Prof. Tony Charman

Prof. Tony Charman

Chair in Clinical Child Psychology at King’s College London in London

Prof. Tony Charman holds the Chair in Clinical Child Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, at King’s College London. His main research interest is the investigation of social cognitive development in children with autism and the clinical application of this work via screening, diagnostic, epidemiological, intervention, and ’at risk’ studies. He is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist and works in a specialist service for children with autism and complex neurodevelopmental conditions at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and over 30 book chapters. He has served on a number of expert panels for the Medical Research Council and NICE in the UK, NIH in the USA and the WHO. He has worked closely with Ambitious about Autism, the National Autistic Society, Research Autism and Autistica to advocate for services and positive policy development for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families.



Short Description of the Lectures:

1. Recent Findings on Screening and Early Detection of Autism
Motivated by the desire to identify children with autism at a young age in order to provide both supportive and targeted interventions for them and their families more than 20 years of research into the possibility to prospectively screen for autism has been undertaken. Studies have shown that whilst it is possible to identify many children with autism before the second year of life it is clear that not all cases will be identified by such methods. This has led to some controversy and disagreement within the field about the value of early screening and surveillance. Another prospective design, that of following younger siblings who have an older brother or sister with a diagnosis from the first year of life (‘infant sibs’), has also revealed new insights into the early emergence of autism. Over the past decade more efforts have been made to test how screening procedures may work in a wider number of communities, including in countries in the Middle East. In this talk I will summarise both the promises and prospects of early identification as well as the challenges faced by researchers and clinicians alike.

2. Autism & Mental Health

It is now widely recognized that co-occurring mental health conditions are very common in people on the autism spectrum. This has implications for clinical practice – where such conditions need to be considered and assessed and support and intervention provided. It also has implications for science: Why are mental health problems so common? Do they look the same as in individuals without autism? In this talk I will summarise both the evidence for identification and management of mental health conditions as well as new models of how and why these conditions so commonly present in individuals with autism.

3. Reflection Session: Panel Discussion