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Peter Vermeulen
Jude Mortell

Tuesday 09 June 2020

The importance of happiness and wellbeing in autism education

Earlier this year Ambitious about Autism invited renowned autism expert Peter Vermeulen to speak at our staff conference. Dr Vermeulen has worked with autistic people and their families for more than 30 years and is the founder of “Autism in Context”, where he encourages attention to be focused not just on behaviour but on thinking, experiences and opportunities. 

Watch this interview with Peter Vermeulen recorded at our staff conference to find out more about his research and philosophy on autism and happiness.   


At our staff conference, he spoke to our team about the importance of focusing on happiness and wellbeing when working with autistic people and bridging the gap between neurodiversity and ‘neuroharmony’.  

Understanding and measuring the quality of life of children and young people with autism is at the heart of our educational approach at Ambitious about Autism.  

Research suggests that around 70% of young people with autism experience mental health issues and that the majority experience trauma whilst growing up. This is why it’s so important to place emotional well-being and quality of life at the centre of autism-specific educational approaches.  

Our Ambitious Approach has been developed to support emotional well-being and to attend to young people’s physical and emotional needs. 


About the author  

Jude Mortell is an educational psychologist and Head of Integrated Services at Ambitious about Autism.