The acquisition of friendship skills for typical children is based on an innate and evolving ability to make and keep friends. Unfortunately, autistic children are not as able to rely on intuitive abilities in social settings and must rely more on their general cognitive abilities to process social information. They often have had peer interactions which are likely to have been confusing and, at times, aversive. They have difficulty reading the social rules and conventions and being able to follow them. They are often criticized or rejected by peers when engaged in social play. A lack of friendships can lead to low self-esteem and depression.
The webcast will focus on relevant research on friendship for autistic boys and girls during their primary school years, describe the stages of friendship during those years and strategies to improve friendship abilities, experiences, and confidence at school.
See trailer below for more information on content:
About the speakers
Prof Tony Attwood PhD With a remarkable career spanning five decades, Professor Tony Attwood is one of the world’s foremost specialists on Autism. Holding an Honour’s degree in Psychology from the University of Hull, a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from the University of Surrey, and a PhD from the University of London, his credentials are a testament to his expertise. Currently serving as an adjunct Professor at Griffith University in Queensland, Professor Attwood’s impact has enriched the global understanding of autism.
Alongside Dr Michelle Garnett, Professor Attwood co-founded Attwood & Garnett Events in 2019, driven by the shared goal of enhancing autism awareness and understanding. Their shared vision seeks to reshape the narrative surrounding autism to create a world where autism is embraced, and the diverse strengths, talents, and perspectives of autistic individuals are celebrated. This transformative narrative fosters a more inclusive and accepting society, benefitting all its members.
Renowned for his extensive contributions to understanding Asperger’s Syndrome, now commonly referred to as autism, Professor Attwood has authored numerous publications on the subject. His seminal book, Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals debuted in 1998, resonated globally and has since found its voice in over 25 languages, making his insights accessible across cultures and continents.
With a dedicated commitment to practical application, he has run a private practice for 30 years, only recently closing his books due to a long waiting list. Beyond his clinical work, he dedicates significant time to travel, sharing insights and knowledge through workshops and seminars across national and international platforms.