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Personal profile

Biography

  • BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Edinburgh, 1997
  • PhD, University of Edinburgh, 2001

I took a degree in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh, then a PhD on the Son-Rise Program intervention for autism, focusing in particular on prerequisites for evaluation and family experiences. After completing my PhD I worked for 3 years as a research fellow on an MRC-funded project studying socio-cognitive development in typically developing children and in children with developmental disabilities such as Down's syndrome and fragile X syndrome. This project focused on two areas in particular - children's developing understanding of emotional expressions and the use of collaborative learning for children with developmental disabilities. In 2004 I began a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, researching the experiences and adjustment of siblings of children with autism in families using Applied Behavior Analysis home-based interventions. Since 2005 I have been a lecturer in Developmental Psychology in the School of Education, lecturing in child development on undergraduate and postgraduate courses. With colleagues from other Scottish Universities I also co-organise the Scottish Autism Research Group - an interdisciplinary group of academic researchers, postgraduate students and practitioners involved in research into autism spectrum disorders.

Current Research Interests

  • Development of social cognition in children with developmental disabilities (Down's syndrome, fragile X syndrome and autism)
  • Development of emotion recognition ability in children with developmental disabilities
  • Adjustment and experiences of siblings of children with autism
  • Home-based interventions for autism

I am keen to supervise research in the areas listed above. I also currently supervise doctoral students in the following areas:

Collaborative Activity

Current and recent research

  • Experiences of Disabled Students in Initial Teacher Education. With Dr G Macleod (University of Edinburgh)
    2006-2007 (DTRF)
  • Interventions for Autism: Effects on Siblings
    2004-2006 (Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship)
  • Collaborative Learning for Children with Learning Disabilities. With Prof J G Wishart (University of Edinburgh) & Ms D S Willis (Napier University)
    2005 -ongoing (Down's Syndrome Scotland)
  • An Integrated View of Research on Autism: From Theory to Practice. Scottish Autism Research Group seminar series. With Dr E McGregor (University of Edinburgh), Dr M Núñez (Glasgow Caledonian University) & Dr J Gómez (University of St Andrews)
    2005-2007 (ESRC Seminar Grant)
  • An Integrated View of Research on Autism: Bringing Together Neurocognitive, Clinical/Diagnostic and Educational Processes. Scottish Autism Research Group seminar series. With Dr E McGregor (University of Edinburgh), Dr M Núñez (Glasgow Caledonian University) & Dr J Gómez (University of St Andrews)
    2002-2004 (Scottish Hospital Endowments Research Trust; University of Edinburgh Development Trust; British Psychological Society)

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