This Autism@Manchester Seminar is being held as part of Autism Awareness Week and Quiet Night* at Manchester Museum

Thursday 4th April, 6:00 – 7:00pm

Dr Laura Crane, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), University College London


Participatory autism research: opportunities and challenges

In the autism research field, there is growing recognition of the need to conduct research 'with', as opposed to 'on', 'about' or 'for', autistic people and their families (see Pellicano, Charman & Dinsmore, 2014). Despite calls for greater autistic participation in research (e.g., Fletcher-Watson et al., 2018), there is much uncertainty regarding the practicalities and utility of such an approach. In this talk, Laura will discuss participatory autism research, focusing specifically on a co-produced research project examining mental health in young autistic people. She will also discuss some of the perceived challenges of participatory working in the autism field, based on interview data collected from established and early career autism researchers in the UK.



The Fossils Gallery (just under Stan the T-Rex!) on the Ground Floor of The Manchester Museum, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9PL

For the museum floorplan, see here:

For directions to the museum, see here:

*What is "Quiet Night at the Manchester Museum - After Hours"?

Thursday 4th April, 6-9pm is a Quiet Night at Manchester Museum. This is an opportunity to explore the Museum’s galleries when it’s quieter, away from the normal hustle and bustle of a daytime visit. Taking place in world Autism Awareness Week we particularly want to encourage autistic people to come and enjoy the museum. The Quiet Night event is aimed at adults and is free to drop-in. We warmly invite all seminar attendees to stay on and explore the museum as part of the Quiet Night opening. We ask you to respect the ‘quiet’ ethos of the Quiet Night as you leave the event and explore the museum.


Accessibility information

Further information on accessibility and disabled parking at the museum:

We want to make these events as welcoming and accessible as possible to everyone, especially to autistic people.

Sensory Needs:

The Fossils Gallery at Manchester Museum is a wonderful venue in many respects. However the museum is an echoey acoustic environment. We sincerely hope this does not cause issues for people. We will try and reduce background noise and other distractions. We ask attendees to try to reduce distracting noises. Mechanisms to reduce sensory issues are totally acceptable. Attendees are requested not to remark on tinted glasses, ear-plugs/defenders, headphones, or any other aids.

Silent Clapping:

The sound of many people clapping together can be uncomfortable or painful to some autistic people. For this reason, we invite you to replace the traditional clap with a wave of the hands. Don’t worry if you forget (it takes a bit of practice!), even if a few people clap, the overall noise level will have been reduced.

Autistic behaviours:

Repetitive movements or behaviours, echolalia, distractibility, fidgeting or moving about, different or impaired conversation skills, avoidance of eye contact, perseveration (obsessiveness), are expected and accepted. Please try to bear in mind the need for speakers / attendees to be heard.

Quiet Room:

The Museum has a quiet room available for anyone to use. We will explain where this is at the start of the event.

Getting Help during the event:

If you need any additional help during the event please ask one of the volunteers who will do their best to help you. They will have “volunteer” on their name sticker.

Please register for this event on Eventbrite: here


Schedule (all times are approximate)

When you arrive at The Fossils Gallery you will be asked to sign in and take a feedback form. Then you can take a seat wherever you choose.


Welcome; Brief introduction to Autism@Manchester; welcome to Laura Crane


Laura’s talk


Opportunity for the audience to make comments or ask Laura questions. Please raise your hand and wait to be invited to speak. We request that you do not ask questions or make comments during Laura’s talk.


Finish. Please complete your feedback form and hand it to our volunteer on the way out. We value your feedback. We also need to understand (and show our funders!) how our events have an impact, so please take time to add your comments.

We warmly invite you to stay on and explore the museum as part of the Quiet Night opening. We ask you to respect the ‘quiet’ ethos of the Quiet Night as you leave the event and explore the museum.

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