Autism and Challenging Behaviour: One Person at a Time

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

Autism and Challenging Behaviour: One Person at a Time

Practical and personal approaches for the wellbeing of children and adults with autism who challenge

Sponsored by:Autism Care UK logo

Date: Wednesday 12 November 2014, 9.00 am - 4.30 pm. Venue: Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle NE1 3RT

Download programme

Booking Form (Word document) | Email events@researchautism.net

About this conference

People with the label of challenging behaviour are one of the most vulnerable groups in our community. Often labelled 'complex' they are at high risk of abuse, neglect and exclusion. They and their families deserve to benefit from advances in our understanding of these issues in the form of safe and effective support.

The ongoing scandal related to the abuse of people with autism and learning disability at the Winterbourne View Hospital and the failure to commission suitable alternatives keeps the issue of challenging behaviour in the spotlight. Despite some progress in practice and policies that advocate personalisation, the evidence for successful approaches in challenging behaviour is weak. There is a still reliance on models of care that have consistently failed. Examples of good personalised practice are rare but do exist and we should learn from them. Why they are successful and why they are so difficult to replicate. Challenging behaviour is still too often viewed as 'located' within the person rather than the wider social and physical environment. Only a holistic approach will help but this is sadly seldom seen in practice.

This conference will explore personalised approaches to the issue of challenging behaviour from a wellbeing perspective. It will bring together some of the foremost experts in the field, with a view to improving the outlook for individuals, and indeed families, who face daily struggles. This event will be of interest to anyone wishing to learn good practice which is ethical, respectful and effective.

For parents/carers, commissioning teams, health, social care, and education professionals, and people with autism.

***You can read the transcript from our pre-event online Q&A with Andrew McDonnell here***

Chaired by:

  • Richard Mills, Research Director, Research Autism and member of the NICE Guideline Development Group on autism in adults
  • Dr Jacqui Jackson, parent of eight children (five of whom are on the autism spectrum), Autism Consultant, and Author of 'Multicoloured Mayhem'

Speakers will include:

  • Dr Helen Pearce, Consultant Psychiatrist, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust
  • Andrew McDonnell, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Director of Studio III Clinical Services 
  • Dr Jason Crabtree, Lead Clinical Psychologist, Westminster Learning Disabilities Partnership, and Honorary Lecturer (Clinical Psychology), University of London
  • Dr Waseem Alladin, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of Psychology, Autism Care UK, and University of Leicester (Clinical Psychology Unit)
  • Dr Mark Wetherell, Reader in Psychobiology & Health Psychology, Northumbria University
  • Dreenagh Lyle, parent and carer to an adult daughter with profound intellectual learning disabilities (PILD), and advisor to CQC (Care Quality Commission) and NHS

Download full programme

Attendees will be presented with research findings; gain insight through sharing of personal experiences, and be given the opportunity to put their questions forward to the experts.


Professionals and paid carers:

  • Standard rate: £155
  • Friends of Research Autism: £140

People with autism, parents and carers:

  • Standard rate: £95
  • Friends of Research Autism: £85


The Copthorne Hotel Newcastle is situated on the cosmopolitan Quayside, in Newcastle city centre, and offers spectacular views of the River Tyne and its famous bridges. The hotel is within close proximity of some of the area's top attractions and places of interest.

The venue is a convenient 10 minute walk from Newcastle station and is a fully accessible building.

Autism Care UK

Autism Care UK is a leading provider of person centred, evidence based support to adults with complex autism and associated needs. We are values based in all we do and help each person we support to achieve "a life of happiness, dignity, achievement and inclusion"

We are delighted to be supporting Research Autism to bring their valuable conference series out of London for the first time.

You can find out more by visiting the Autism Care UK website

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