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Emotional regulation through the Autism Lens

The Autism and Social Communication Team hosted its own conference this month- Emotional Regulation: Through the Autism Lens. The team planned and organised the conference independently.

This unique conference heard from leading researchers from the universities of City, University London and Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex, as well as autistic individuals who shared their experiences and what helps them. Over 150 people were in attendance illustrating the popularity of such an event and the responses received were overwhelmingly positive. It was a great opportunity for parents, teachers, professionals and anyone wanting an insight into the world of individuals who are autistic.

We were very pleased to welcome our Keynote Speakers:

Dr Sebastian Gaigg. City, University of London
Dr Lisa Quadt. Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex,
Greg Rix. Teacher. Researcher, & Autism advocate

The conference also saw a series of workshops delivered in parallel in the afternoon, with many of the team co-presenting and facilitating.  

Some quotes about the conference:

“Excellent level of presentations that gave both evidence information (and places to find out more) and practical / applied advice”        

“Lots of resources and links to support my role at school”

“All the presentations were hugely informative.”            

“Will help children I work with as a social worker”

“Made me more aware of how interoception can effect children”               

“Fantastic day 10/10”

“As well as being a mother of an ASC child, I organise conferences for a living. What you have done today is absolutely incredible. The quality of the speakers, the organisation and the incredible warm welcome have been WORLD CLASS (I should know I run some of Europe’s largest conferences) Thank you so very much”

What were the key take away messages:

  • Many of our autistic children experience a difference in their interoceptive sense. Consider the interoceptive sense when working with autistic Children and Young People (CYP)
  • For more information on interoception see –
  • Anxiety is not part of autism, but facets of autism can contribute to anxiety. Evidence is emerging that the anxiety can be treated for some.
  • Sensory processing differences and difficulties in understanding one’s own emotions (which is known as alexithymia) are thought to make the world more uncertain and unpredictable for autistic individuals, which can be difficult to tolerate. The resulting intolerance of uncertainty, therefore, causes high levels of anxiety.
  • More information about Autism and anxiety can be found in the “Anxiety in Autism” Guide.
  • There is a high incidence of Joint Hypermobility within the neurodivergent communities specifically ADHD, Autism and Tourette’s syndrome. 
  • Model and scaffold regulation, also take into account autism and adapt and refine.
  • Autistic CYP should be taught to understand autism and what it means for them.
  • Draw on a wide range of regulation strategies that are bespoke and highly individualised for the autistic individual.

The team encouraged those that attended the conference to continue to be curious and listen to autistic children and young people.

For more information contact Jessica Bubb (ASCT Team Manager) [email protected]