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Sensorimotor features in Autism
  1. Tim Nicholson
  1. Tim Nicholson is a Clinical Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London, UK


Tim Nicholson is a Reader in Neuropsychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London where he leads the Neuropsychiatry Research and Education Group. He is an Honorary Consultant Neuropsychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust where he currently runs a Long COVID clinic focusing on neuropsychiatric complications.

His clinical work and research covers the full spectrum of neuropsychiatry, but with a particular interest in Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) and immunopsychiatry. More recently he has focused on both the acute and chronic neuropsychiatric sequelae of COVID-19 including leading the psychiatry reporting system of the Coronerve surveillance study, the neuropsychiatry working group of the COVID-CNS project and the PC-COS study developing a Core Outcome Set for Long COVID. At the start of the pandemic he set up a weekly JNNP blog to rapidly collate and summarise the rapidly emerging data on the neuropsychiatric complications of COVID that has developed into – a dynamic and expanding group of clinicians and scientists of all levels and backgrounds interested in neuropsychiatry research and education specialising in online distributed teamwork producing large and high impact systematic reviews and meta-analyses as well as increasing education activities such as a trainee led online journal club.

He also has a particular interest in psychopharmacology and wrote 6 editions of the practical prescribing guide Pocket Prescriber. He co-edits the specialist version of this book (Pocket Prescriber Psychiatry, Rogers et al) produced in collaboration with the British Association of Psychopharmacology, the 2nd edition of which is scheduled to be published later this year. He is on the executive committee of the RCPsych Neuropsychiatry Faculty, the BNPA, Chair of the MSc in Clinical Neuropsychiatry at the IoPPN and a council member of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine.

Abstract A wide range of complex sensorimotor features are a common yet relatively overlooked aspect of autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Most clinical and research attention is understandably on social and cognitive function in ASD. I will give an overview of what we know about these sensorimotor features in terms of the range of clinical features and the potential mechanisms underlying them. I will argue that these features deserve more research attention which could not only lead to a greater understanding and better management of the full range of distressing and disabling symptoms experienced by people with ASD, but also potentially provide insights into both broader brain function and dysfunction and the aetiology and management of disorders with which ASD may overlap and/or commonly co-occur with including functional as well as organic disorders.

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