Researcher, psychologist, consultant, and auntie of an autistic nephew

Meet Silvia Panella-Peral


Personal Connection to Autism

I have an autistic nephew and most of my friends are autistic also.

Professional Bio

Dr. Silvia Panella-Peral (she/her) is a U.K.-based researcher and clinician with over 20 years of experience in the field of autism, academically and in clinical practice. She has an earned Master's and PhD in Social Sciences, specializing in Autism. Her doctoral thesis contextualised social looking in neurotypical infants and those at risk of being autistic by virtue of having an autistic sibling.

In her clinical practice, Panella-Peral has consulted many organisations in how to improve their inclusive practice to neurodivergent children and adults. She also plans, implements, and evaluates autism interventions, and conducts clinical autism assessments.

More About the Author

I follow the social model of disability. The current medical model suggests that being autistic is wrong and something that requires fixing. I do not hold this belief, rather I see autism as a difference that should be celebrated and supported.

I enjoy working with families and find that parents are experts in understanding how autism is presented in their children. I take the time to listen to them and to be respectful of their wishes and desires for their child’s future. I learn as much from parents as I do from research and theory!

My goal is to help parents and professionals to understand autism beyond behavioural modification techniques, and to empower parents in mastering the art of guiding their autistic children. In my spare time, I enjoy time with friends and family, running, and learning about metaphysics.