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David Preece

Associate Professor, Dr

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Personal profile


David Preece works as an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Humanities. He has worked at the University since 2012; before this he had a 30 year career as a practitioner and manager in the field of social care across all areas of disability, but with a main focus on autism. He also worked as a regional tutor on web-based and distance learning autism courses at the University of Birmingham.

David was awarded the degree of MEd in Special Education (Autism) from the University of Birmingham in 2001 and a PhD from the same University in 2010. His doctoral research focused on the experience of family life and social support of families living with autism. In addition, he holds teaching, social work and management qualifications. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), and sits on the editorial boards of a number of academic journals.


Research Interests

David’s main areas of research interest include the impact of autism and disability upon the family; consultation with children and young people with disabilities; and intervention approaches in autism and disability.

David is currently Principal Investigator on two funded research projects.

Autism Spectrum Disorder - Empowering and Supporting Teachers (ASD-EAST) is a two-year Erasmus+ projected funded by the European Union. This project, undertaken in partnership with the University of Zagreb and the Pedagogical University of Krakow, as well as with a number of schools, NGOs and SMEs, is focused on developing and evaluating autism training for primary teachers in Croatia, North Macedonia and Poland. David is working with Dr Ivana Lessner Listiakova on this project.See

David is also leading Living with Autism in Rural Coastal Areas of England (LARCAE), again working with his colleague Dr Ivana Lessner Listiakova. This is a two-year project, funded by the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust, investigating the lived experience of families in north-west Norfolk and Cornwall.

David was Principal Investigator on a three-year Erasmus+ project (2015-18) funded by the European Commission: Equity and Social Inclusion through Positive Parenting – ESIPP ( This €430K project focused on developing and evaluating parent education in autism in the Balkans and south-east Europe, and includes partners from universities, NGOs and parent organisations in Croatia, Cyprus, the Republic of Macedonia, Belgium and the UK.

Previous funded research projects that David has led at the University include a 12-month project (2015-16) investigating the reintegration of students with autism and severe anxiety into educational settings, and an investigation into the use of multi-sensory storytelling with pupils with special educational needs (2013-14).

He has also worked as a joint researcher on a number of funded University Projects. These have included research into knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding childhood disability in Bhutan (2015-17), a situation analysis regarding inclusive education for children with autism in Oman (2015-16); and an investigation of the impact of participation in a university-led award scheme on pupil involvement in decision-making in schools (2015-17).

David has undertaken and published research using both qualitative and quantitative methods. He currently supervises a number of postgraduate students, researching into autism (in UK, Indian, African and European contexts), profound and multiple learning difficulties and the experience of minority and disadvantaged groups.


Nefi Charalambous Darden; Special Education Needs and Inclusion

Teachers' attitudes to and understanding regarding the inclusion of children with autism in inclusive mainstream schools in Cyprus.

Hawa Khan; Special Educational Needs and Inclusion

Islamic perspective on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Challenges and Experience of caregivers of children with ASD in the Muslim Community in an East Midlands city


Emmanuel Maphosa; Special Education Needs and Inclusion

The Zimbabwean student: examining the experiences of migrant students in English secondary schools.


Jessica Newcombe; Special Education Needs and Inclusion

Peer Mentoring For Secondary School students with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties PMLD. 


Remi Odunsi; Special Education Needs and Inclusion

Knowledge, attitude and practice of inclusive education: Case study of people around young person with autism in Lagos, Nigeria.


Sulata Sankardas Ajit; Special Education Needs and Inclusion.

Investigation Into the efficacy of Differentiated Instruction for including children with Autism Spectrum Disorder into a sample of mainstream schools in Chennai , India .


Athina Tempriou; Special Education Needs and Inclusion

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Cypriot primary and secondary school teacher’s knowledge, attitudes and in-service training (INSET).


Xianrong Wang

Investigating educational inclusion for pupils with autism spectrum disorder in mainstream primary schools


Teaching Interests

David teaches on Autism (MA) and BA (SEN and Inclusion) and Research Methods (MA) modules, as well as supervising students at MA and PhD levels.

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autism Social Sciences
Autistic Disorder Medicine & Life Sciences
parent education Social Sciences
parents Social Sciences
parents training Social Sciences
Teaching Social Sciences
Parents Medicine & Life Sciences
teacher Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2015 2018

Research Output 2008 2019

Developing training for teachers to support the inclusion in education of pupils with autism spectrum disorder in Eastern Europe and the Balkans

Preece, D., Troshanska, J., Lessner Listiakova, I., Stošić, J., Lisak, N., Kossewska, J., Cierpiałowska, T., Bombińska-Domżał, A., Lubińska-Kościółek, E., Niemiec, S. & Płoszaj, M., 16 May 2019, p. 53-58. 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to conference typesPaperResearchpeer-review

Southeastern Europe
Eastern Europe

Empowering Teachers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (European ASD-EAST project)

Preece, D., Kossewska, J., Cierpiałowska, T., Lubińska-Kościółek, E., Bombińska-Domżał, A., Niemiec, S., Płoszaj, M., Lessner Listiakova, I., Stošić, J., Lisak, N. & Troshanska, J., 19 Mar 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conference typesPosterResearch

Southeastern Europe
Central Europe
Eastern Europe

Parent education for Macedonian families living with autism spectrum disorder: the ESIPP project

Preece, D. & Troshanska, J., Sep 2019, p. 425-435. 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to conference typesPaperResearchpeer-review

parent education
child benefit
2 Downloads (Pure)

The impact of ASD on Macedonian families and their experience of parent education

Troshanska, J., Trajkovski, V., Jurtoski, F. & Preece, D., 14 Apr 2019, In : Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation. 19, 3-4, p. 127-138 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
parent education
family member
Open Access

Activities 2016 2019

  • 4 Organising a conference or workshop
  • 3 Organising a training programme
  • 3 Oral presentation
  • 1 Participating in a conference or workshop

Parent education in autism: the ESIPP project

David Preece (Speaker)
18 Jun 2019

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


Living with Autism in Rural Coastal Areas of England

David Preece (Speaker), Ivana Lessner Listiakova (Speaker)
20 Jun 2019

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


ASD-EAST: Empowering Teachers to Work with Autism in Eastern Europe

David Preece (Speaker), Ivana Lessner Listiakova (Speaker)
20 Jun 2019

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


Cyprus Multiplier Event (ESIPP)

David Preece (Organiser)
21 Mar 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising a conference or workshopOrganising a conference or workshopResearch

Northampton Multiplier Event (ESIPP)

David Preece (Organiser)
28 Jun 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising a conference or workshopOrganising a conference or workshopResearch


Parent Education Training programmes

David Preece (Principal Investigator)

Impact: Public policy impacts, Quality of life impacts, Social impacts