More deaf or hard of hearing children participate in Portugal

July 19th, 2021

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After a mandatory pause due to the pandemic, testing has begun again in Portugal. Through close and active collaboration with Dr. Herédio Sousa (Hospital Dona Estefânia) and Dra. Luísa Monteiro (Hospital Lusíadas Lisboa), it was possible to select more children at the ENT departments who meet the criteria to participate in our project on social inclusion at the playground. Many parents were enthusiastic to participate with their deaf or hard-of-hearing child. Soon, PhD student Brenda who coordinates this project in Portugal will start testing again.


2nd Webinar on Chinese deaf or hard-of-hearing children

June 21st, 2021

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On June 18th, the 2nd webinar (click here to read about the 1st webinar) was successfully held between the Focus on Emotions Lab and the China Rehabilitation Research Center for Hearing and Speech Impairment (CRRCHSI). This was a bilingual webinar given in both English and Chinese. Since the completion of the 2nd wave of data collection in March, the centre was eager to discuss current outcomes, future collaboration, and the utility of the social emotional testing battery. 

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HERE: Black in Rembrandt’s time

May 26th, 2021

“HERE: Black in Rembrandt’s time” in virtual reality (VR); Carolien was at the VR lab at Twente University, where Claudia could demonstrate her progress on the virtual museum for the Rembrandthuis. Read more about "HERE: Black in Rembrandt's time" and Musea Bekennen Kleur.

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Fotocredit: Rembrandthuis.nl

A is for Autism Awareness

April 2nd, 2021

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April is World Autism Acceptance Month, and April 2nd marks International Autism Awareness Day. First designated by the United Nations back in 2008, every year, this is the time to promote public awareness and acceptance of autism and the different phenotypes in males and females; and also address global efforts on research and activities enhancing acceptance of the diversity within Autism, thus defying stereotypes. Click here to read a blog on autistic high schoolers and how they may utilise “weak ties” socially; and click here to find out how autistic students can find safe spaces at school. These articles reveal how autistic students can navigate social inclusion in the school environment, taking into account the huge diversity of social goals within the population.

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Recent & Upcoming Events

June 18th 2021, 10.00-12.00 CET: 2nd Webinar for Chinese DHH Children's Social-Emotional Development (听损儿童社会情绪机能与发展)


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April 15th: Kids First Congress

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March 19th: National Autism Congress

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Play in Portuguese preschool children with hearing loss

March 26th, 2021


March 25, Brenda presented at the International Congress of Early Childhood Outdoor Practices on play in Portuguese preschool children with hearing loss in mainstream or special schools. 

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Social Inclusion Workshop

March 19th, 2021

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March 19th, at the 20th National Autism Congress, Carolien presented a workshop on social inclusion for pupils with autism. Focus was on issues that pupils with autism had identified during focus group meetings. Their input is essential in developing “autism-welcome” schools.

Welcome to our new PhD candidate Jiayin Zhao

February 17th, 2021

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Jiayin received her China Government Scholarship (CSC) in 2020 and started in our lab January 2021. She will be under the supervision of Carolien and Boya. Jiayin’s thesis focuses on social-emotional functioning in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Congratulations Jiayin and welcome.

Who are we?

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Our team is located at the department of Developmental Psychology of Leiden University and at the Human Media Interaction at the technical University of Twente, both in the Netherlands. We work in close collaboration with the ENT department of the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), the mental health organisations INTER-PSY (Groningen) and Curium-LUMC, the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS), and TU Delft. Our group is dedicated to examining the development of emotional intelligence of children and adolescents from a very young age; with a strong focus on its impact on children's social development. Besides typically developing children and adolescents, we are interested in the development of those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH), with autism, or with a Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). Currently, we have an ongoing project on social inclusion at schools that utilises sensor technology with DHH and autistic children. Since 2017, our team has also been working in close collaboration with a centre for DHH children in China.

On this site we will post regular news items about new publications, events, and other important news. You can also read more about our ongoing projects, read about/download questionnaires we have developed, peruse the list of our publications per topic, or learn about opportunities for students to join our team.