Empathy in Girls with Autism

Tamara Jeffrey Anne Danique

In January 2017, our research intern from Germany, Anne Bülow, started a special project within the Focus on Emotions lab (in collaboration with Laura Hull and Felicity Sedgewick, UCL, London, UK): empathy in girls with autism. Anne managed to create a team for the time-consuming task of coding hours and hours of video materials in which girls and boys, with and without autism, witnessed how the experimenter hurt herself. After two months, Anne, Danique, Jeffrey and Tamara finished their last meeting, and all codings are now entered in spss, ready to be analysed. The first outcomes of a pilot study on these data will be presented next week (24 March) at the National Autism Congress in Rotterdam.

Tamara Lorenz, Jeffrey Binnekamp, Anne Bülow,     
and Danique Willems (from left to right)           

Data Collection Completed!


What are the longitudinal effects of a Developmental Language Disorder (the new consensus name for Language Impairment) on social-emotional functioning of children and adolescents? And when are children with DLD vulnerable for the development of psychopathology? A total of 152 children with DLD or a combined diagnosis of DLD and Autism Spectrum Disorder were followed up in their social-emotional development over the course of 2.5 years. Finally, all data are collected and we can make a start to answer these important questions. 



Designing A Smart City Together


How can we make clever use of new technologies to improve quality of life in cities? The answer is in the NL Smart City Strategy, which our prime minister Mark Rutte officially received on January 25th. Three professors from Leiden University - Carolien Rieffe, Joost Kok and Wessel Kraaij - gave advice.

You can read the complete news item here (in Dutch) or here (in English)





Who are we?

Left to right: Naqi Dahamat Azam, Tirza van der Straaten, Neeltje van den Bedem, Thijs Jansen, Anouk Netten, Wendy van Vlerken, Carolien Rieffe, Mariska Kret (Cognitive Psychology), Marieke Bos, Rosemarij van Veen, Yung-Ting Tsou, Evelien Broekhof, Boya Li
Group picture 2016 crop2

Our team is located at the department of Developmental Psychology of Leiden University in the Netherlands. We work in close collaboration with the Dutch Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Child (NSDSK), the ENT department of the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), and the Centre for Autism.Our group is dedicated to examining the emotional development of children and adolescents of all walks of life. We have a strong focus on the functionality of emotions, and its impact on children's social development. Besides typically developing children and adolescents, we are interested in the development of those with hearing impairments, with autism spectrum disorders, or with specific language impairments.

On this site we regularly post news items about new publications, events, and so on. You can also read more about our ongoing projects, read about and download questionnaires we have developed, see an overview of our publications per topic, or read about opportunities for students to join our team.






Pre-university course on emotions

LAPP Top Naqi

The LAPP-Top pre-university course started at the end of January. The top students from high schools receive lectures on typical and atypical emotional development during the 6-week course. We are happy to provoke some thoughts in these students and to see them being intesrested in scientific research!

Talk by Rens van de Schoot


Thursday Jan 26th Rens van de Schoot (Utrecht University) visited our lab to talk about Bayesian statistics. An important advantage of Bayesian over the traditional approach is that smaller sample sizes are required, which is very relevant to our work on children in clinical groups. Rens gave an excellent kick start into this new world of possibilities. For anyone interested, check out his website.

Lecture in Birmingham

EvelienB Birminham Jan2017

This Monday (9 January), Evelien Broekhof gave a lecture for a Hearing Impairment programme at the University of Birmingham, UK. The programme is designed for teachers of the deaf. Evelien's session, Learning emotions in children and adolescents with hearing loss, focused on the emotional competence in DHH group. The lecture was very well-received. In the picture, Evelien is with programme leader Dr. Emmanouela Terlektsi (right) and co-coordinator Angela Wootten (left).