David Preece

David Preece
The University of Northampton | UN · School of Education

PhD
I retired in December 2020.

About

80
Publications
30,254
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
421
Citations
Introduction
Initially a historian, then trained as a teacher, nurse and social worker, I worked in social care for 30 years across all areas of disability, with a main focus on autism. Between 2012 and 2020 I worked at the University of Northampton in the Centre for Education and Research. My research centred on autism/family life. Key projects included autism education for parents and teachers in South East and Central Europe, and the experience of families living with autism in rural coastal England.
Additional affiliations
September 2012 - present
The University of Northampton
Position
  • Senior Lecturer: SEN and Inclusion - Autism
January 2003 - April 2010
University of Birmingham
Description
  • PhD research
Education
January 2003 - April 2010
University of Birmingham
Field of study
  • Special Education - Autism
September 1998 - June 2001
University of Birmingham
Field of study
  • Special Education - Autism
September 1991 - June 1993
University of Leicester
Field of study
  • Management

Publications

Publications (80)
Article
Though professionals working with children on the autism spectrum who display challenging behaviour routinely receive training in the use of both positive behavioural support techniques and physical interventions, such training is rarely provided for the parents of these children. This article reports on the impact of training provided for family m...
Article
Full-text available
Much research has been undertaken examining the impact of living with autism on the family. However our understanding of life in families with children on the autism spectrum is predominantly based on research carried out with parents. Even when siblings are the specific focus of the study, parental report may be the primary data source. Furthermor...
Article
Full-text available
Accessible summary• Children with autism spectrum disorders (aged 7–18 years) were interviewed about their experience of living at home and in short term care.• Parents and caregivers were also interviewed and, when the child had little or no speech, he or she was observed in both settings.• Pictures and schedules were used to prompt the children b...
Article
Full-text available
This article reflects on how the first author has adapted aspects of the TEACCH structured teaching approach — developed for use with students with autism — in her work with students with multiple disabilities and visual impairment (MDVI) in a special secondary school for students with severe learning difficulties in England. A brief overview of th...
Article
Short break services in a UK county were studied using a postal survey of 256 families with a child with an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Results confirmed high degrees of stress and low levels of informal support for all families, but no significant difference in the informal support available to non-users as compared to users of short break s...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Effective education is a crucial intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and it is vital that teachers are confident and appropriately skilled. However, a significant shortfall has been identified regarding teacher confidence and skills, both globally and more specifically regarding Central/Eastern Europe and the Balkans. To b...
Presentation
Full-text available
It has been identified that coastal communities (local authorities with coastal borders) face greater hardships that inland areas, with higher economic and social deprivation, low pay, and elevated unemployment and health issues. This British Academy funded study uses a qualitative methodology to explore the experience of families living with auti...
Article
Full-text available
Autism affects over 2% of the school population in England. Education has proven to be an effective intervention strategy that improves the quality of life of children with autism and their families. However, governmental austerity policies have increased disadvantage in coastal areas of England with a detrimental impact on people with disabilities...
Article
Full-text available
Legislation and policy within Croatia, the Republic of North Macedonia and Poland supports the educational inclusion of children with autism; however, such inclusion is nascent in these countries. A survey of experienced teachers working directly with children with autism in both inclusive and special schools was undertaken in winter 2018–19. Five...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the published literature regarding training for teachers with regard to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A critical literature review was carried out of papers published in English regarding this topic over the past 20 years as part of the mapping activity undertaken to develop a training programme for teachers in Croatia, Polan...
Article
Full-text available
Information and support for families of children on the autism spectrum is limited in south‐east Europe. A three‐year project, Equity and Social Inclusion Through Positive Parenting (ESIPP), was established to develop and provide parent education (PE) in autism for families in Croatia, Cyprus and North Macedonia. This paper presents findings from C...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Impact is a key concept in all aspects of research and development activity. The extent to which it is effectively identified can affect research activity at all levels: from whether an individual project is funded, to the funding granted to – and the reputations of – entire institutions. Funding for research and other activity suppor...
Article
Full-text available
Data were collected from heads of households across Bhutan to gain insights regarding children with disabilities up to 18 years in Bhutan. Fieldwork was conducted by local enumerators, trained by researchers from the UK who analysed and interpreted the data. Results indicate that whilst there are largely positive attitudes towards children with dis...
Presentation
Full-text available
This paper draws upon my research over the past 15 years – and professional practice over an even longer period – to identify factors that contribute to successful cross-disciplinary working in autism, and which can support positive outcomes for individuals on the autism spectrum. These factors include - worker attributes, including their professio...
Poster
Full-text available
Findings of ESIPP project - post-project poster outlining the project, its findings and impact.
Poster
Full-text available
Explanation and findings from the European Union-funded project that was part of the activities of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 conducted in the Museum of Macedonian struggle - Skopje. Its aim was to promote the cultural heritage in the existing museum collections by enhancing accessibility; and to initiate future development of muse...
Presentation
Full-text available
First presentation regarding our research project on the experience of families living with autism in rural coastal communities in England
Presentation
Full-text available
Introduction to the ASD-EAST teacher education in autism project, and an overview of the findings of the initial mapping activity.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It has been theoretically and practically proven that Autism Spectrum Disorder affects the whole family. Family education is very important for understanding child’s condition and behavior. That kind of education usually is developed in US and Western countries and it is typically unavailable in South-East Europe and Balkans. Therefore, the ESIPP (...
Article
The challenges of providing education for a heterogeneous student population (in respect of gender, poverty levels, language and learning aptitude and level) have been major issues in refining Bhutanese policy and practice. These challenges are noted in respect of children with ‘special needs’ in the Bhutan Education Blueprint, 2014–24 (NSB/MoE/UNI...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report discusses the activity of the 3-year Equity and Social Inclusion through Positive Parenting (ESIPP) project. The project promoted and contributed to equity and social inclusion by improving the skills, knowledge and understanding of parents of children on the autism spectrum through the development and provision of parent education (PE)...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Educating parents of children with ASD about the condition benefits both child and family. However, such programmes are typically unavailable in Southeast Europe. To address this, the ESIPP project developed, provided and evaluated education in autism to over 330 Croatian, Cypriot and Macedonian parents. A parent education curriculum and locally di...
Poster
Full-text available
Map current good practice and scope areas needing development with regard to the educational inclusion of children with ASD in Croatia, FYR of Macedonia and Poland Develop a model training programme and materials for specialist teachers supporting the educational inclusion of children and young people with ASD in these countries Use these materials...
Poster
Full-text available
This poster was designed for the INSAR 2018 conference in Rotterdam, May 2018, and describes the ESIPP project and findings to date.
Presentation
Full-text available
This presentation describes the activity of the ESIPP project and findings to date.
Article
Full-text available
School refusal is an important factor impacting upon poor outcomes for adolescents and youth. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience characteristic difficulties regarding social interaction and communication, rigidity of thinking and sensory sensitivities. These difficulties, coupled with the heightened anxiety that many on the...
Article
Full-text available
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is identified as having a significant impact on family life. Educating parents of children with ASD about the condition benefits both child and family. However, such programmes are typically unavailable in South-east Europe. To address this, the ESIPP project developed, provided and evaluated parent education for Croa...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability characterised by difficulties in social interaction and social communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviour (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Despite its prevalence the world over, there is a paucity of research in some areas such as education, particul...
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation given at the European University Cyprus. Update regarding ESIPP project.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability characterised by difficulties in social interaction and social communication, and restricted and repetitive behaviour (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Despite its prevalence the world over, there is a paucity of research in some areas such as education, particul...
Article
Full-text available
Families living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face many challenges, affecting not only the child with ASD and development but also family functioning and quality of life. Parent education (PE) in ASD has been identified as a priority intervention for this group both internationally and nationally. However, though there is a large body of lite...
Article
Full-text available
Families living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face many challenges, affecting not only the child with ASD and development but also family functioning and quality of life. Parent education (PE) in ASD has been identified as a priority intervention for this group both internationally and nationally. However, though there is a large body of lite...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
General description: Autism challenges traditional parenting styles, and can make parents feel deskilled and disempowered, especially if little information or support is available to them. Giving accurate information about autism to parents, and teaching them to adapt their parenting using good autism practice has been shown to be effective in impr...
Article
Full-text available
Parent training has been shown to be an important means of supporting families living with autism – but such services are not universally accessible. A multinational project funded by the European Commission has been developed in order to establish such parent training in three south-eastern European countries. To ensure that the training was...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Uvod: Autizam je doživotno stanje koje može imati značajan uticaj ne samo na pojedinca s autizmom, nego i na roditelje, braću, sestre i širu porodicu. Na području jugoistočne Evrope psihosocijalna podrška roditeljima dece sa autizmom je slabo razvijena. Ovaj rad se odnosi na trogodišnji ESIPP projekat (septembar 2015.-avgust 2018.) finansiran iz Er...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Η εκπαίδευση των οικογενειών με μέλος/η με αυτισμό θεωρείται σημαντικό μέσο για την υποστήριξη των ίδιων των οικογενειών. Παρόλα αυτά σχετικές δομές και προγράμματα δεν είναι ιδιαιτέρως διαθέσιμα ούτε στην Κύπρο ούτε και αλλού. Η εργασία αυτή έχει σκοπό να παρουσιάσει τα ευρήματα έρευνας επισκόπησης μέσω ερωτηματολογίου των σχετικών αναγκών οικογεν...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
ESIPP – parent education in autism Jasmina Troshanska1, David Preece2, Loizos Symeou3, Katerina Mavrou3, Eleni Teodorou3, Jasmina Stošić4, Jasmina Fray Škrinjar4, Ron Fortuna5, Nefi Charambalos Darden6, Aurelie Baranger7, Sanja Blažević8, Julia Hardcastle9& Vladimir Trajkovski1 1Macedonian Scientific Society for Autism, 2University of Northampton;...
Poster
Full-text available
Autism can challenge traditional parenting styles, causing parents to feel deskilled and disempowered, especially when little information or support is available to them. The provision of accurate information about autism and teaching parents how to adapt their parenting using good autism practice has been shown to be effective in improving persona...
Technical Report
This document reports the findings of a research study evaluating a project supportingt the re-engagement with learning and education of students on the autism spectrum with high anxiety who were currently out of education. The research was designed to address the following research questions: • What has been the impact of the project on helping y...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Autism can challenge traditional parenting styles, causing parents to feel deskilled and disempowered, especially when little information or support is available to them (Dunn et al., 2001) and impacting on parental well-being and quality of life (Benjak, 2011; Benjak et al., 2009; Mouzourou et al., 2011). The provision of accurate information abou...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Multi-sensory storytelling (MSST) is an approach to storytelling in which ‘stories are not simply told but can be experienced with all our senses’ (Fornefeld, 2013). The act of narration is supported by the use of relevant objects, chosen for their sensory qualities (e.g. feel, smell, sound, weight, temperature) and for their appeal and relevance t...
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation given at workshop discussing development and delivery of parent training in Croatia, Cyprus and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Conference Paper
NB: This is an abbreviated version of the original AshokaU 2016 Exchange abstract. This presentation focuses on the evaluation of a programme of Changemaker Student Awards developed and undertaken by an AshokaU university in England to engage and reward children and young people in partner schools for their social entrepreneurship and innovation. T...
Conference Paper
NB: This is an abbreviated version of the original AshokaU 2016 Exchange abstract. This presentation focuses on the evaluation of a programme of Changemaker Student Awards developed and undertaken by an AshokaU university in England to engage and reward children and young people in partner schools for their social entrepreneurship and innovation. T...
Article
This article reports on research undertaken to investigate how multi-sensory storytelling (MSST) was being used within schools for students with profound and multiple learning difficulties and other special educational needs. Semi-structured interviews (n = 27) and observations (n = 18) were undertaken in five schools in the East Midlands and south...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Successful partnership working with families has long been identified as a vital component of effective programmes across education, public health and social care (Early and GlenMaye, 2000; MacKean et al., 2005; Milbourne, 2005). Where families include children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), the importance of working in...
Chapter
‘All students studying for a Masters’ Degree in Education at the University of Northampton are required to carry out an independent piece of research and to present this in the form of a dissertation. Before they are able to do this, they have to undertake training in the use of research methods in education…we felt that there was room for developm...
Chapter
‘All students studying for a Masters’ Degree in Education at the University of Northampton are required to carry out an independent piece of research and to present this in the form of a dissertation. Before they are able to do this, they have to undertake training in the use of research methods in education…we felt that there was room for developm...
Article
A University since 2005, Northampton comprises six Schools and 14,000 students and has embarked on a programme of major changes, asserting itself a leader in social enterprise and innovation and planning a new campus. Our School of Education has a good reputation for teaching but despite its current tally of 40 PhD students it is less renowned for...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper I consider some of the tensions and problems that can arise, and that need to be addressed, in attempting to undertake research with hard to reach groups of ‘subjects’. In terms of my research this specifically relates to studies undertaken families that include children on the autism spectrum (including the children on the spectrum t...
Data
Poster presented at Autism Europe Conference, Budapest September 2013
Data
Presentation on parent education/autism given in Ohrid, Macedonia October 2013.
Article
Full-text available
This article identifies the importance of short breaks (respite care) services to many families with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as the obstacles that may prevent families accessing such services. Factors that families with children with ASD identify as helpful in making short breaks successful are discussed and reference...
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses the need for specialist social care support for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families. It outlines how services for this group have been developed in England, making particular reference to services in Northamptonshire, a local government area with a population of 650,000, where a coordinated mul...
Article
Full-text available
The authors describe the work of a team whose main focus is to work with families on areas that are presenting difficulties for the child and the family in the home setting. The rationale for their work is given and the criteria for involvement is discussed and defended. Two case studies illustrate the type of work done and comments from parents sh...
Article
How social workers perceive autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) will inevitably impact upon how they assess the needs of children with ASD and their families, and upon the types of service or interventions they seek to provide to meet those needs. However, little is known of social workers’ understanding of the condition. Using a research instrument...
Article
Full-text available
'Structured Teaching', as advocated by the TEACCH approach (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped CHildren) is widely used to promote independence and facilitate teaching and learning for individuals with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Key principles underpinning the approach include assessment and individual...
Article
Full-text available
There has been a steady increase in the number of children diagnosed as having an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Consequently, demand for services to meet the needs of these children and their families has increased. Northamptonshire County Council's approach to addressing the needs of this group has been through the development of multi-agency...
Article
Full-text available
Consultation with children receiving services from social services departments is required by international and national legislation. Research has been undertaken examining the experience of children with disabilities receiving short-term care. However, none of these studies has focused on autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). The present paper sugge...
Article
Consistency of approach across environments is an integral part of service delivery for children with autistic spectrum disorders in Northamptonshire. These services use the 'structured teaching' approach developed by Division TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children). A collaborative, multi-discipl...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (5)
Project
I have been funded by the British Academy to undertake some research investigating the experience of families living with autism in two rural coastal areas: Cornwall and West Norfolk. Little or no previous research in the UK has looked at the specific issues faced by families in such areas.
Project
Developing effective teacher education for educators working with autism in Croatia, the FYR of Macedonia and Poland)