Autistic Consultant & Independent Researcher, Wenn, leading by example to empower autistic individuals and promote quality co-produced research

Curriculum Vitae

Here is an overview of some of Dr Wenn Lawson's qualifications and experience.

Academic articles can be found on the research page and there are also pages providing details of the books Wenn has published and some of his other achievements.

Introduction and Early Life:

With a career spanning three decades, Dr. Wenn Lawson (PhD) is considered to be one of the world's foremost experts on Autism.

Born in Essex England, in 1952, Wenn lived in the UK until he was 30yrs. old. He then emigrated, with his family to Australia. Wenn first became interested in Autism at the age of 40 years, after reading a book which was the autobiography (Nobody Nowhere) of Donna Williams (later Polly Samuel). Wenn recognised both he and his sons fitted the autistic profile. Wenn was later diagnosed by Dr. Lawrie Bartak, in 1994. Since that time all of Wenn's living children (now adults) have also been diagnosed as on the autism spectrum, and his 3 grandchildren too. Wenn is also diagnosed with ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia.

Wenn holds both British and Australian citizenship and has a long history of working with organisations and individuals from both countries. He has also spoken in other countries including India, Belgium and Singapore.

Academic Qualifications:

Wenn went back to school at the age of 38 and completed years 11 and 12 of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) which opened the door to a university education in both psychology, pastoral care and social work. His professional qualifications are:

  • - Bachelor of Social Science (Psych) - Australian Catholic University 1995
  • - Honours in Social Work - Monash University   1999
  • - Grad Diploma (PsychStud) - Australian Conversion:2003
  • - Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology - Open University 2002
  • - PhD (Psychology) - Deakin University 2009

Wenn's PhD focused on how autistics used the facility of attention. Within his theses he debated traditional theories of autism and introduced the theory of Single Attention and Associated Cognition in Autism (SAACA). This was also followed up by specific research on the use of GAMMA in motivational learning in autistic individuals. See:

Professional Memberships:

  • - Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
  • - Certified Psychologist (registered in the UK but not Australia)
  • - Member of the Australian Association of Social Work
  • - Member of the Australian Association of Pastoral Carers
  • - Member of the Australian Psychological Society

Board Memberships (2022):

  • - Member of the Australasian Autism Research Council (ACRC) (formerly co-chair)
  • - US Autism Association
  • - Editorial Board: Autism in Adulthood Journal
  • - Editorial Board Journal of Intellectual Diagnosis & Treatment (lifescience Global)


  • - Finalist for the Victorian nominee for Australian of the Year 2008 (4th)
  • - The Lesley Hall Award for Lifetime Achievement - Disability Leadership Award 2021
  • - APAC Individual Autism Award 2013

Research Affiliations:

  • - Birmingham University
  • - University of Melbourne
  • - Autism Co-operative Research Centre (CRC): In my work with Autism CRC I have written and contributed to units involved with their Research Academy (now Sylvia Rodger Ac ademy Research Program) and the Future Leaders Program, peer reviewed research proposals and been involved with research projects as an external consultant/researcher with three of their member universities (Curtin University, Macquarie University and the University of Queensland).


  • - 2017-2022 Honorary Researcher Macquarie University & Curtin University and PhD /Honours students supervision.
  • - 2011- 2013 Post. Grad Research Supervisor: Prof. Manual Casanova
    University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Topic: Gamma/Gabba Brain activity in Autism Spectrum Conditions, with connections to sensory modalities and learning styles.

Academic Engagements

  • - 2004-present - Tutor (Autism Masters course) & sessional lecturer - The University of Birmingham
  • - Sessional lecturer - The University of Melbourne
  • - Sessional lecturer - The University of London

Employment history:

2010-2022 ongoing: Own business (Autism consultant, trainer and independent researcher). Honorary & Associate Researcher Curtin Uni. Autism Research Group (CARG). Macquarie Uni. Sydney & University of Southern Qld. Tutor Practitioner Autism Masters Course, Birmingham Uni.

- Senior Autism and Complex Needs Consultant, South Australian Govt. Dept. of Education. Adelaide, Australia. As the Senior Autism and Complex Needs Consultant, Wenn has been involved in case management of complex situations, training school staff how to understand and respond effectively to autistic students with atypical and/or complex presentations. Wenn has written and presented training and resources for use in schools on understanding how autism impacts teaching and learning.

2019 - Course content advisor & creator: Supporting Behaviour Positively, Torrens University, Australia & New Zealand. Wenn was asked to be one of two content advisors and creators for this course which was focused on understanding and developing strategies around interoception, communication and context to support individuals on the autism spectrum and/or those with complex trauma and/or mental health difficulties. The course went live in semester 1, 2020.

2005-current: - UK Registered Psychologist only, (not registered in Australia) 

- Counsellor, Researcher & Sessional Lecturer in Autism and in Learning Disabilities:

  • - On-Line Tutor/lecturer, Birmingham University, UK
  • - Sessional psychology Lecturer (Learning Disabilities), Melbourne University, Australia
  • - Sessional lecturer (Autism) at University of London, UK; University of Birmingham, UK & Leiden University in The Netherlands
  • - Tutor on the Masters Autism Course, University of Birmingham, UK
  • - Advisor to Positive Partnerships, (Australian Government Autism Venture)
  • - Published Author (books and peer reviewed journal articles)
  • - Adult Educator; Private Practice; Autism Workshops. Autism Adult Educator/Counsellor; Researcher
  • - Training sessions in Schools over the years Wenn has focussed on enabling staff to adapt the curriculum via modelling how to do this as well as setting up ‘teams around the child’ through liaising between home, school, family and also local authorities. Wenn’s expertise and knowledge in Autism Related Research has enabled him to advise on School design in a number of schools in Australia and in the UK. This includes The Lutheran College in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia and a specialist school in the UK.

1998-2000 - Probationary Psychologist, Counsellor Relationships Australia
2003-2004 - Probationary Psychologist, Counsellor Monash Medical Centre
2005-2006 - Probationary Psychologist, Counsellor South Eastern Private Hospital
2005-2007 - Probationary Psychologist, Counsellor Southern Autistic Services