Current Work

Employment & Developmental Disorders

We are currently recruiting parents of children and adolescents with diagnoses of ADHD or an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to take part in our study of how having a child with a developmental disorder affects parents' employment opportunities.

Little is known about how caring for a child with a developmental disorder might impact on parents' employment opportunities and decisions. This is an important issue that we believe has a huge emotional, physical as well as financial impact on families.

Last year, Dr Elisabeth Hill undertook some work to look at the employment experiences of parents of children with ASD. The results of this study can be found here.

In this current study, we would like parents to complete a short questionnaire and consider taking part in a short interview that can take place over the telephone or in person

We hope that this research will allow us to identify the employment-related issues that are most important to parents of children with developmental disorders.

If you would be interested in taking part in this study please email:

Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Higher Education

This is a new study set-up to investigate the experiences of students with an autism spectrum disorder attending university or some other higher education institution.

In the 1990ís there was an increase in the diagnoses made of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Those diagnosed in the 1990s are now approaching the end of their secondary and further education careers. Diagnoses of ASD are now occurring at a consistently earlier developmental stage, and it seems likely that the next few years will see an increase in students with ASD seeking places in Higher Education (HE).

We know that the majority of individuals with an ASD have a milder form of the disorder; for example, the number of children with a diagnosis of Aspergerís Syndrome is double that of the diagnoses of autism. While the main thrust of the literature on ASD has focused on individuals with more severe forms of the disorder, comparatively little attention has been paid to children and adolescents with milder forms of ASD. We have recently completed a study looking at the outcomes of students with ASD attending mainstream secondary schools and have observed that, on the whole, students do rather well and in a supportive school atmosphere.

Previous research looking at individuals with ASD in HE has indicated that some of these individuals have difficulties negotiating space within their universities, and due to the nature of their sensory difficulties find socialising in places like students unions and pubs a challenge. This study aims to collect information about individuals with ASD who are currently in HE, and discuss the effectiveness of current support strategies with a view to developing a more tailored support system with regard to both academic achievement and social development.

What we are doing We would like to invite higher education students who consider themselves to have a diagnosis of ASD to take part in this study of ASD in Higher Education

We will be asking questions on subjects including:

  • Diagnosis
  • Education
  • Exams and educational attainment
  • Decision to apply for HE
  • Support
  • How you are getting along on your course

These questions can be asked during a face-to-face interview, over the telephone or by email. There are also some questionnaires that you can complete online or on paper. The questionnaires can be found here.

Primary School Bullying: Identifying bullying behaviours

This project aims to outline some of the behaviours associated with both direct bullying (hitting, name-calling etc) and indirect bullying (making up rumours about people, leaving people out etc). We have been working with local primary schools to investigate how children who are involved in these sorts of behaviours understand other peopleís thoughts and feelings. MSc student in Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience, Yanoula Constantinou has also been looking at self-esteem profiles of these children. We will soon be uploading information about the findings from this study.

Evaluation of a novel intervention for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD)

We are working with a specialist primary school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties in order to evaluate a new intervention programme aimed at developing prosocial behaviours and emotion understanding. We have recently completed the first year of this study, and information about the preliminary findings will be available shortly.

Goldsmiths Learning and Teaching Fellowship

In March 2010, I was awarded a Goldsmiths Learning and Teaching Fellowship to create some animations to aid the teaching of undergraduate biological psychology. These animations are currently in production and will be available on the website in the coming months.