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Professor Gary Mesibov has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from The University of Northampton during Summer Graduation Ceremonies today (19 July 2011).

Professor Mesibov was recognized for his outstanding contribution over more than 30 years to the understanding and support of children and young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Professor Mesibov’s work as a clinician and academic has influenced change in support for countless children, not only in the USA but internationally. After being presented for his Award by Professor Richard Rose of the University’s School of Education, Professor Mesibov commented: “I’ve worked with so many wonderful people at The University of Northampton. It would be difficult to find a more talented and professional group of people. “I’ve been lucky enough to work with colleagues across many institutions, starting with my education at Brandeis University, Stanford University and The University of Michigan. All have helped me cross the bridge from academia into touching the lives of so many people.“

People often don’t appreciate the pressures and stress involved for families coping with a young person on the Autistic Spectrum. A key challenge for the future is developing and training people who fully understand the disorder. “Developing staff who sufficiently understand Autism is absolutely vital. Training these people, along with further research into special educational needs is an important focus for both myself, and The University of Northampton.”

Professor Mesibov’s Honorary Fellowship was presented as part of the Summer Ceremonies taking place this week (19 – 22 July) at The University of Northampton, during which time 3,532 students will be graduating.