On Friday 4th March, the Psychology Department was extremely fortunate to welcome Dr Emma Grisdale for a lecture on her research into autism. Dr Grisdale is an expert in her field and is currently working on her postdoctoral research at Durham University, having already graduated from Oxford University.
Her lecture was both informative and inspiring as Dr Grisdale spoke to us about how children and adults’ lives are affected by autism and the therapies available to them, including Animal Assisted Therapy. Dr Grisdale also spoke about what it is really like to have autism, as none of us can possibly understand how it must feel not to be able to communicate your thoughts and feelings to others, and the frustration that this would cause. An example that Dr Grisdale gave, that brought it home to me, was that an autistic person walking into a room full of people would focus on a picture on a wall or a piano in the corner, rather than engaging with the people all around them. After the talk, there was time for discussion where many people asked a wide range of questions covering both the material she presented and, also, why she selected Autism as her chosen subject for study. This continued after the lecture, when we got the opportunity to speak to Dr Grisdale one-to-one about anything we still wished to discuss. This was an excellent opportunity for the students at St Mary’s as Dr Grisdale is a renowned subject matter expert who was able to provide clarity on an important, but sometimes difficult, subject. Charlotte and Ella