AMRANI Soumia, born in Morocco in 1966, is the Proud Mother of a 25-years-old autistic girl.
She graduated in International Relations and Political Science studies at The University of Mohamed V - Rabat in 1991. She holds a Degree in Law option “international relations” from the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences – Fes, obtained in 1988. She is an activist of human rights and for the rights of people with disabilities especially autistic people, and holds several membership and responsibilities, especially:
Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, University of Cambridge and Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is Director, Autism Research Centre in Cambridge. He is author of Mindblindness, The Essential Difference, Prenatal Testosterone in Mind, and Zero Degrees of Empathy. He has edited scholarly anthologies including Understanding Other Minds. He has written books for parents and teachers including Autism and Asperger Syndrome: The Facts. He is author of the DVDs Mind Reading and The Transporters, to help children with autism learn emotion recognition, both nominated for BAFTA awards. He formulated the ‘mindblindness’ theory of autism (1985) and the ‘prenatal sex steroid’ theory of autism (1997). He has also made contributions to many fields of autism research, to typical cognitive sex differences, and synaesthesia research. He created the first UK clinic for adults with suspected Asperger Syndrome (1999) that has helped over 1,000 patients to have their disability recognized. He gave a keynote address to the United Nations in New York on Autism Awareness Day 2017 on the topic of Autism and Human Rights. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the American Psychological Association. He is Vice-President of the National Autistic Society, and President of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR). He was Chair of the NICE Guideline Development Group for Autism (Adults) and is Chair of the Psychology Section of the British Academy. He is co-editor in chief of the journal Molecular Autism and is a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator.
Sven Bölte, Ph.D., is professor of child and adolescent psychiatric science at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet(KI), and senior clinical psychologist at the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for Psychiatry Research, Stockholm County Council, Sweden. He is director of the KI Centre of Neurodevelopmental Disorders (“KIND”), editor of AUTISM, The Scandinavian Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychology and Psychiatry, and associate editor of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and Child and Adolescent Mental Health. He is among other things founder of the Scientific Society Autism Spectrum (www.wgas.org) and international ADOS and ADI-R trainer. For his work, he has received several recognitions, such as the ”Life Watch Nordiska Priset”, ”Årets Ljus” (Society Attention), and ”Fellow of the International Society for Autism Research” (INSAR). Professor Bölte has published more than 300 original articles, reviews, book chapters, assessment and intervention tools in the field of autism spectrum, ADHD, and other neurodevelopmental conditions, and has been cited more than 13,500 times (H-index 50).
Having begun his research career investigating mitochondria in plants and then neurological diseases, Thomas Bourgeron discovered the first mutations of the NLGN3, NLGN4X and SHANK3 genes in autism highlighting the main role of the synapse in this complex condition. Currently, his laboratory gathers psychiatrists, neuroscientists and geneticists to understand the interplay between common and rare variants in autism. He is leading the genetic work package for the PARIS project and of AIMS2-TRIALS, the largest European project dedicated to translational research on autism. Both projects are focused on deep-phenotyping of individuals with autism and controls including brain imaging (EEG and MRI) and a battery of cognitive tests. His group is currently developing new methods for analysing whole genome and brain imaging data as well as new paradigms for characterizing mouse social and vocal behaviours. He is also the co-PI (with Olivier Gascuel) of INCEPTION, a large project at the Institut Pasteur that applies integrative biology to understand the emergence of diseases in populations and individuals. He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), the French Academy of Sciences and the Academia Europaea. His aim is to provide knowledge-based discoveries for a better diagnostic, care and integration of individuals with autism and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Manuel Bouvard is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Bordeaux. He is currently Head of the Pediatric Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Charles Perrens Hospital and Head of two hospitalization and consultation units at the CHU de Bordeaux, which includes various expert centers: The Autism Aquitaine Resource Center, the expert center for High Level Autism. He created the first center labeled in France on ADHD and Attention Disorders. He was trained in Paris at Robert Debré Hospital, as Head of Clinic, then University Hospital Practitioner under the direction of Professor Dugas before taking charge of the University Service of Child Psychiatry in Bordeaux in 1997. At the University, he is responsible for the teaching of Child and Adolescence Psychiatry, in initial training of medical studies. He is currently responsible at the regional level for the training of interns in Specialization for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Interregional Coordinator for Interns in Psychiatry. He coordinates two University Diploma on Autism. In terms of research, he is a member of the Psychiatry and Neuroimaging team at INCIA UMR 5287 and co-head of the Neurodevelopment group within the team. The research focused on cognitive and emotional processes, evaluation of interventions in ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). He has organized and coordinated several national and international conferences on ADHD (international congress on ADHD in French, 2010, 2014) and on Autism (National Congress of ANCRA, 2016) and many national days around this theme. He is a member of various national societies of child psychiatry and biological psychiatry, European networks on ADHD. He has actively participated in various scientific committees on autism and neurodevelopmental disorders.
He is the author and co-author of more than 100 publications in English in recognized media, numerous invited conferences and interventions in international congresses and author and coordinator of 3 collective works.
In his role at Autistica James Cusack has led the development of a research strategy focused on outcomes, leading to their new vision, “a world where all autistic people and their families live a long, healthy, happy life”. Autistica has also sought to build involvement to every stage of their work, including the launch of Discover: the UK’s first autism research network. Since James has joined Autistica they have also dramatically expanded their portfolio of world class research. He has successfully worked with funders and academics to influence research funding strategy to ensure community priorities and critical issues like early death in autism are on their agenda. Prior to joining Autistica James undertook a PhD and postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Aberdeen, and while in Scotland has worked in a range of different roles related to autism including the Scottish autism strategy.
Dr. Jean Decety is Irving B. Harris Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Chicago and its College. He is the head of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Lab and the director of the Child Neurosuite. Decety is a leading scholar on the social neuroscience of empathy, morality and prosocial behavior, as well as other topics related to social decision-making. His research uses neuroimaging techniques (functional MRI and high-density EEG), combined with behavioral economics, to elucidate how biological and social factors interact in contributing to caring for the well-being of others.
His current developmental work examines the impact of resource scarcity and group dynamics on children’s moral cognition, distributive justice decisions, and considerations of fairness and equity. This project is conducted across countries in North and South America, Africa, Europe, Middle East and South East Asia.
Dr. Jeroen Dewinter works as a clinical psychologist with emerging adults in mental health care (GGzE) in the Netherlands. He studied educational sciences (MSc) at the KUL (2000, Belgium) and completed his PhD on sexuality in adolescent boys with autism at Tilburg University (the Netherlands) in 2016, and continued to work on this topic afterwards.
Tatja Hirvikoski is Associate Professor (2016) and neuropsychologist (specialist degree 2009). Her current clinical affiliation is at Habilitation & Health, Stockholm, where she has a position as Head of the Unit for Research, Development and Education. Her research affiliation is at Center for Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Karolinska Institutet, KIND.
Tatja Hirvikoski has long-term research and clinical experience of assessment and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders in adults. She has been working with development and dissemination of stepped care model for adults with ADHD. During recent years Tatja Hirvikoski has broaden her research interest to include autism spectrum conditions (ASC) and currently study long-term outcome as well as interventions for people with ASC and their significant others.
During 2016 Tatja Hirvikoski and her co-authors received two international prizes for their publication "Premature mortality in autism spectrum disorder"
Hilde Geurts is currently a professor by special appointment (focus Autism: Cognition across the life span) at the Department of Psychology of the University of Amsterdam. One day a week she works as a senior researcher at the "Dr. Leo Kannerhuis". She recently finished her VIDI grant (MagW NWO, 2011-2016) and her fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) to study the effect of aging in autism. This work will be continued to a recently received VICI (MagW NWO, 2017-2022). She will focus on cognitive aging and (potentially beneficial) cognitive strategy use and autism outlook subtyping.
Hilde obtained a MSc in Neuro- and Rehabiliation psychology (1996) at the University of Nijmegen (Radboud University). Next she worked for approximately two years as a neuropsychologist in a psychiatric hospital for children. She received her PhD at the Department of Clinical Neuropsychology at the Vrije Universiteit. Her PhD project focused on Executive control in ADHD and Autism spectrum Disorders (ASD) with prof.dr. J.A. Sergeant, prof.dr. H. Roeyers and prof dr. J. Oosterlaan as advisors. In the meanwhile she worked as a lecturer at the Department of Clinical Psychology (UvA). From 2002 till 2009 she was assistant professor Clinical Neuropsychology at the Psychonomics section (currently known as Brain & Cognition, UvA) and from 2009 onwards she she was associate professor at the same department. Since 2013 she is a member of the Young Academy of the Dutch Royal Academy of Science (KNAW). In 2014 she co-founded the research network reach-aut (see www.reach-aut.nl) in which a wide range of stakeholders are together shaping autism research. For the next two years she is vice-president of the INSAR of which the annual meeting of 2018 has taken place in the Netherlands.
Ami Klin, Ph.D. is the Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar Professor and Chief of the Division of Autism and Developmental Disabilities at Emory University School of Medicine, and Director of the Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of London, and completed clinical and research post-doctoral fellowships at the Yale Child Study Center. He directed the Autism Program at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine until 2010, where he was the Harris Professor of Child Psychology & Psychiatry. The Marcus Autism Center is one of the largest centers of clinical care in the country, providing a broad range of diagnostic and treatment services, and is also a National Institutes of Health Autism Center of Excellence, with a comprehensive interdisciplinary program of research in clinical and basic science. Collaborative projects include several departments at Emory and others institutions such as the CDC and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, as well as care-providing agencies in the community. The Center also provides training in a broad range of disciplines, and is strongly committed to advocacy at the local, national and international levels. Dr. Klin’s primary research activities focus on social mind and social brain, and on developmental aspects of autism from infancy through adulthood. These studies include novel techniques such as the eye-tracking laboratories co-directed with Warren Jones, which allow researchers to see the world through the eyes of individuals with autism. These techniques are now being applied in the screening of toddlers at risk for autism. He is the author of over 200 publications in the field of autism and related conditions.Check out his personal website
Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.
Chris Oliver is Professor of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Birmingham and director of the Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders. He trained as a clinical psychologist at Edinburgh University before completing a PhD on self-injurious behaviour in people with intellectual disability at the Institute of Psychiatry, London. He is currently researching early intervention, behaviour disorders in people with severe intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder, behavioural, cognitive and emotional phenotypes in genetic syndromes and neuropsychological and behavioural assessment for people with severe intellectual disability. He has published over 170 peer reviewed articles in scientific journals, was previously Editor in Chief for the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research and serves on a number of scientific advisory committees for autism and syndrome support groups.
Courtenay Norbury is Professor of Developmental Disorders of Language and Communication at Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London. She is the Director of the Literacy, Language and Communication (LiLaC) Lab and a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. She obtained her PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, working with Professor Dorothy Bishop on the overlapping language profiles that characterise autism spectrum disorder and ‘specific’ language impairment. Professor Norbury’s current research focuses on language disorders across different clinical conditions and how language interacts with other aspects of social and cognitive development.
Jean François RENAUT is an autistic person who will come to testify of his career and what an inclusive society means for him. He works in an adapted environment facility (ESAT) where he has held several positions, including maintenance of gardens and premises. He lives independently in his apartment in Antibes, near Nice, with the help of a home service. On weekends he goes for walks, visits the surroundings, and goes to cultural events. He particularly likes to travel during his holidays.
Camille Ribeyrol is an 18-year-old young autistic woman who pursues an inclusive path, despite the need for intensive help and adaptation of the environment, to overcome her sensory difficulties. She lives in the west of France with her family. She was able to go to school in special classes (ULIS) with an individual school assistant and has been doing internships in companies in recent years. She is non-verbal and uses alternative means of communication. She enjoys traveling, going out with her family, and having a job that makes sense. She will come to testify of her personal journey with the help of her family, in particular her mother, Christèle Ribeyrol, President of the association "Coup de Pouce for autism" in Saumur, France.
Herbert Roeyers is professor of clinical psychology on the domain of developmental disorders at Ghent University, Belgium since 2004. He is member of the executive board of the Center for Developmental Disorders at Ghent University Hospital. Together with his collaborators, he studies autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), learning disorders, and atypical development in preterm born children. His main research interest is the investigation of (early) social-communicative development in children with autism and the clinical application of this work via screening, diagnostic and early intervention studies. He uses a variety of methodologies, including observational methods, eye-tracking, fNIRS and EEG/ERP and is involved in several European studies. He was the main supervisor of 25 completed doctoral dissertations. He is (co-)author of more than 220 publications in international peer-reviewed journals.
Jan Tøssebro is Professor of Social Work at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He has 30 years of experience with social scientific studies of disability. Most of his research is in the intersection between policy and research, addressing issues such as policy reforms, community care, employment, education and living conditions. He has served on several Norwegian public policy committees on disability policies and has been the Chair of the Norwegian Council for Disabled People.
MSc and PhD in Psychology and Educational Sciences. Worked with people with ASD and their families for more than 30 years. Senior lecturer at Autisme Centraal / Centre de Communication Concrète, a training and education centre for autism spectrum disorders. Founder of “Autism in Context”, where autism is understood in context. Peter is an internationally respected lecturer/trainer and he presents all over Europe and beyond. Peter wrote more than 15 books, translated into many languages, and several articles on autism.
Autistic activist Tristan Yvon is one of the founders and President of Add’autiste association. The mission of this association is to improve the living conditions of people with autism with a focus on raising awareness of autism, particularly in schools and in universities. They also work on various themes with a variety other audiences (companies, conferences, etc.) to help others gain a better knowledge of autism. Their objective is to raise awareness among the general public through clear and accessible explanations, and encouraging people to be more tolerant towards autistic people. Tristan has participated in several working committees with different public authorities. He is also the older brother of two teenagers with autism, with different profiles and needs. This life experience gives him a "panoramic" view to understanding of autism. In addition, he is also a landscape gardener and works part-time in a Montessori school.