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Sue Fletcher-Watson

I first became interested in developmental disabilities, and autism in particular, through my work with the Oundle School Mencap Holiday, an organisation I’ve been volunteering with since 1997 and of which I became a trustee from 2006-2016. Inspired by OSMH, I am continuing this work as founder of SuperTroop, a charity providing residential holidays for children and young people with learning disabilities.

As an undergraduate I studied Psychology at the University of St Andrews, and then went on to a Masters and PhD at Durham University, where I was fortunate to be supervised by the wonderful Professor Sue Leekam. My PhD research explored the spontaneous social attention preferences of autistic and non-autistic adults and adolescents, using a range of methods, including verbal descriptions, change blindness and eye-tracking. Since then I have worked under the fabulous mentorship of Professor Helen McConachie including a Nuffield Fellowship which funded the Click-East project. I became a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh based in the Patrick Wild Centre and in 2019 I moved into the role of Director of the Salvesen Mindroom Research Centre.

I am a former trustee of Scottish Autism and working closely with this organisation, and autistic-led organisations such as ARGH and AMASE, to inspire and contribute to high-quality, respectful, evidence-based practice in Scotland. Public engagement is very important to me and I try to provide useful insights into research and accessible summaries of knotty academic issues in the DART blog.

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