Living a good autistic life – Wenn Lawson. First of series of events to celebrate PARC’s 5th Birthday.


To begin our celebrations of five years of PARC, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Wenn Lawson who will be presenting on the topic of ‘living a good autistic life’. 5-7pm Room V211 London South Bank University, Tuesday 24th March 2020. Admission is free but places will be limited. To book a place please email 

Living a good autistic life

Autism Is:
Autism is: being present in this world,
But not entirely of it.
I am one step removed and curled,
The switch just doesn’t click.

I perform the role of my perception,
And play many parts so well.
But minus files for my redemption,
My part in life I cannot tell.

Life is like a video,
I watch but cannot partake.
My uneven skills are but an echo,
Of the frustrations which I hate!

However, my focused use of time and space,
I would not give away.
I know that I am especially placed,
For some developed career one day! Lawson, 2008

Being autistic means having a brain that is wired to work with single focused attention. This can be problematic in a social arena because people share interests, requiring the ability to divide attention. My brain allows me to focus on things that capture my attention rather than share attention with others. At times this is great, I can be passionately involved in my interests, happy and at home. But, at other times when I’m required to make a decision, notice the state of my body and its needs, engage with others (e.g. in a shop, at school or work, during family times, when I need to notice I’m hot, hungry, tired, in pain and so on) and I’m needing to divide attention, I’m in trouble.
This talk explains the rationale and research for what autism is, why it is and some ideas for working to support us in ways that are enabling and safe, allowing for us to live ‘a good autistic life.’

Dr. Wenn, an autistic lecturer, psychologist, researcher, advocate, writer and poet has passionately shared his professional and personal knowledge re: autism, for 25 years. He has written and/or contributed to over 25 books and many papers. He is Senior Consultant, Complex Support with the Complex Needs Team, Disability Policy & Programs, Education Department SA Government, Tutor for the University of Birmingham’s Masters Autism course, participant with the autism Co-operative Research Centre (ACRC), Co-Chair of the Autism Research Council Australia, member of the ‘I CAN’ board, Australia, and residing on the Editorial Board for the Journal, Autism in Adulthood, Dr. Wenn is a family man with autistic adult offspring and autistic grandchildren. In 2017 he presented to the United Nations on matters of Autism and ageing.

My email:

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4 thoughts on “Living a good autistic life – Wenn Lawson. First of series of events to celebrate PARC’s 5th Birthday.

  1. Dear Dr Wenn Lawson, I am writing to you from Turkey. I would like very much to listen to your conference….I am a professor on Architecture and I have an autistic boy who is now 20 years old. He has very limited verbal communication mostly he indicates his needs or desires by his behaviors. He won the university exam which is very difficult in Turkey. He is very talented on drawing and art. He is in Ceramic department in the faculty of fine arts. His brother has founded a brand (designremo) on his name and produced some glasses having the drawings of him on them. But, nowadays I am in big trouble with his changed behavior on getting dressed and being ready in time in the morning time. He tries everything in order to spend time and he is very late in every step! And this makes me crazy…cause we have to get out at home in a limited time for catching the lecture in the university. I told and explained him several times and prayed to him for trying to be fast especially in the morning time. I asked to psyciologists but could not get any applicable advice…ı am following participatory autism and when I read your writing ı wanted to share with you this problem, hoping to hear a useful advice from you. Because, this very slow motion of him makes me very angry and I show some force on him and this makes me very upset afterwards…..and ı could not solve this problem, I mean the slow motion of him while getting ready (toilet, getting dressed, washing face and hands almost takes more than one hour in the morning..). If you have any suggestion for this problem and if you can response me I wil be very glad.
    Prof Dr Meltem Yilmaz
    Hacettepe University
    Department of Interior Architeture & Environmental Design
    Ankara/ Turkey


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