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The Middletown Centre for Autism Podcast
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The Middletown Centre for Autism Podcast

Author: Middletown Autism

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This is a series of podcasts created by Middletown Centre featuring interviews with leading thinkers and practitioners in the world of autism. The interviews feature discussions on strategies that may be helpful in supporting autistic children and young people during times of uncertainty and stress. We are hosting our international conference on 23rd and 24th of April 2021To join this click on this link
57 Episodes
In our latest podcast episode, we chat toNoelle Foley Coughlan, a student who recently graduated from the MA in Autism Studies co-designed by Middletown Centre for Autism and Mary Immaculate College. Noelle focused her research on exploring the many strengths of autistic people of marginalised genders.   To find outmore about our graduate courses visit:   As a Master's student dedicated to inclusivity and diversity, Noelle peels back the layers to expose the underreported strengths of autistic people from marginalized genders. Her groundbreaking research sheds light on the unique strengths of autistic women, girls, non-binary, transgender, and intersex individuals.In this riveting conversation, we debunk the pervasive myth that autistic people lack empathy. Instead, we reveal the truth – autistic individuals are often compassionate, creative, detail-oriented, empathetic, and resilient. Noelle's invaluable findings challenge societal norms, encouraging us to bridge the gap between the autistic and non-autistic worlds. We delve into the heart of the matter, discussing the vital role of accurate representation and understanding.The episode evolves to discuss how we can better support the autistic community. Revealing the power of self-care, embracing one's true self, and building a strong community, Noelle's advice is aimed at empowering young autistic people. We also discuss the need for organizations to recognize and capitalize on autistic strengths. As we wrap up, the focus shifts to the future – a future where autism research and education are more inclusive, representative, and focused on embracing the diverse strengths of all autistic individuals. Join us for this powerful conversation that champions diversity, resilience, and the strength in all of us.
Ever been fascinated by the realm of autism, particularly in women diagnosed late in life? Strap in for an insightful journey, as we joined by Karen Hayes - a researcher with a freshly minted Master's in Autism Studies who has devoted her time to understanding these unique narratives. Karen unravels captivating stories of 14 participants, sharing their struggles, their reasons for seeking diagnosis, and how they navigated the world while hiding in plain sight. Our conversation meanders through the labyrinth of experiences these women have faced. We explore the stigma and shame, and how it often becomes a hurdle. Interestingly, we also discuss the powerful effects of public figures coming out as autistic, and the inspiration it brings for others in the community. Using her research as a platform, Karen magnifies the voices of these women, sharing their experiences, their resilience, and their need for understanding communities and role models. We also dive into the challenges these women face in accessing autism diagnosis, with Karen sharing heartrending narratives of women denied treatment post-diagnosis. We further delve into the factors influencing women who received a late autism diagnosis and their choices to disclose their condition. Wrapping up, we leave no stone unturned in addressing the trials of conducting research on autism, with Karen serving up some priceless advice for fellow researchers. Tune in for an episode filled with fascinating insights, compassionate understanding, and a journey into the world of late-diagnosed autistic women.To find out more about our graduate courses visit:
In our latest podcast episode, we chat to Carmel Rainsford, a student on the MA in Autism Studies co-designed by Middletown Centre for Autism and Mary Immaculate College. Carmel had  studied on the graduate certificate and graduate diploma before she undertook the MA. The MA is focused on creating autism-affirming research. This is the first of our podcasts that will be celebrating the work of some of our students as they get set to graduate later this week. Carmel focused her research on understanding what school staff need so they are able to support meaningful inclusion for their autistic students.  To find outmore about our graduate courses visit: 
On our latest podcast we chat to Amanda McGuinness, the creative mind behind Little Puddins. We talk about advocacy, parenting a child with a different neurotype and the importance of positive autistic representation.    You can findmore of Amanda’s work here:  
Returning to school can be an exciting time for many, but for some students it can produce real upset and anxiety. In our latest podcast, we speak to Autism Trainer Advisor, Tara Vernon, about her work supporting young people who find themselves unable to attend school. 
In the latest episode of the podcast, we talk to Sharon and Caolán McCarthy about the many ways that the environment can impact on autistic people. As students return to school, this podcast might help teachers focus on how the classroom environment can support all of their students.   You can find out more about Sharon and Caolán’s new book, “Making Space for Autism” here 
In the latest episode of the podcast, we talk to Dr Peter Vermeulen about his recent work and how our understanding of autism has changed over the years.  
Learning about an autism diagnosis and making sense of what that diagnosis means personally, can feel like an overwhelming task for lots of young autistic people. On our latest podcast, Sarah O’Brien chats to us about her own experience post-diagnosis and what she wishes she had known while on that journey.   You can findmore about Sarah’s book, “So, I’m Autistic” here: 
Masking is something that impacts all autistic people. In this podcast, we speak to researchers and advocates, Dr Amy Pearson & Kieran Rose, who have recently published a book on the topic, “Autistic Masking”. They break down the complicated idea of masking, explain its impact and give advice for people navigating their own experience of masking.   
Dr Carly Jones MBE joins us on this week’s podcast. Carly was a huge hit at the Middletown Conference this year. She joined the podcast to talk about her passion for safeguarding and the experiences that brought her to autism advocacy.  
Dr Alyssa Alcorn joins us on this week’s podcast. Alyssa presented at the Middletown Conference to a packed room. She joined the podcast to talk about the neurodiversity-affirming LEANS Project for primary schools 
Professor Sue Fletcher Watson joins us on this week’s podcast. Sue was one of the keynote speakers at the Middletown Conference where she was discussing neurodiversity.  We continue that conversation and find out how the neurodiversity paradigm guides her research  
 This week on the Middletown podcast we meet Roisin McAnulty. She talks about her experiences growing up & the choices she's made as an autistic parent to autisticchildren (including author & naturalist, Dara) Roisin will be speaking at the Middletown Conference this month 
The centre is celebrating some of our brilliant autistic community members in the Middletown podcast. In this episode we chat to Brian Irwin, autism advocate and Board Member with AsIAm, about his thoughts on growing up & becoming an advocate 
The Centre is continuing to celebrate our autistic community members in the podcast. In this episode we chat to Zoe McCormack, researcher & founder of the Autistic Art Club. She talks about mental health & the power of art  TriggerWarning: mention of suicide   
The Centre is continuing to celebrate our autistic community members in the podcast. In this episode we talk to Elaine McGoldrick, researcher & retired teacher. She talks about her experience growing up undiagnosed & her drive to support autistic students  Elaine will be speaking at the Middletown Conference next month. Find out more here:  
For Autism Acceptance Month, the Middletown Podcast is celebrating some of our autistic community members. In this episode we learn more about Bobby Trundley, the autism advocate & multi-award winning motorsport driver.
“It is the world that is inept, not us. And when we are put in situations where we do have the ability to thrive, our fairy tales and our happily ever afters are going to be so incredibly magical.”  Powerful words from Chloe Hayden, author, activist and actress.  Listen more to Chloe’s experiences of being neurodivergent in this podcast recorded with Gemma O’Brien at the recent AsIAm conference.  
Continuing our podcast series in the build up to World Autism Accepatance Month, the Centre is delighted to share another insightful podcast recorded at the AsIAm conference last month.  This time Gemma O’Neill interviews Dr Wenn Lawson.  He discusses his passion for research and the importance of co-production, but also the challenges experienced by autistic researchers and the right to access a supportive workplace.  He finishes with some previews into his many and varied current and future projects. 
Pet owners gain a gain a huge amount of joy from their pets. In this  podcast Dr Cat Hughes (Researcher, Middletown Centre for Autism) talks to Dr Ana Maria Barcelos, a researcher at @universityoflincoln. Her research looks at how dog ownership can positively impact wellbeing & even suicidal thoughts in autistic adults. You can find out more about Ana’s study in our upcoming Research Bulletin. Please note that this podcast contains discussion on suicide which some listeners may find upsetting. 
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