News

2022:

January: Welcome to Holly Rowland who has joined ShARL as a Research Assistant working on the project aiming to Support Employment of Autistic People.

2021:

December: We're delighted to have received HEIF funding to conduct development work to improve post-diagnostic support for autistic adults. We look forward to working with a panel of autistic adults, colleagues at Autistica, NHS England and beyond!

November: We're delighted to have received funding in collaboration with Sheffield Occupational Health Advisory Service (SOHAS) to conduct a project that aims to Support Employment of Autisitc People. Thank you Voluntary Action Sheffield and Sheffield CCG!

October: We're excited to launch our co-production panel for our A3i project "Accessible Audio for Autistic Individuals" led by Dr Lauren Ward from the University of York

September: Welcome to Daniel Poole who has joined ShARL to run his ESRC funded project "What you can't ignore: Examining distraction in autism" working with Liz Milne!

August: Welcome to Poppy Webb and Royina Saha who are working on summer internships at ShARL.

July: Congratulations to Rosie Wilson for passing your DClin viva featuring an empirical study on autistic women's experiences of self-compassion!

June: Welcome to Charlotte Grahame, Laura Smethurst and Sarah Radev who will all be conducting their empirical DClin projects on aspects of the lived experience of being autistic. We're excited to have you join ShARL!

May: We're excited to annouce that we've got a new collaborative project starting in July 2021! Accessible Audio for Autistic Individuals led by Dr Lauren Ward from the York Audio Lab funded by Screen Industries Growth Network. The project will involve working towards their Diversity and Inclusion aims.

April: Congratulations to Amber for publishing the empirical study from her DClin thesis Intense connection and love: The experiences of autistic mothers in the latest edition of the journal Autism

March: Melissa Simmonds gave a talk on Autism and the Black Community as part of our Distinguished Speakers in Autism series. Huge thanks to Melissa for sharing her knowledge on such an important topic!

February: The CoIN study led by Dr Charlotte Tye at Kings College London investigates the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health and wellbeing in families of children with rare genetic and neurodevelopmental disorders. In June 2020 ShARL collaborated with the CoIN study team to help recruit families of children with Rare Genetic Syndromes to take part. Infographics describing initial findings from the project are now available on the CoIN study website. You can also follow @coinstudykcl on twitter for more updates.

February: Welcome (back) to Dr Reem (Eema) Al-Jawahiri! Eema will be working on the projet: The impact of impaired neurogenesis on cognition, behaviour and brain activity, funded by The Baily Thomas Charitable Trust (PI: Megan Freeth)

January: We are excited to announce that Dr Daniel Poole will be joining ShARL later this year to work on an ESRC funded project entitled: "What you can't ignore: examining distraction in autism". Liz Milne will be Daniel's mentor

2020:

December: Megan is now the director of ShARL! Liz will still be very much involved in ShARL but will be taking a slightly less prominent role due to having her hands rather full with being the Head of Department for Psychology. We would all like to thank Liz for her leadership and ongoing work.

December: Welcome to Harriet Smith! Harriet is a research associate who will be working on the project Sensory Profiles in Genetic Syndromes Associated with Autism (PI: Megan Freeth)

November: We were very excited to host guest speakers from the Fragile X Society, Autistica, MisTaught, Williams Syndrome Foundation and the Child Growth Foundation to talk to our undergraduates about their organisations and personal experiences - a hugh thanks to you all!

October: Louis is now recruiting families to participate in his study on the lived experiences of SOX-11 and MYT1L- syndromes

September: Congratulations to Amber on passing her DClinPsy viva! Amber's empirical work was on the experiences of autistic parents which we are hoping to publish soon!

August: Congratulations to Alex Leedham (former ShARL DClin student supervised by Megan Freeth and Andrew Thompson) who has won this year's Association of Clinical Psychologists UK award for "best publication resulting from work undertaken as part of a DClinPsy" for her papers on experiences of females receiving an autism diagnosis in middle to late adulthood & siblings' experiences of autism.

July: Emma Morgan presented her recent work at the EPS conference: "Gaze Cueing and the Effects of Mental States and Autistic Traits". Great to see conferences continuing online!

June:We're excited to be collaborating on the CoIN study led by Dr Charlotte Tye at Kings College London about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health and wellbeing in families of children with rare genetic and neurodevelopmental disorders

March: Congratulations to Liz who will become the next Head of Department for Psychology at the University of Sheffield starting in September 2020. Liz, you're going to be busy but we're excited to have you in charge!

2019:

October: As Megan takes maternity leave, Emma will be taking up the post of Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology for 2019/20. Best of luck Emma, though we're sure you won't need it!

September: Congratulations to Emma on a very successful PhD thesis defence! Many thanks to external examiner Prof Heather Ferguson for the constructive input and making it such a positive experience! Great work Dr Morgan!

September: Congratulations to Chloe on her new job at the Tavistock research centre. We are wishing Chloe a very fond farewell but look forward to future collaborations!

August: Amber is now recruiting for her study investigating the lived experiences of autistic parents. Further details are available on the Take Part page

July: Congratulations to Danielle for winning first prize in the poster competition at the recent WRDTP 8th Annual Conference 2019. Her poster was entitled: "Exploring the Relationship between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Self-Compassion and Mental Health in Adults"

June: Congratulations to Alex for publishing her DClin thesis work in Autism "I was exhausted trying to figure it out": The experiences of females receiving an autism diagnosis in middle to late adulthood

May: Congratulations to Kat for winning the prize for best 3rd year presentation at the Psychology Department PGR conference

May: Eema, Megan, Chloe and Emma's work was presented at the recent International Society for Autism Research annual meeting. Themes were genetic syndromes, cognitive processes and lived experiences

April: We're excited to announce that we will be starting a new project on "Sensory Profiles in Genetic Syndrome Associated with Autism later this month. Thanks to The Children's Hospital Charity (Sheffield) for funding this work!

March: Emma, Eema, Liz and Megan presented some of their recent work at the International Convention for Psychological Science.

February: Kat and Rose are now recruiting for their studies. See our Take Part page for more information on studies that are recruiting now.

January: Megan gave a talk at Sheffield Rare Diseases Day where she discussed "Autism in rare genetic conditions"

January: Thank you to Michael Barton who gave a fantastic ShARL lecture "Straight from the horse's mouth" about his experiences of being autistic

December: Some fabulous news, Liz has been promoted to professor. Congratulations Professor Milne!

November: Congratulations to Caroline on passing her PhD viva with minor corrections - we knew you could do it!

October: Welcome to new research student lab members Danielle, Tamara and Sohum! Information on their projects will be available on the Current Projects section soon

September: Farewell to Louisa Robinson after completing her work on our project Investigating Behaviour in Russell-Silver Syndrome - results available soon!

August: Welcome to Amber-Sophie Dugdate (DClin Psy trainee) who will be investigating the lived experiene of autistic adults who are parents

June: Kat and Chloe presented their work at the Neurodevelopmental Disorder Annual Seminar in Coventry

May: 6 ShARL presentations at the 2018 meeting for the International Society for Autism Research. Themes were: the lived experience of autism; testing lab findings in the real world; autism in rare genetic syndromes

April: Eema presented her research on 16p11.2 duplication and deletion carriers at the ESSENCE (early symptomatic syndromes eliciting neurodevelopmental clinical examinations) conference

March: Our new project Cognition and Behaviour in Tatton-Brown Rahman and Weaver syndrome funded by Baily Thomas is now recruiting!

February: Welcome to Richard Jenkinson (DClin Psy trainee) who is developing a project aimed at reducing anxiety associated with attending adult autism diagnostic assessments

February: Megan and Nazli are presenting at the Interactive Eye Gaze conference at UCL

February: Well done to Caroline for finishing data colection for her PhD on "Public Perceptions of Autism"

January: Chloe is visiting Hilde Geurts' lab on a study visit placement funded by the EPS

December: Alex has now completed her interviews with females who were diagnosed as autistic over the age of 40 years

November: Welcome to Louisa Robinson who will be working as a research assistant on a new project "Investigating Behaviour in Russell Silver Syndrome"

October: Chloe and Megan presented research findings and discussed new studies at the Child Growth Foundation Annual Convention

September: ShARL hosted its first Bohm dialogue, led by the wonderful Jonathan Drury

September: Chloe and Eema gave talks at the Sheffield Rare Diseases Day, hosted by the Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience

August: Grant success! Thanks to Baily Thomas for funding our 1 year project entitled "Cognition and Behaviour in Weaver syndrome and Tatton-Brown Rahman syndrome" Project investigators are Megan, Chloe, Liz and Dr Kate Tatton-Brown (clinical geneticist)

July: Megan is joining the Sheffield Autism Partnership Board

June: Grant success! Thanks to the Child Growth Foundation for funding our project on "Characteristics of Autism in Russell-Silver syndrome"

June: ShARL-team outing to the Neurodevelopmental Disorder Annual Seminar in Kingston University, London. Excellent presentations from Chloe, Emma and Eema. Particular congratulations to Eema for winning the Annette Karmiloff-Smith prize for her poster presentation! 

May: Megan is doing a public talk as part of the University of Sheffield's Mind Matters series, entitled the Science of Magic. See an eye-tracking demo here

April: We are supporting Autism Plus' "Hidden Impairments Job Fair" on 25th April. An excellent opportunity for those who are looking for a bit of extra help meeting potential employers in the South Yorkshire area

March: Liz, Nazli, Emma, Chloe and Megan are all presenting research at the International Convention of Psychological Science in Vienna

February: ShARL Public Forum event Monday 13th February: The pros, cons and process of seeking an ASC diagnosis in adulthood

February: Congratulations to our fabulous lab alumna Dr Abby Dickinson for winning a Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Autism Research for a paper from her PhD work published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. We're very proud of you! 

January: Thanks to Olga Bogdashina for a wonderful ShARL seminar on a Reconstruction of the Sensory World of Autism 

2017


November: Grant success! New Baily Thomas grant entitled: "Why do individuals with Sotos syndrome struggle with maths?" (PI: M Freeth; Co-Is C Lane; J VanHerwegen)

November: Nazli Altin gave her first oral conference presentation in the Turkish Social Psychology Conference, Ankara. Well done Nazli!

October: Three new journal articles out this month. Check them out on our publications page.

October: Chloe and Megan attended the Child Growth Foundation Annual Convention - great to meet all the families!

September: Welcome to new ShARL PhD student Aikaterini Giannadou (Kat)!

July: Congratulations to Illin Johnson on receiving a JiM Grant for the XI Autism-Europe International Congress 

July: Chloe is presenting her work on Sotos syndrome at the European Confernce on Psychological Theory and research on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

July: Megan is giving a talk at the Autism Today conference entitled "Autism Across Cultures"

June: Megan is giving a keynote speech at the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Annual Seminar entitled "Putting the "Social into Understanding Autistic Social Cognition"

June: Megan is discussing the film "Life Animated" at Sheffield Doc Fest, hosted by comedian Chella Quint

June:Congratulations to Dr Stephanie Dunn on completing your PhD!

April: Welcome to Illin Johnson and Charity Kibathi who are both doing Masters projects in ShARL!

March: Congratulations to Steph Dunn on submitting your PhD thesis!

March: Farewell to Abby Dickinson and best wishes for your post-doc position in UCLA!

February: Welcome to Claire Ellis, who is working with Liz as ShARL's public engagement intern on an OnCampUS placement

February: Thanks to the NAS for featuring our work on Improving Public Perceptions of Autism in the Spring 2016 edition of Your Autism magazine!

January: Nazli is presenting at the at the London Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) meeting.

2016

December: Farewell to Patricia Bugembe and congratulations on your new post as a research assistant in the NHS.

October: Congratulations to Dr Abby Dickinson on completing your PhD!

October: Welcome to new ShARL PhD students Emma Morgan and Reem Jawaheri.

August: New paper from Andrius and Megan: Patterns of Eye Movements in Face to Face Conversation are Associated with Autistic Traits: Evidence from a Student Sample published in JADD

June: Chloe is now recruiting for her study on cognition and behaviour in Sotos syndrome. Click here to register your interest

April: Megan has secured a research grant from the EPS to fund an investigation into "Face to Face Social Attention in Autism". Patricia will be working on this project - great news!

March: Welcome to George Kitchen, an undergraduate research placement student who will be working with Megan on two eye-tracking and autism projects over the next few months.

March: Megan, Chloe and Nazli ran two school events for British Science Week, "Your complex cauliflower: How scientists can take a look inside your brain". Thanks for the invites Stone Hill School (Doncaster) and Meadowhead School (Sheffield)!

February: In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Birmingham, Chloe and Megan have established a research consortium: the Psychology of Overgrowth Disorders (POD). We are looking forward to improving understanding of disorders such as Sotos syndrome.

February: Megan gave talks at Bournemouth University and Coventry University on visual perception in autism entitled "Viewing the world through autistic eyes". Thanks for the invites! Liz gave a talk at the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University on "Neural noise in ASD", followed by a lecture on "The rhythmic brain" at the 12th Oxford Brain day. It has been a busy month, but exciting to see some of the great work going on around the country.

January: Congratulations Abby on a great talk about your work on orientation discrimination, gamma-frequency and autistic traits at the London Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) meeting.

2015 

November: Megan and Caroline attended a public consultation on the new statutory guidance to implement the strategy for adults with autism in England. Hopefully this guidance from the Department of Health will lead to better services for adults with autism.

October: We were pleased to host the second Sheffield Autism Network meeting. Great to meet members of the group face to face. Thanks to Emma from NAS for organising.

October: Welcome to Caroline Treweek and Chloe Lane who are new PhD students in the lab. Caroline will be doing research aiming to improve public perceptions of autism. Chloe's project will investigate the cognitive profile of Sotos Syndrome.

October: We're really pleased that our widening participation events "Your complex cauliflower: How scientists can look inside your brain" are proving popular with primary and secondary schools. Looks like we are going to continue to be busy with these events in the coming months! Here's a summary of our events

September: Liz is giving a talk at Nottingham Trent University on 25th September. She will be discussing some of the lab's recent work on perception and attention in autism.

September: We're hosting the first "Introduction to University" session on 17th September. This event is for local sixth form students with an ASC diagnosis who may be thinking about applying for University at some point in the future. The aim of the afternoon is to provide some insight into life at University. Participants will hear a guest-lecture, hear from one of our current students who has autism, and have a look around the campus. Hopefully the event will enable students to make a more informed decision about whether University is for them, and provide an opportunity to ask questions and find out more. If you are interested in hearing about any future events of this kind, please contact Rosie Gomez via sharl @ sheffield.ac.uk. Many thanks to Rosie for organising this year's event and to Hillsborough College and Longley Park Sixth Form College.

September: We saw some interesting work at the British Association for Cognitive Neuroscience's annual meeting in York. Abby gave a talk on the link between autistic traits and orientation discrimination; Megan, Steph and Nazli presented posters detailing their recent findings in gaze cueing and spatial attention.

August: Farewell to Dr Natalie Taylor who is leaving Sheffield to take up a new position in the Autism Association of Western Australia (Perth). Here's to our future global collaboration!

August sees the end of this year's SURE scheme project. The project has been a great success and has generated a lot of new data regarding visual processing in children with autism. We'll be analysing these data over the summer and will send out an update detailing our findings soon. Congratulations to Katrina Bennett whose talk about these data was awarded the prize for the best SURE scheme presentation.

July: Congratulations to James Simpson, a postgraduate student co-supervised by Megan, who recently won the Young Researcher Award at the 23rd International Association of People-environment Studies (IAPS) conference for his mobile eye-tracking work. June: We are hosting a Sheffield University Research Experience (SURE) student for the next 8 weeks - welcome Katrina Bennett. Katrina is carrying out a project investigating visual perception in children and adolescents with autism spectrum conditions. We're grateful for the continued support of local schools especially Bents Green school, Talbot Specialist School, Nook Lane Junior School King Ecgbert School, Birley Spa Community Primary School, Angram Bank Primary School and The Rowan school for facilitating this research.

June: Many thanks to Leandra Hawarden who has spent the last six months working as an intern in the lab and is now moving onwards and upwards to start medical school. We welcome our new intern Reem Abdal Sahib who is currently volunteering with us alongside studying for an MA in Cognitive Science.

May: Congratulations to Dr Holly Johnson (Norbron) who has successfully defended her thesis entitled "Investigating the Cognitive Heterogeneity in Autism Spectrum Disorder". Holly is now working as a clinical psychologist within the Sheffield Adult Autism & Neurodevelopment Service

April: Congratulations to Abby Dickinson for securing funding to run widening participation events on autism here at the University of Sheffield. We will be using this money to continue the public lectures on autism series and also to host an "Introduction to University" session for local students with an autism spectrum condition who may be considering applying to attend University in the future. Megan has also secured funding to run events in schools. We will be teaching pupils how scientists can "take a look inside your brain"!

Wednesday 2nd April is World Autism Day. Liz will be giving a 30 minute talk about some of our recent research findings on superior perceptual processing in autism at Freeman College Sheffield. For more details see here

March: We are very pleased to be hosting the first Sheffield Autism Network event on the 18th March, organised by the National Autistic Society February: The Handbook for Autism (4th Edition) is now available . We hope our chapter entitled "Autism across Cultures: Perspectives from Non-Western Cultures and Implications for Research" will be useful.

February: Nazli Altin has joined ShARL! She will be studying for a PhD under the supervision of Megan Freeth. Her project will investigate the impact of culture on social attention.

January: Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson kicked off our Distinguished Speaker in Autism series with a fantastic talk entitled: Technology and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Intervention, Education, Communication & Fun!