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Dr Jill Pluquailec PhD, MA, BA (Hons), FHEA, PGCTLHE

Senior Lecturer in Autism


Jill is a researcher with a keen interest in the everyday experiences of disabled children and their families. She comes from a background of educational research and critical disability studies.


My research involves work with disabled children and their families. I work in family homes, schools, playgrounds and allotments to name a few, gathering and reflecting on stories of what everyday life looks like, and feels like, for children with a label of autism in the UK today. I work with methods of embodiment, sensory ethnography and narratives to develop stories with families about their everyday experiences. My work sits within social justice, the social, cultural and political constructions of autism, and the development of more diverse ways we can move towards honouring difference in all aspects of life. Although situated within education, much of my work is transdisciplinary drawing heavily on sociology and critical disability studies.

I am a member of the SHU Disability Research Forum and the Equality and Social Justice Research Group.

Course Leader MA Autism Spectrum

Leading, teaching and tutoring on MA Autism Spectrum

Module leading, teaching and tutoring on undergraduate elective modules in autism and challenging behaviour as part of BA Childhood Studies and BA Early Childhood Studies

Tutoring for Postgraduate Certificate in Autism and Asperger's Syndrome

Teaching on BA Education Studies & BA Education, Psychology and Counselling 

Disability, social justice, autism, education


Department of Education, Childhood and Inclusion

Social Sciences and Arts




MA Autism Spectrum

MA Education

BA Education Studies

BA Education

Psychology and Counselling

BA Childhood Studies/Early Childhood Studies


Principal Investigator: 'The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on young autistic people's educational experiences' funded by SHU Creating Knowledge 2020 

Co-investigator: 'Beers, Burgers + Bleach: Hygiene, toilets, and hospitality in the time of COVID-19' More information available: 

Co-Investigator AHRC Connected Communities project 'Arts, Architecture, Activism & Access: Taking Around the Toilet to New Spaces' More information available:  

What does it mean to be disabled and growing older? August 2018


Journal articles

Pluquailec, J. (2018). Affective economies, autism, and ‘challenging behaviour’: socio-spatial emotions in disabled children’s education. Emotion, Space and Society.

Smith, J.C. (2016). The embodied becoming of autism and childhood: a storytelling methodology. Disability and Society, 31 (2), 180-191.

Book chapters

Pluquailec, J. (2018). Thinking and Doing Consent and Advocacy in Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies Research. In Runswick-Cole, K., Curran, T., & Liddiard, K. (Eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of Disabled Children’s Childhood Studies. (pp. 213-228). Springer:


Pluquailec, J. (2018). What does it mean to be disabled and growing older?: project report 2018. Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University.

Other activities

Invited: ESRC Seminar Series: Shaping Autism Research, Edinburgh, June 2015, ‘Autism and Play: a challenge to challenging behaviour’

Invited: Exploring Play, University of Sheffield, October 2014,‘Play and Disability: what disability can offer our understanding of play’

Critical Autism Studies Conference, London Southbank University
June 2017
'Challenging 'challenging behaviour' and how it sticks to autistic children's bodies in school spaces'

International Conference on Critical Education, Middlesex University, August 2016, 'Inhabiting Risky Spaces of the Dis/Child: The Un/Desirability of the Disabled Schoolchild' Abstract available:

Children and Childhoods International Conference 2015, University Campus Suffolk, July 2015, ‘Imagining otherwise for/of autism, childhood, and dis/ability'

Discourse, Power, Resistance 2015, Goldsmiths, London, April 2015, ‘Bad habits’? How disabled children’s bodies challenge inclusive practitioners' Abstract available:

Invited: Exploring Play, University of Sheffield, October 2014, ‘Play and Disability: what disability can offer our understanding of play’

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