The LORIC Team are very pleased to re-instate their series of Autism Ideas Café events with support from funding by the Research England Strategic Priorities fund. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event was held online for the first time. Whilst a different experience to the usual room full of lively discussion, it enabled people to join in from wherever they were in the world, with attendees from as far afield as Greece and Egypt.

Intended as a catch-up session to re- start the events that were put on hold over lockdown, the session enabled the discussion of current autism related research, with a presentation by a PhD student from the University of Greenwich of a new online tool for exploring the use of assistive technology to support the development of social skills in children with autism. This tool is available for use by schools and families and can be accessed

Other sources of support and information discussed included the support group Parents and Autistic Children Together (PAACT), Autistic Led (a support group for autistic adults in the Spalding area), the Lincolnshire All Age Autism Strategy and the Lincolnshire Autism Partnership Board (

A number of attendees were staff and students from Bishop Grosseteste and further details of the range of special educational needs, disability and inclusion courses that run at BGU can be found here.

The next Autism Ideas Cafés will be held on Wednesday 13th January and Wednesday 17th February. The final Autism Ideas Café of this series will be held in March, with details as yet to be confirmed, although it is hoped that it will take the format of a research symposium for staff and students from Bishop Grosseteste University.