PARC Autistic Fringe (Glasgow)

The Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC)

PARC Autistic Fringe Programme

Sponsored by Scottish Autism

8th & 9th November 2018


Day One

Thursday 8th November



Gallery 4
The Lighthouse
11 Mitchell Lane
Glasgow G1 3NU

Click here for Accessibility details and map.

Telephone: 0141 276 5365

Day Two

Friday 9th November



The Clyde Suite
The Principal Grand Central Hotel
99 Gordon Street
Glasgow G1 3SF

Telephone: 0141 240 3700

8th November

Day One programme


Gallery 4
The Lighthouse
11 Mitchell Lane
Glasgow G1 3NU
9.00am Fringe Room opens, all welcome to drop in
10.30am Art workshop for all abilities with Sonny Hallett
Come along and make a felt brooch, either on a neurodiversity theme or any other theme. Everything you need will be provided, including templates to choose from with a range of difficulty, and some pre-cut shapes for creatures, plants, dinosaurs, etc. All levels of sewing/craft experience/ability welcome. There will also be some other crafty things to do if you just feel like dropping in or don't want to do any sewing.
11.30am Damian Milton: An Introduction to PARC
Discussion What autism research would you like to see in Scotland? Come along to join discussion, share ideas and contribute to the growth of PARC in Scotland
12.55pm Hosted by Michael Dawson
Older and Wiser A meet up for autistic people who are 50 something and beyond. An opportunity to get together and chat about issues that affect older people such as retirement and what it means for us. Do we become invisible? This is a relaxed and informal session.
2.15pm Catherine Crompton Enabling autistic people to participate in the research process
What adjustments can researchers make to make taking part in research can be as accessible, enjoyable, and meaningful for autistic people as possible? During this session, I’ll talk about how we have co-designed our research with autistic consultants to do the best we can to make participation a positive experience, and look forward to having a discussion and exploration with the group about their ideas for how to make taking part future research a fun and worthwhile activity.
3.00pm Panda Mery: About spoons* and spudgers: community repair for autistics
Talk This session is about exploring how repair activities and community repair events are well suited to many autistics. Strong focus, flow and persistence are essential parts of problem solving and fixing. Repairing is also social justice in action, which is attractive for the sense of fairness it brings. Repair events are opportunities for deep engagement with objects and also for conversations on a shared theme with those bringing their items. However repair spaces are usually not autistic spaces, but this could be improved. 
I will introduce the session based on my experience of being autistic and having volunteered with the Restart Project for the past six years to help improve our relationship with electronics. That organisation created the model for Restart Parties where people bring their broken electronics and we repair them together so people regain control of their technology. 
After setting the scene, I will be looking forward to having a lively  exploration of this theme and discuss how to create better opportunities for autistics through repair activities.

(*) Spoons refer to Christine Miserandino’ spoon theory
Spudgers are flat plastic or metal tools essential to open most electronic devices (and apparently originating from late Middle English spuddle (“short knife”) (
4.00pm Claire V. M. Evans-Williams: “They’re not speaking my language”
Working within a neurodivergent organisation one of our most important roles is in providing a “translation service” to mediate communication between health and social care professionals and the autistic “patient” and/or so-called “problem families”. This type of support is particularly crucial when (1) autistic individuals face the prospect of losing their liberty and independence due to hospital detention (e.g. under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003) and (2) autistic families face the prospect of having their child forcibly removed from their care (e.g. under the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014).
This talk will cover three brief case studies that illustrate occurrences of misperception, misunderstanding, and misinterpretation by (neurotypical) health and social care professionals that have resulted in unwarranted lost liberty and forced removal. Following this a redefinition of safeguarding will be proposed accounting for autistic cultural needs, and initial thoughts offered on the role of cultural humility to move from a Neurotypical Health Service toward a Neurodiverse Health Service. Finally, reflections will be sought regarding how the autistic community can advocate for, and support the development of neurodivergent health and social care policy.
5.00pm Finish
(Please be aware there is no food availble at the evening venue so you may want to eat beforehand)

Day One Evening programme

Gallery 4
The Lighthouse
11 Mitchell Lane
Glasgow G1 3NU

Telephone: 0141 276 5365

This is a ticketed event, tickets can be booked here.

Please note there will be a cash bar available but no food.


Parc Autistic Fringe Comedy evening

9th November

Day Two programme

Morning Session 9.15am – 12.45am

An interest based model of autistic distinctiveness 


The Clyde Suite
The Principal Grand Central Hotel
99 Gordon Street
Glasgow G1 3SF
Outline Monotropism is a model of autistic distinctiveness in which relative distribution of a scarce processing resource is seen as a key factor.
We propose that the steeply uneven distribution of interest seen in autism has implications across the whole range of its identifying signs.
Each speaker will highlight an aspect of monotropism and its implications for understanding autism, for 15-20 minutes, with up to 10 minutes for general discussion of each theme.
9.15am Chair Larry Arnold
Dinah Murray – Interests and autism
Wenn Lawson – Practical issues, SACA, all or nothing thinking
Sue Fletcher-Watson – Implications for new research in both psychology and neurology
Damian Milton – The double empathy problem: salience and interpersonal flow
Refreshment break
11.30am Chair Fergus Murray
Richard Woods – Anxiety and Rational aka Pathological Demand Avoidance
Larry Arnold – Why it’s taken so long to get this far.

Day Two programme

Afternoon Session 1.10pm – 4.00pm



The Clyde Suite
The Principal Grand Central Hotel
99 Gordon Street
Glasgow G1 3SF
Outline This will be a relaxed session during which participants will discuss and explore different aspects of autistic communication. The session will consist of short talks, discussions and video clips.
Participants have the option of submitting comments, questions or thoughts on the three discussion points set out below in advance of the session. This option is also open to people who are not attending the event (either the Scottish Autism conference itself, or the PARC Fringe). Or of course you may come along to the session, and comment (verbally, in writing or using an AAC device) during the session itself.
1.15pm Rebecca Wood: Introduction to session
Discussion One
When attempting to understand and collect the views and perspectives of autistic people, are there better expressions we can use than “listening to the voice” and “enabling the voice” etc., which place an emphasis on speaking? If so, what are they?’
Video: 'What it's like to have a brother with autism'
1.45pm Dinah Murray: Interests and communication
Discussion Two
What changes or adjustments should be made at public events – e.g. conferences, public meetings, debates – so that people who don’t use speech as a primary means of communication, or who experience inconsistencies in their ability to use speech, can take part and contribute?’
2.35pm Marion Hersh: AACs to communicate with others and expand opportunities not restrict them.
Discussion Three
Video: 'Tim Chan'
Which Alternative and Augmentative Communication devices and technologies have a role in supporting communication?’
3.25pm Wenn Lawson: Gaining recognition of the communication styles of non-speakers.

Important Information

Autistic space The PARC Autistic Fringe is intended to be an autistic space. Autistic space is a space that is created by and for autistic people with the comfort of autistic people as a priority. Non-autistic people are welcome to attend but please remember that you are entering a space designed with the comfort of autistic people as a priority. Autistic ways of being including stimming are not just tolerated but actively welcomed.
Comfort If you have comfort items that you use please bring these along with you, this may include: headphones, stim toys, tinted glasses, blankets, earplugs - anything that makes you feel more comfortable in shared space. Please do not bring stim toys that that light up or make a noise.
Noise/moving around Please be considerate regarding making noise as some speakers and delegates will have high sensitivity to noise. You are free to come and go during presentations or to pace / stand but please be considerate about others comfort and stand or pace at the side or back of the room.
Clapping Please do not clap, instead we ask delegates to wave their hands (also seen in Deaf culture). If you make a mistake and clap do not worry or be embarrassed - mistakes are tolerated.
Perfume Please avoid highly scented perfumes or aftershaves as this can impact on the comfort of other delegates.
Asking for help Parc volunteers will be wearing an orange Parc lanyard and a green lanyard with Volunteer written on it.
Mobile Phones As a courtesy to others please ensure that mobile phones are either switched off or turned to silent mode whilst in the Fringe areas.
Lunch Please note lunch is not provided.
Interaction Badges For this event we have made interaction badges available to anyone wishing to use them (situated at the registration desk). These badges are for people to moderate how others interact with them - on their own terms.

Regulating interaction can be difficult or stressful for some autistic people. Wanting to be involved in conversations but no-one talking to you, or wanting to just listen without joining in are equally important. Therefore the usefulness of the green badge as well as the red badge are equal. Colours are interchangeable throughout the day and explained below:

Neutral (white or no badge): I am able to regulate my own interaction.

Please initiate (Green Badge): I would like to socialise, but I have difficulty initiating. Please initiate with me.

Prior permission (Yellow Badge): Please do not initiate unless I have already given permission to approach me on a yellow badge.

No initiation (Red Badge): Please do not initiate any interaction with me.

Thank you to Scottish Autism for their sponsorship of the Autistic PARC Fringe Glasgow 2018

Directions to The Principal Grand Central Hotel

Address of Venue:

The Principal Grand Central Hotel
99 Gordon Street
Glasgow G1 3SF

Telephone: 0141 240 3700
By Train: The Principal Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, is conveniently attached to the Glasgow Central Station. The hotel entrance is located on the main station concourse.
Map with nearby buses stopping at Waterloo Road opposite Hotel

Map to The Principal Grand Central Hotel

Presenter Biographies

Sonny Hallet

Sonny Hallett is an artist, maker, and natural history enthusiast based in Edinburgh. They spend a lot of time thinking about nature, neurodivergence, difference, and making and doing things both related and unrelated to those themes. Sonny is also chair and a founding member of AMASE (Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh).

Damian Milton

Damian Milton is Joint Head of Autism Knowledge and Expertise, NAS and Research Assistant, London South Bank University. Damian is Autistic and a father to a teenager on the spectrum.

Michael Dawson

Michael Dawson sometimes thinks that he is old and tired, but maybe he is just a little tired after 17 years of involvement in autism stuff, locally and nationally. Amongst over things, he is currently involved with an Autism and Ageing project at the University of Edinburgh in an effort to see what it might be like when one gets old, should that actually happen.

Catherine Crompton

Catherine Crompton is a research psychologist at the Patrick Wild Centre, University of Edinburgh. Her research explores neurodiverse social interaction, and how autism-specific social behaviours facilitate interactions between autistic peers. Her research re-conceptualises social intelligence within a neurodiversity framework, challenging the notion that there is only one legitimate form of social intelligence.

Panda Mery

Panda Mery is an almost too calm neurodivergent researcher, bricoleur, productive irritant and flâneur. He is a restarter for the Restart Project, a social enterprise that aims to change our relationship with technology. A Research assistant, University of Glasgow, on the project A society fit for autistics: overcoming the barriers, challenging stereotypes and enabling autistics to take their place in the world. A contributor to AutAngel. A Vice-chair of the Hackney and Tower Hamlets’s Independent Custody Visitor panel making unannounced visits to police stations to check on the treatment and welfare of detainees.The common thread for all his activities is trying to ‘fix’ some aspects of this world, whether making it better for autistics, detainees or electronics. His personal website is His profile for the Restart Project is at 

Clare Evans-Williams

Dr Claire Evans-Williams is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, with specialisms in Adult Mental Health and Autism, and is the founder and clinical lead for The Autism Academy UK (TAAUK).
TAAUK provide diagnostic assessments, therapeutic support (including Animal Assisted Therapy), and clinical/legal consultation for a global market, with client groups in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. In addition, Claire holds a number of academic roles, including: visiting Lecturer at the School of Medicine, University of St. Andrews (MSc in Global Health Implementation); visiting Clinical Lecturer at the Department of Psychology, University of Stirling (MSc Psychological Research Methods [Autism Research]); visiting Lecturer and Student Research Advisor at the National Centre for Autism Studies, University of Strathclyde (MSc Autism); and Autism Research Consultant, Clinical Research Supervisor and Investigator at the University of Edinburgh.
Claire writes for a range of clinical/academic journals and other online outlets; contributes to academic, clinical, and professional conferences; and provides independent community and in-patient Autism consultation to a number of NHS boards across Scotland.
Claire is a proud neurodivergent and draws upon her own lived experiences of Autism, ADHD, and Autistic Catatonia to inform her clinical practice and improve organisational development.
In her spare time, Claire surrounds herself with nature and animals, two passions she has maintained since childhood.

Dinah Murray

Dinah Murray is an independent researcher with a PhD on the topic of Language and Interests; a campaigner; an ex-Saneline volunteer, a former support worker for people with varied learning disabilities including autism, and a former tutor for Birmingham University’s distance learning courses on autism (adults) tutoring practitioners. She first published about autism with “Attention tunnels and Autism” in 1992.
Dinah’s autism-related research interests have included: the nature of the human being, with a particular focus on interests; medication and its impact on quality of life; information technology for people who don’t use speech; the ethics of autism research. She has been assessed as autistic, and if growing up today would certainly have attracted an autism diagnosis. Since the early ‘90s Dinah has been involved in campaigns around abusive prescribing practices, access to digital communications and generally active removal of barriers to the acceptance, appreciation and expression of autistic and other atypical variants of the human being. In 2017 she was awarded the NAS Lifetime Achievement award
After three years on the National Autism Project’s Strategy Board, where she established an Autistic Advisory Panel which proved highly useful, Dinah was honoured to get an unsolicited donation from Dame Stephanie Shirley of £100,000. This has been earmarked for the National Autistic Taskforce, launched at the start of 2018 with a remit to address justice and autonomy for autistic people, especially those who don't use speech effectively to meet their needs. Dinah is strategic advisor to the Taskforce.
Dinah is currently also associated in a formal or informal capacity with: the Participatory Autism Research Collective; Autangel; the Autistic Advisory Group to Hirsch at Glasgow Uni; Autism Dialogue (Sheffield) and a game development project to highlight the great diversity of autism.

Marion Hersh

Marion Hersh is a senior lecturer in Bioemedical Engineering at the University of Glasgow. Their research focuses on assistive technology to overcome the barriers experienced by disabled and older people, design for all, end-user technology requirements and technology and ethics. They are part of the project team of An Auternative: A Society Fit for Autistics, which is funded by Disability Research for Independent Living and Learning and examines barriers autistic people experience to participation and solutions from an autistic perspective. Marion has provided a number of workshops for teachers, therapists and parents in Poland and spoken at several international conferences on autism in Poland, as well as by skype at a recent seminar on Autism and Visual Impairment in Brazil. They hope to develop the following devices for autistic people: a more flexible AAC and a personal assistant and virtual environment app.
Other autism projects involve the experiences of autistic women and travel autistic people. They are looking for a publisher for a book on their travel experiences and hope to write a book on their experiences of researching mobility for blind people in many different countries and languages.

Wenn Lawson

Wenn Lawson has worked in the autism field for over 25 yrs. His workshops and training in Australia and internationally, focus on autism related to: Ageing; Gender differences, Gender variance; Neurodiversity, Learning & Living across the Life Span and much more. Research focus is: Neurodiversity; Autism & Gender; Learning across the life span’, Object Permanence in Autism .. papers published: ‘GAMMA and autistic attention,’ ‘Delayed Object Permanence and autism,’ ‘Single Attention & associated Cognition in Autism (SACCA)’; Women & Girls... and many others. He has written and/or contributed to over 20 books on autism and related topics.

Sue Fletcher-Watson

Sue Fletcher-Watson is a developmental psychologist and senior research fellow at the Patrick Wild Centre, University of Edinburgh. She leads the DART research lab: Development / Autism / Research / Technology. Her research applies psychological methods to questions with clinical, educational and societal impact. The focus is on cognitive development, especially in autism and also following preterm birth. She aims to work with empowered stakeholders in meaningful ways, and she is committed to open science principles.

Fergus Murray

Fergus Murray is a science teacher, writer and co-founder of AMASE (Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh)

Richard Woods

Richard Woods is a leading author on Rational (Pathological) Demand Avoidance and an editor of the autistic-led good practice journal, Autism Policy and Practice. He completed his BSc Technological Physics at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in 2016. After his diagnosis in 2012, he was pivotal to the running of the Autistic-led society at NTU until 2014. Since 2013, Mr Woods has been working in schools in his local area, undertaking roles such as a mentor. Currently, he is a student on the Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome course at Sheffield Hallam University. Mr Woods’ is involved with Participatory Autism Research Collective. His research is situated in Critical Autism Studies discipline, challenging pathologising discourses. Specifically, his scholarship includes the key article “Redefining Critical Autism Studies: a more inclusive interpretation”. Presently, his research areas are deconstructing Rational Demand Avoidance to provide alternative explanations to its dominant discourse whilst advocating the inclusion of autistic persons’ perspectives in the autism literature. When not advancing autistic persons’ rights, Mr Woods can be found immersing himself in cyber-goth style music and socialising with his friends. Ironically, he resides in Nottingham, the source of Rational Demand Avoidance. You can reach Mr Woods at and on twitter, @Richard_Autism.

Larry Arnold

Larry Arnold has been a campaigner for disability rights within the social model since the early 1980s. Since the late 1990s and the discovery of his autistic identity he has focused his attention on neurodiversity and autistic rights in particular (he was formally diagnosed in 1999)
His contributions to Autism advocacy include infiltrating the NAS board setting a precedent for Autistic members of the charity, and being involved with the establishment of Autscape at its inception. More latterly he has been involved with the National Autism Project and the National Autistic Taskforce.
He has since studied and researched at Birmingham University gaining a PhD in 2016, during which time he has continually challenged the world of Autism research from an ethical perspective, establishing the interdisciplinary Autonomy journal in 2012. Larry has been a regular speaker and presenter on topics related to Autism and Disability Studies, as well as the author of various papers, articles and other publications. In the local community he is an out and open Autistic in local political campaigns and is one of the keystones of the local allotment association as a keen gardener.

Rebecca Wood

Rebecca Wood is a former teacher and autism education practitioner who completed her PhD at the University of Birmingham, where she was also the Project Manager of the Transform Autism Education project, which was funded by the European Commission. She is currently an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at King’s College, London. Her main research interests are in autism and educational inclusion, with a particular focus on communication and the “interest model” of autism. In the future, Rebecca plans to extend her research incorporating the views and experiences of autistic children and young people who do not use speech as a primary means of communication.

PARC Autistic Fringe

The PARC Autistic Fringe is run by and for Autistic people, organised by ARGH on behalf of PARC (The Participatory Autism Research Collective) and funded by Scottish Autism. We welcome everyone but please be aware and respectful that this will be an Autistic space.

PARC Autistic Fringe (By Autistic people for Autistic people) will be running an Autistic 'escape' space alongside the Scottish Autism 50th Aniversary Conference being held at:

The Principal Grand Central Hotel
99 Gordon Street
Glasgow G1 3SF

The Fringe will be a space to relax, meet other Autistic people, join in daily discussions, talks and workshops

Free entrance

Opening times:

Thursday 8th November, at

Gallery 4
The Lighthouse
11 Mitchell Lane
Glasgow G1 3NU

Friday 9th November in the Clyde Suite, The Principal Grand Central Hotel.

For a PDF version of the PARC Fringe Programme please Click here

PARC Autistic Fringe Comedy evening

The PARC Autistic Fringe comedy evening featuring Kate Fox, stand up poet and comedian, will be on 8th November 7pm at

Gallery 4
The Lighthouse
11 Mitchell Lane
Glasgow G1 3NU
this is a ticketed event, tickets can be booked here.

Kate fox comedy evening

ARGH Contact Details


To find out more about what we offer or for more information please email us by clicking here