Laura joined CRAE in 2015 and currently holds the role of Associate Professor and Deputy Director of CRAE.
Laura’s research focuses on understanding the educational experiences of autistic children and young people (in mainstream and special schools), and identifying evidence-based ways to support pupils, their parents and their educators. Laura is passionate about engaging education professionals in research – supporting them to identify priorities for research and co-designing research studies that positively impact on pupil outcomes and wellbeing.
Laura also has expertise in the following areas: (1) examining the diagnostic and post-diagnostic experiences of autistic people, their families, and the professionals who work with them; and (2) promoting access to justice for witnesses on the autism spectrum (in both the criminal and family justice systems). Laura’s early work centered on cognition and autism (with a particular focus on autobiographical memory).
Laura has received a number of awards for her work. This includes the UCL Provost’s Prize for Public Engagement (2018), the UK research charity Autistica’s Inaugural Community Engagement Award (2018) and a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (2017).
Central to all of Laura’s work is a commitment to the involvement of the autistic and broader autism communities in the research process; ensuring that research has a strong participatory ethos and is of direct and practical relevance to those it affects.
Linked to Laura’s commitment to community engagement in research, she is on the steering group of UCL’s new Centre for Co-Production in Health Research, is Chair of the Pan London Autism Schools Network Research Group (fostering partnerships between specialist autism schools and academic researchers) and also serves as Social Media Editor at the Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, where she leads all community engagement initiatives (e.g., podcasts, lay abstracts, social media) at the journal.
- Crane, L., Hearst, C., Ashworth, M., Davies, J., & Hill, E. L. (2020). Supporting newly identified or diagnosed autistic adults: an initial evaluation of an autistic-led programme. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
- Richards, N., & Crane, L. (2020). The development and feasibility of a multimodal ‘Talking Wall’ to facilitate the voice of young people with autism and complex needs: a case study in a specialist residential school. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
- Crane, L., Jones, L., Prosser, R., Taghrizi, M., & Pellicano, E. (2019). Parents’ views and experiences of talking about autism with their children. Autism. doi: 10.1177/1362361319836257