Peter started his career in the field of autism by coincidence. He needed a job, there was a job vacancy at the Flemish autism society, Peter did the job interview, gave nothing but wrong answers about autism…and got the job.
Two weeks later Peter participated in one of the first TEACCH trainings in Belgium delivered by Gary Mesibov. During that training, Peter realised he knew even less about autism than he thought. And that was the start of his never ending search for answers to all the relevant questions in autism that Peter receives from parents, professionals and people who have a autism diagnosis.
Since that job interview, more than 30 years have passed. Peter had the chance of meeting many hundreds of people with autism and working with them and the people around them. Peter learned a lot from all these people, but he also learned a lot from the autism teachers he was lucky to have. Amongst them: Gary Mesibov, Ina van Berckelaer-Onnes, Theo Peeters, Uta Frith, Lorna Wing. And Peter never stopped reading academic articles and publications about autism, although he is unable to read the 15 papers that are daily being published about autism.
With these 30 years of experience in autism spectrum disorders, many people have started to call Peter ‘an autism expert’.
As such, Peter has been an invited speaker at Trinity University (Dublin, Ireland), University of Birmingham (UK), Rijksuniversiteit Leiden (The Netherlands), Glasgow University (UK), Stellenbosch University (Cape Town), New York University (USA).
Peter works together with many organisations and people all over the world. Just to name a few:
- Carol Gray (look at the book she’s holding on the website of Carol’s Club!)
- Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism (Autism CRC), Australia
- ASD Nest Support Program of New York University Steinhardt (Aaron Lanou & Lauren Hough)
- Studio III and Atlass, UK, Scandinavia, Canada and the rest of the world (Andy McDonnell, Michael McCreadie, Bo Hejlskov Elven and colleagues)
- AsIAm, Ireland (Adam Harris)