We are a neurodiverse team at PacLab, with a mix of neurodivergent and neurotypical members. Everyone is welcome! Our research on topics relating to neurodivergence aims to be respectful and neurodiversity-informed.

Recently we have been considering developmental language disorder (DLD) from a neurodiversity-informed perspective, and working towards a new understanding of the condition in this light.

We have also investigated the lived experience of autistic speech & language therapists, and we are beginning new research investigating the experiences of neurodivergent trainee teachers.

The PacLab team are researching mental heath and wellbeing in many different ways. We have used large datasets to model the links between children's early circumstances and behaviour and their later mental health. 

We're also studying how 'groups of good fit' can foster wellbeing and belonging for autistic children in neurodiverse groups.

We've also investigated how play and language are good for your mental health - showing that our research areas have a lot of overlap!

Members of the PacLab team have investigated links between pretend play abilities and language development in autistic and non-autistic children.

We have also investigated the impact on language disorders on children's friendships and classroom integration.

We're also working on a project investigating uses of AI in improving inclusion for those with communication difficulties.  

Multilingualism is another important topic for us.

We are investigating how play supports learning, development and wellbeing in children and adults with neurodevelopmental differences - including autism, ADHD and developmental language disorder (DLD).

We recently reviewed the literature on play-based interventions to support the development of social communication skills in autistic children and conducted an in-depth case study of play, wellbeing and friendship in children with DLD.

Our current work explores the importance of autistic understandings of autistic play, and encourages a move away from deficit-oriented perspectives.