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University of Gothenburg
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Gunilla Westman Andersson


- PhD in Medical Science
- Master’s degree in Special Education
- Senior Lecturer in Special Education


Research interests

- The diagnostic process of young children with ESSENCE problems, focusing primarily on the special education perspective
- Support to parents and teachers
- Gender aspects and ESSENCE
- Special educational support in preschool/school for children/students with ESSENCE problems (Read more about observation of children in preschool setting)



Gunilla is currently working as a senior lecturer at the Department of Education and Special education (IPS) at the University of Gothenburg. She teaches basic and advanced university courses on ESSENCE, as well as courses at both the special education programme and the preschool teacher programme. She is also part of a research group (from IPS) assigned by the Swedish National Agency of Education to evaluate the level of special education training provided to Swedish schools. She gives lectures in different contexts outside the university, and has participated at many conferences both in Sweden and in other countries.

Gunilla started her career as a preschool teacher in different kinds of preschool settings. (In Sweden, preschool is provided for children from 1-5 years of age). After she finished her special education training, she spent a number of years working in different kinds of educational institutions as well as in child and adolescent habilitation services. Between 2001 and 2017, Gunilla worked at the Child Neuropsychiatry Clinic (CNC) in Gothenburg with assessments of children and adolescents with neuropsychiatric disorders (ESSENCE). During that time, she also finished her PhD at the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre (GNC). She also contributed to the project: ”Interventions for young children with autism: knowledge, method development and intervention from a participatory perspective”. This led to the development of parent and preschool teacher training (concerning young children with autism), which is now included in the clinical routine at the CNC. This project was financed by the Swedish Inheritance Fund Commission (Arvsfonden), and the project managers were Carmela Miniscalco and Björn Kadesjö.

Gunilla’s thesis focused on assessment, diagnostic and gender aspects, and the experiences of parents in conjunction with assessment of small children.

A postdoc was conducted at the GNC focusing on parent/ teacher support and education.



ESSENCE | autism | preschool | specialeduation | parent support | supervision | teachers | observation



- Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Science
- Degree of Master of Science in Special Education
- University Diploma in Special Education
- University Certificate in Nursery and Infant Education



Swedish | English



E-mail: gunilla.andersson@gu.se


Blog entries by Gunilla Westman Andersson

Gunilla is part of the Gillberg’s blog panel. Below are the links to her blog posts.

Siblings of children with autism – heroes with needs of their own  [12th February 2019]

Hey kid!!! [12th June  2018]

Special educators in health care services – YES PLEASE! [3rd October 2017]

“Together we are strong”… or perhaps just on our own? [25th April 2017]






Page Manager: Anna Spyrou|Last update: 10/22/2019

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