Credits and acknowledgements

LEANS resource pack credits and acknowledgements

Please cite the full LEANS resource pack and the LEANS teacher handbook as follows: 

Alcorn, A.M., Fletcher-Watson, S., McGeown, S., Murray, F., Aitken, D., Peacock, L.J.J., & Mandy, W. (2022). Learning About Neurodiversity at School: A resource pack for primary school teachers and pupils. University of Edinburgh.

Development and evaluation of the LEANS resource pack was funded by the following sources  

  • The Salvesen Mindroom Research Centre (SMRC) Scientific Advisory Board 
  • Autistica 
  • University of Edinburgh College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Research Adaptation Fund 
  • University of Edinburgh College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Knowledge Exchange and Impact Grants 

The LEANS research team (alphabetical order) 

  • Dr Alyssa M. Alcorn, Researcher, Salvesen Mindroom Research Centre (SMRC), University of Edinburgh 
  • Dr Dinah Aitken, Head of Outreach, Salvesen Mindroom Centre 
  • Fergus Murray, Consultant and educator; Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh (AMASE) 
  • Liam J. J. Peacock, LEANS youth research representative 
  • Dr Sarah McGeown, Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology, Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor Sue Fletcher-Watson, Personal Chair of Developmental Psychology and director of the Salvesen Mindroom Research Centre (SMRC), University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor William Mandy, Professor of Neurodevelopmental Conditions, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London 

The LEANS educator participatory design team (alphabetical order) 

Team members chose to be credited as follows: 

  • Amy Nic Thaidhg, Primary school teacher  
  • Chris Rigby, Director of SEND for Outwood Grange Academy Trust (England)  
  • Erin Marie Tschiderer, Classroom Teacher (England) 
  • Fiona McBryde 
  • Joan McDonald (Posautive), Autism Trainer/Teacher (Ireland) 
  • Kate Bradley, SEND Consultant  
  • Kirsten Duncan, Class teacher/Support for Learning teacher (Scotland) 
  • Sarah Douglas, Neurodivergent former primary autism LSA (England) 

LEANS illustration  

Claire Hubbard (@emseeitch) 

Graphic design and layout for teacher handbook 

Craig Nicol 

LEANS website construction 

Emma Wilson 

Additional authors of teacher handbook and downloadable resource content 

  • Part 2, section 2 “A primer on brains and information processing”: Dr Bérengère G. Digard 
  • Unit 3, ambiguous scene scripts (printable handouts): Dr Ben Fletcher-Watson 
  • Unit 3, silent film synopses (printable handout): Professor Helen Pain 
  • Recommended reading list for teachers: Fergus Murray 

LEANS videos 

  • Illustration: Claire Hubbard (@emseeitch) 
  • Narrator: Gemma McLean 
  • Video scripts: Dr Alyssa M. Alcorn, Professor Sue Fletcher-Watson, and members of the LEANS participatory design team 
  • Video design and production: Dr Alyssa M. Alcorn 

LEANS story content 

Dr Alyssa M. Alcorn, Professor Sue Fletcher-Watson 

With many thanks to the participatory design team members and the children who contributed ideas and gave story feedback—especially the children in our evaluation studies!

Additional resource content (available online) 

“Community-suggested neurodiversity resources” (list):

Many thanks to the all the community members who suggested resources for versions 1 and 2 of this list through our online form in 2020-2021 and 2022-23, and to Holly Sutherland, Reesha Zahir, Bonny Hazelwood, Dr Bérengère G. Digard, and LEANS team members for their help in checking and formatting the submissions, and writing list text.

List of support organisations for young people and families:  

  • Marie-Clare MacAskill, Family Outreach Specialist, Salvesen Mindroom Centre 
  • Michael Sinclair, Senior Family Outreach Specialist, Salvesen Mindroom Centre 

With thanks to all others who contributed suggestions! 

Additional contributors to the resource development process 

Community consultation study lead: Reesha Zahir, University of Edinburgh 

Diversity consultation study lead: Reesha Zahir, University of Edinburgh 

Pilot testing and feedback: Matthew Crane, Emma Crane, Dr Laura Crane, Minny Fletcher-Watson, Hedda Fletcher-Watson, Liam J. J. Peacock, and Jessica Moore. 


Many thanks to all of the education professionals, school leaders, trainee teachers, and community members who participated in our consultation and feedback studies, and all those who informally offered feedback along the way. 

We would also like to thank the following people who gave further help and support at different parts of the LEANS resource development process and associated studies:   

Susan Davidson, Research Co-ordinator at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh; The team at the Salvesen Mindroom Centre; University of Edinburgh copyright enquiries service; Reesha Zahir, Rebekah Smikle, Lewis Montgomery, Jessica Moore, Dr Bérengère G. Digard, Bonny Hazelwood, Peng Wang, Heba Al-Jayoosi. 


Finally, a very special thank-you to the schools, educators, and families who participated in the 2021 LEANS evaluation study. You showed great commitment in being part of this study at a difficult time for all schools, and we are profoundly grateful for the role you have played in bringing the best version of the LEANS resources to the public. 

Logos for LEANS, The University of Edinburgh, Salvesen Mindroom Centre, Salvesen Mindroom Research Centre, UCL and Autistica