Webchat with Dr Judith Gould: 25 July 2017

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

The webchat which took place on 25 July 2017 was extremely popular and covered a wide variety of topics including relationships, women and girls, PDA and diagnosis. We are very grateful to Dr Gould for her time, expertise and thoughtful responses to the many and varied questions. You can read the full archive of the webchat below:

Live Blog Webchat with Dr Judith Gould
Live Blog Webchat with Dr Judith Gould




More about Dr Judith Gould

Dr 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. Dr Gould's specialist interests include women and girls and autism and ageing. 

Before being the Director of The Lorna Wing Centre she worked as a member of the scientific staff of the Medical Research Council Social Psychiatry Unit and was a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. She has also worked as a Clinical Psychologist within both health and social services. She has published widely in the field of autism spectrum disorders.  Her current interest is the diagnosis of women and girls in the spectrum.

Lorna Wing and Judith Gould’s early work in the 1970s on the epidemiology of autism and related conditions, led to the concept of a spectrum of autistic conditions.

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. 

In addition to setting up the Centre as a model for diagnosing autism spectrum disorders the Centre’s team offers training to professionals in their methods of diagnosis and assessment of needs. 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.  This approach bests fits the new DSM 5 Diagnostic Classification System. The DISCO is widely used throughout the UK and overseas and training in its use is carried out both at the Centre and internationally. 


Fri, 14/07/2017 - 08:04


In our clinic, women and girls themselves ask for help and assessment because they think they have autism. Which tools do you use in this case.As you know, the diagnosis tests are based on the male profiles which makes it difficult to detect and diagnose in women. We use ASSQ girls and the profile of Tania Marshall. Do you know any tests or questionaires which could help us?

Fri, 14/07/2017 - 08:14

I have a CAMHS appointment at the Winnicott centre in Manchester on 26th July and wondered if you have any experience of this centre and or any advice. I have a son aged 14 excluded from school and a daughter aged 13 getting some support at school. I am wondering if this centre has an understanding of girls and women presentations of ASC and what questions can i ask to make sure we get heard. Both children are High functioning but have some behaviour issues (son) and communication issues (daughter)

Erica Evans

Fri, 14/07/2017 - 09:59


I already have a diagnosis as I was lucky enough to be assessed by a female psychologist with a strong interest and understanding of how autism presents in females.

However I have a close friend who is waiting for an assessment in Cumbria, and I wondered if you ad an experience of their diagnostic processes and if they have any specific training in or understanding of autism presentation in females.

Do you have any suggestions of questions to ask and what information she should take with her to the appointments?

Thank you

Tue, 25/07/2017 - 12:10

As a mum and school governor, what do schools need to do differently to bring out the best in pupils with autism.  Thank you.

Tue, 25/07/2017 - 12:26

This is not helpful to someone with autism Matthew!  Scrolling down to see a bunch of words basically, is really not great. Can we please have someone who specialises in communication on the NAS website please as it seems the website has not been written by an autistic person with communication problems! Less is more.  All there is on the website is thousands of words.  Way too much information.

This is my first webchat. To me I thought it would be a person talking live and people asking questions via email.  Is there no live part to this webinar?


Tue, 25/07/2017 - 12:55

Apologies Cee Cee, this is written format webchat - I'm sorry that wasnt' clear we will look to improve this for future live webchats. 

Tue, 25/07/2017 - 12:57

Thanks, and sorry for my frustration. It's a part of my condition which I struggle greatly with, and I cannot find anyone to help with the communication side of things  I am desperate!

Tue, 25/07/2017 - 13:37

Dear Erica, 

We asked Dr Gould and she suggested the below:

You will need to go to the assessment with real examples of your childs behaviour and difficulties, we suggest you explore the NAS information on autism and diagnosis and prepare this beforehand. There are definate red flags that should alert professionals to the diagnosis.