Read our webchat with Dr Judith Gould

In this final webchat in our series of webchats with leading autism experts from around the world, we were very privileged and pleased to welcome world renowned Dr Judith Gould. This series of webchats has been made possible thanks to the generous support of our fantastic sponsors Axcis Education

The webchat was held on 26 July 2016 at 12.00pm BST

Dr Judith Gould is the Lead Consultant at the Lorna Wing Centre for Autism and retired as Director of the centre in 2015. She is a Chartered Consultant Clinical Psychologist, with over 40 years' experience, specialising in autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities.

Judith Gould together with Lorna Wing set up The Centre for Social and Communication Disorders, (now the Lorna Wing Centre for Autism) which was the first service in the UK to provide a complete diagnostic, assessment and advice service for children, adolescents and adults with social and communication disorders. 

Lorna Wing and Judith Gould developed an interview schedule called the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) to be used as part of the diagnostic process. This schedule enables the professional to use a dimensional approach when making a diagnosis which is more helpful than diagnostic sub-grouping when planning treatment, education and care.  

Judith provided a fantastic insight into autism, and you can read the full transcript of the webchat below.

Live Blog Webchat with Dr Judith Gould: 26 July 2016




Mon, 25/07/2016 - 20:51

My question for Dr Gould is this:

"When it comes to PDA, why are some clinicians not diagnosing, simply on the basis of the child masking their demand avoidance (through sheer anxiety) in the school environment?  Masking is a very well-known autistic behaviour and PDA is an autism subtype.  The information on the PDA Society website clearly states that some children with PDA mask in school."

Tue, 26/07/2016 - 12:20

Are there any distinguishing features between Autism and dyspraxia when considering prosodic features.

Tue, 26/07/2016 - 12:22


As young professional in the autism world I firstly wanted to say hello to Judith and thank her for her continuously innovative work and dedication to autism which has helped inspire me to forge a career in this area. Hi!

I also wanted to ask what you thought about the fluidity of the spectrum diagnosis. What I mean is the move from the categories to the sepctrum (so instead of Asperger's or infantile autism an individual now just gets ASD). In my experience I have seen young people change from having little or no speech to high functioning and very able individuals which contrasts largely with their original presentation. Temple Grandin or Donna Williams for example from their autobigraphies seem to be closer to a diagnosisof classic autism in childhood, yet Asperger's in adulthood. 

Do you think the diagnosis of a spectrum disorder will help prevent such assumptions about an individual? Some say that they find the spectrum classification more inclusive and other say they find it more exclusive. What are your thoughts?

Thanks for your time.