Barbara Jacobs

Dr. Barbara Jacobs had her PhD published in 2011. Her subject was autistic intelligence and whether this is recognised and accommodated in an inclusive educational framework. A small–scale study, its findings suggested that there may be failings in understanding the deeper autistic information processing problems of those who have average or higher than average intellectual ability. One research paper showed that there was no difference in sensory processing difficulties in those classed as “severe” and in those classed as “mild”. This is important. Her study also revealed communication shortfalls, with parents often feeling discounted and badly–informed by health, social services and education—even, at times, by voluntary agencies. There is no need for these shortfalls to exist. Prior to studying for a PhD Barbara had obtained two first class degrees, one in English (1966) and one in Media (1994). A qualified (Distinction) teacher, she is also a journalist, broadcaster and researcher, lecturer, a national agony aunt, and has 14 internationally published books including Loving Mr Spock, The Dick Kerr’s Ladies, and the co–authored From Inclusion to Engagement: Helping StudentsEngage with Schooling Through Policy and Practice. She was a book reviewer for the Times Higher Educational Supplement. She has given acclaimed presentations at conferences in the UK and the USA, has presented at the Edinburgh Festival of Literature and has spoken to all kinds of audiences in all kinds of strange places. She has designed and taught on MA courses in Education, specialising in inclusion and SEN, has supervised MAs, and PhDs. She is articulate, approachable, populist and believes passionately that autism training should be well–informed by current research knowledge.
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