Lorna Wing Research Network

lorna wing 2

Raising awareness about dimensional approaches to diagnosis

What are we doing?

We are developing a research network that foregrounds the approach taken by the late Dr Lorna Wing 1928-2014. Lorna Wing was a child psychiatrist who first began writing about a dimensional approach to diagnosis 30 years ago. Lorna Wing described the continuum of autism features and the breadth of variation in behaviour and development in individuals across the autism spectrum. She identified overlapping features of behaviour seen in different neurodevelopmental diagnoses. She was the first person to use the term ‘autistic spectrum’ and was the first to write about Asperger syndrome.

Who is involved? Who are we?

Lorna Wing with her colleague Dr Judith Gould and research colleagues (Prof Sue Leekam and team) published The Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO). This is a clinical interview tool that is used in both clinical practice and in research and supports the broader approach to the spectrum.  http://www.autismrpphub.org/sites/default/files/resources/disco_encyclopedia.pdf [http://orca.cf.ac.uk/35517/]

Researchers and clinicians are working together to help to set up the new research network. This new research network will help to consolidate and promote research using the DISCO but the aim of the network is to go beyond the DISCO. The research focus of the Lorna Wing Research Network will be to study dimensional concepts of autism.

Our most recent collaborative research publications include members of Cardiff University (Professor Sue Leekam)  the Lorna Wing Centre (Dr Judith Gould), KU Leuven University (Professor Ilse Noens and Dr Jarymke Maljaars, Dr Liz O’Nions), Aston University (Dr Sarah Carrington), Leiden University (Prof Ina van Berckelaer-Onnes), Newcastle University (Prof Ann Le Couteur) and Institute of Psychiatry (Dr Rachel Kent).

Where have we got to so far?

You can read about the research using the DISCO by members of this team and download their articles here http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/warc/research/dsm-5-asd-summary/. We are developing other new research projects and new DISCO training initiatives. We will share news of these developments on the website during 2017.

The Lorna Wing Centre

The Lorna Wing Centre provides diagnostic services for autism and related conditions


and training




Diagnostic Services in Wales
This link provides a directory of services in Wales