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Personal profile



Having worked in biochemical research for a short period of time, Penelope Hannant’s career began as a class teacher progressing very quickly to senior management and ultimately headship, where she became an outstanding headteacher. During her 18 years in education she became specifically interested in how children learn and how to support any difficulties and so became a specialist teacher working in the autism outreach team, in addition to widening her skills as a speech, language and communication specialist and a specific learning difficulties assessor. Her interest led her to take further qualifications in both psychology and counselling and so her academic career began. She is now currently working as a research associate at Coventry University and also lectures on Special Educational Needs at the University of Birmingham, whilst contiuing to assess and support children in schools.


Area of Expertise:

Penelope has expertise in both Education and Psychology. Her area of specialism is child development impacting on education and learning.

Research Interests

Sensorimotor development / Autism Spectrum Conditions / Developmental Coordination Disorder

Vision Statement


My primary research explores the relationship between sensorimotor development and the severity of symptoms in Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC). I am interested in both the psychological and biological basis of sensorimotor control. I am currently working on an intervention that may help alleviate some of the sensorimotor difficulties in autism, in addition to conducting research that explores similarities and differences between ASC and other movement disorders, such as Developmental Coordination Disorder.


External positions

Lecturer, University of Birmingham

1 Aug 2015 → …

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Autistic Disorder Medicine & Life Sciences
Motor Skills Disorders Medicine & Life Sciences
Apraxias Medicine & Life Sciences
Visual Perception Medicine & Life Sciences
Feasibility Studies Medicine & Life Sciences
Tea Medicine & Life Sciences
Language Medicine & Life Sciences
gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2016 2019

  • 36 Citations
  • 4 h-Index
  • 6 Article
  • 1 Commissioned report

A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised-designed GABA tea study in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Conditions: A feasibility study

Hannant, P., Joyce, A., Cassidy, S. & Renshaw, D., 21 Feb 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Nutritional Neuroscience. (In-Press), p. (In-Press)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Feasibility Studies
Autistic Disorder
gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
Visual Perception
Autistic Disorder
Psychomotor Performance
4 Citations (Scopus)

Sensory and Motor Differences in Autism Spectrum Conditions and Developmental Coordination Disorder in Children: A Cross-Syndrome Study

Hannant, P., Cassidy, S., Van de Weyer, R. & Mooncey, S., 12 Mar 2018, In : Human Movement Science.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Motor Skills Disorders
Autistic Disorder
Vision Disorders
Oculocerebral hypopigmentation syndrome type Preus

SEN support: A rapid evidence assessment

Carroll, J., Bradley, L., Crawford, H., Hannant, P., Johnson, H. & Thompson, A., Jul 2017, UK Government (Home Office). 106 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Open Access
6 Citations (Scopus)

Dyspraxia and autistic traits in adults with and without autism spectrum conditions

Cassidy, S., Hannant, P., Tassavoli, T., Allison, C., Smith, P. & Baron-Cohen, S., 25 Nov 2016, In : Molecular Autism. 7, 1, 48.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Autistic Disorder
Motor Skills

Activities 2015 2015

  • 1 Participation in conference

International Meeting for Autism Research 2015

Penny Hannant (Speaker)
13 May 201516 May 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference