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Meet Professor Tony Attwood

Meet Professor Tony Attwood

Tony is a clinical psychologist who has specialised in Autism Spectrum Disorders since 1975. He completed his studies in England and received his PhD from the University of London in 1984. His fellow PhD students included Simon Baron-Cohen and Francesca Happe.

His book Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals published in 1998 became the seminal book on Asperger’s Syndrome and his subsequent book, The Complete Guide to Asperger’s syndrome published in 2006, became the authoritative text book on Asperger’s Syndrome.

He is mentor and senior consultant at the Minds & Hearts clinic and an adjunct professor at Griffith University. His current clinical interests involve developing screening tools and diagnostic procedures for ASD and developing and evaluating Cognitive Behaviour Therapy programmes for children and adults. He has contributed to over 30 research publications in peer review journals and is the author or joint author of ten books on autism. Tony has also been invited to be keynote speaker at many international conferences on ASD. At a presentation at a conference in Kentucky he was awarded the honorary title of Kentucky Colonel for his work. He can be formally addressed as Professor Colonel Tony Attwood.

Just for fun

Describe you perfect weekend
Due to my English heritage, I would choose to relax during a weekend in an Elizabethan country cottage with a classic English country garden. I would be in the company of friends that I have known for several decades. There is no television, entertainment is conversation, reminiscing and laughter. There would be a river side pub nearby with traditional beer and a Waitrose supermarket within walking distance. The weather is perfect (yes, there can be long warm sunny days in England) and over the weekend there would be walks through the woods and on cliff tops and picnics on the beach. I would have my digital camera with me to photograph trees, sunsets and to create portraits of my friends that express their personality.

Can or would you like to play an instrument and why?
I would like to be able to sing. However, if I had to choose an instrument, the drums.

Can or would you like to learn a new language and why?
During my teenage years I was a pupil at a grammar school founded in 1540. I learned French and Latin and I would like to renew my enjoyment of both languages. I could then go shopping in France for croissant and baguettes and read the tombstones in cathedrals and ancient village churches.

What is the quirkiest talent you have or aspire to have?
Wherever I travel, within Australia or abroad, I always take with me my tea pot. This is an essential component of my morning tea ritual.

What invention would you like to be a reality and why?
A means of easily and cheaply creating and storing energy that would replace petrol and coal to stop global warming. I suspect that someone who has autism will create that invention.

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