Tonico Deodato’s project investigates the influence of social motivation on the social impairments present in children with ASD through observation of their helping and cooperative behavioural tendencies.
Investigating Behavioural Tendencies: Breaking the Wall of Autism Research
University of Namibia
A registered student psychologist wrapping up his Honors degree in Clinical Psychology, Tonico is an early career scientist with a passion for bettering humanity. He has secured an internship from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology for 2023 and is currently being mentored by Dr Roman Stengelin, a post-doctoral researcher at the institute’s department of comparative cultural psychology. A humanitarian at heart, Tonico has volunteered for various charity organisations that care for and assist children with disabilities. He is currently conducting a study on the assessment of stress, stigma, and family quality of life of caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). He won Falling Walls Lab Namibia for his plans to conduct the first internationally funded study on ASD in his home country of Namibia. The experimental study will focus on testing the generalizability of the Social Motivation Theory of Autism within the Namibian context.