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Education, support and research for early years autism

Research

Puzzle evaluates its own practice and working methods so that we are able to improve our practice and develop our understanding of effective teaching and therapy and disseminate our findings to a wider audience.

Puzzle Centre organises training courses, seminars and conferences so that all professionals in this sector can come together and develop a clearer understanding of the issues facing children with autism and other communication difficulties. There are still enormous gaps in our understanding of autism and effective educational programmes for different children. Puzzle Centre is committed to keeping abreast of research, debate and good practice guidelines. We also welcome, and have been involved with, participation in a number of research projects to further understanding about autism and effective and appropriate educational and therapeutic interventions to enhance the life chances of these children.

Our academic advisor is Dr Kerstin Wittemeyer, BSc Psychology; MAS Developmental Psychopathology; PhD

Lecturer in Autism, University of Birmingham Autism Centre for Education and Research

Kerstin has recently been appointed as a lecturer and researcher in the Autism Centre for Education and Research. She previously worked for several years in the Oxford Autism Research Group, where she managed the work programme of the International Molecular Genetics Study of Autism Consortium (IMGSAC). As a member of staff at the Oxford Neurodevelopmental Magnetoencephalography (MEG) Centre, Kerstin used MEG to measure the brain responses of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) whilst completing language tasks. During her undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Toulouse France, Kerstin was part of a multidisciplinary team that provided an eclectic educational programme to young children with autism. During her PhD, Kerstin investigated the effects of early intervention on the communication abilities of young children with autism. She has also worked in a diagnostic service for many years and is a certified trainer for the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).

Kerstin is member of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), the Oxford Autism Research Group at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford and the interdisciplinary research unit Octogone, Université de Toulouse (France). She has recently been appointed as academic advisor of the Centre for Behavioural Science, School of Medicine Nankai University (China). Kerstin is also a certified trainer for the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).

Kerstin has been involved with the Puzzle Centre since 2008 and has generously given her time and expertise to help us to develop our recording methods and to keep us abreast of research developments.