustee of Research Autism
Richard Mills
Research Director
Research Autism
09 30
Changing language-changing thinking
Stress reduction and low arousal approaches with people who challenge
Dr Andrew McDonnell
ATLASS and Studio 3 Training UK
10 15
So what is the role of the psychiatrist in understanding and responding to challenging behaviour in autism?
Dr Juli Crocombe
Consultant Psychiatrist
South Staffs NHS Trust
11 00
11 30
How useful is medication in managing challenging behaviour?
Professor Peter Tyrer
Imperial College London
12 15
Lorna Wing and Richard Mills
12 30
Networking and exhibition
13 45
A specialist school approach
Practical and ethical considerations in an inclusive approach to education for children with severe challenging behaviour. Support and supervision of staff
Ben Higgins
Executive Principal
The National Autistic Society
Broomhayes School and Children’s Centre
14 30
Supporting parents of children and adults who display severe challenging behaviour
Linda Woodcock
Lead Trainer
Studio 3 Training UK
15 00
15 20
Management of children with severe self injurious behaviour
Lessons from research
Professor Chris Oliver and Dr Caroline Richards
University of Birmingham
16 05
Questions and close
Lorna Wing and Richard Mills

Who is the conference for? This conference will be of interest to all who have an interest in learning about more effective ways of working with children and adults affects by autism, and who wish to invest in the development of practices that are ethical, respectful and humane and are fit for purpose, including: Individuals with autism
Parents, carers and family members
Clinicians and researchers
Education professionals
Health professionals,
Social Care professionals

How to book
Telephone 020 3490 3091 to book using a credit or debit card
Email and ask for a booking form

Delegate rates
People with autism, parents and carers: £95
Other delegates: £155

Additional notes
The term autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) is used to describe a range of complex neuro developmental conditions present from birth or early life. The characteristics vary considerably but essentially affect instinctive social behaviour and communication.

Although individuals with ASC may have great strengths, they may also fail to achieve their academic and other potential and experience severe stress, bullying, and social isolation. The causes are not known although genetic factors are important in some forms of autism.

There are a host of treatments and other interventions but very few have been systematically evaluated. Over half a million children and adults in the UK are thought to have autistic spectrum conditions.

Research Autism

Research Autism’s sole focus is on interventions in autism. We were established as an independent charity with the support of the National Autistic Society to address concerns of members about the dearth of high quality scientific research in this area. Working with individuals with ASC and with Cambridge University as our research sponsor, we have the active support of the most eminent figures from the world of autism. Our web-based information service, through which we disseminate research findings, attracts over 25,000 visitors a month.

Research projects

Research Autism is committed to working with the whole autism community on a programme of research that will improve quality of life and will support wellbeing and social inclusion.
Please note
Every effort will be made to adhere to the programme as advertised. However the organisers reserve the right to make changes due to unforeseen circumstances. We regret there can be no refunds due to such changes.

No refunds can be made in the event of a delegate’s cancellation or circumstances of events beyond Research Autism’s control such as disruption of transport or acts of terrorism. Should a delegate be unable to attend, they may nominate another delegate in their place subject to permission from

Research Autism, Adam House, 1 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 5HE

Tel: 020 3490 3091 Email:
Registered Charity No. 1096508


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