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PhD, University of Bristol
MEd Research Methods in Education, University of Bristol
MA Infant Observational Studies, University of East London/Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust
PGDip Creative Arts Therapies, University of Hertfordshire
PGCE, University of Durham
BA, University of Warwick


Carmel’s background is in special educational needs and disability. She has over 20 years experience of working in specialist and inclusive school settings in Durham, London and Cardiff, as a teacher, advisory support teacher and as a creative arts therapist. Her area of specialism is autism, though she has extensive experience of working in deaf education and with children with behavioural, emotional and social needs, with language difficulty and with specific learning difficulties. She completed her PhD at the Graduate School of Education in the University of Bristol, investigating the play cultures of autistic children and their friends in school settings.
Carmel leads the MA modules on autism and also teaches on the module on research methodology. In addition, she works part-time as a teaching fellow at the University of Birmingham, teaching on the AutismChildren programme.


Pathway leader for MA SEN (ASD)


Conn, C. (2016) Observation, Assessment and Planning in Inclusive Autism Education: Supporting Learning and Development, London and New York: Routledge.
Conn. C. (2016) Play and Friendship in Inclusive Autism Education: Supporting Learning and Development, London and New York: Routledge.
Conn, C. (2015) ‘“Sensory highs”, “vivid rememberings” and “interactive stimming”: Children’s play cultures and experiences of friendship in autistic autobiographies’, Disability and Society, 30: 1192-1206.
Conn, C. (2015) ‘Essential conditions for research with children with autism: Issues raised by two case studies’, Children and Society, 29: 59-68.
Conn, C. (2014) Autism and the Social World of Childhood: A Sociocultural Perspective on Theory and Practice, Oxford and New York: Routledge.
Conn, C. (2014) ‘Investigating the social engagement of children with autism in mainstream schools for the purpose of identifying learning targets’, Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 14: 153-159.
Jarrold, C. and Conn, C. (2011) ‘The development of pretend play in autism’, in A. Pellegrini (ed.) Oxford Handbook of the Development of Play, New York and London: Oxford University Press.
Conn, C. (2010) Play Better Games: Enabling Children with Autism to Access Ordinary Games, Milton Keynes: Speechmark.
Conn, C. (2007) Using Drama with Children on the Autism Spectrum, Brackley: Speechmark.


Fellow of The Higher Education Academy


Conference speaker:
11/2015 Policy Forum for Wales Keynote Seminar: Additional learning needs provision in Wales, Cardiff. Speaker and panel member.
09/2011 3rd European Conference on Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Educational Settings, University of Cambridge.
07/2011 International Play Association (IPA) Triennial Conference, UK.
07/2011 Wales’ 4th International Autism Conference.
07/2010 Centre for the Study of Childhood & Youth, University of Sheffield.


Inclusive education
Research with children
Autism and children’s play cultures

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