Professor David Skuse is an expert in autism spectrum disorders. He has worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital for over 30 years, and he is currently Head of Behavioural and Brain Sciences at the Institute of Child Health.
Professor Skuse specialises in the assessment of complex cases of autism, especially those cases that are associated with normal or high intelligence.
He established the National Centre for High Functioning Autism a decade ago. This Centre combines state-of-the-art clinical services with research and training facilities. It is part of a national and international collaborative network that aims to improve the identification and treatment of complex autistic disorders.
Professor Skuse trained in medicine at the University of Manchester, before specialising in general medicine in Oxford. He then trained to become a child psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry in South London before moving to take up a joint consultant and academic role at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Institute of Child Health in 1985. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Professor Skuse has interests in clinical, epidemiological and basic science research areas. He and his team have developed novel highly reliable assessment procedures for autism, which are now in international usage, such as the 3di. They have devised evidence-based psychoeducational programmes for children with newly diagnosed autism. And they have produced ‘how-to’ manuals for helping teachers support children with autism make the transition from primary to secondary school, found here.
As part of a programme of research funded by the Medical Research Council (UK) his research team is recruiting up to 10,000 children across the United Kingdom who have intellectual disabilities (ID) due to rare genetic anomalies. The IMAGINE-ID research programme (www.imagine-id.org) aims to collect, for the first time, information about the psychiatric risks that are associated with such very rare diseases. Currently, we know very little about the behavioural and social difficulties that are associated with over 90% of these conditions. Paediatricians and geneticists need that information in order to help affected children and their families.
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