Research areas

  • BF Psychology - Developmental Psychology, Autism, Fragile X Syndrome, Atypical Development

Area of research expertise - Outline

  • Visuo-spatial hierarchical processing in children with autism and fragile X syndrome
  • Cognitive developmental trajectories of children with autism and fragile X syndrome
  • The role of drawing and communication in children with autism and fragile X syndrome
  • Perceptual – action miscouplings of older adults with fragile X syndrome and autism
  • Teachers and carers awareness of developmental disabilities

Current research activities.

I am involved in a number of projects looking at links between emotion recognition, theory of mind and communicative drawings in children with autism. This research looks at facilitating effective communication strategies in children with ASDs. Other projects that I am involved in are; the use of the ownership paradigm to investigate the sense of self in children with autism and cross-cultural differences in autism awareness in mainstream school teachers. Additionally, in collaboration with Strathclyde and Heriot Watt Universities I am currently working on a grant through the Dunhill Medical Trust looking at perceptuo-motor calibration of older adults with Fragile X Syndrome and Autism. Through this research we are looking at applied ways to improve the quality of life of older adults with these conditions.

Desired research direction.

I aim to continue and extend my work in looking at factors that affect individuals with fragile X syndrome and autism across the lifespan, which manifest themselves predominantly from visuo-spatial processing biases.

Other areas of Expertise available for knowledge exchange.

Transitions for children with ASD and fragile X syndrome

Work with carers that support children and adults with additional needs

Overview

I graduated with a PhD from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2010, looking at visuo-spatial hierarchical processing biases of children with typical and atypical development. I then took on a postdoctoral position at Glasgow Caledonian looking at links between mood and diet in middle aged men. Shortly thereafter, I joined Heriot Watt University as a teaching fellow and Edinburgh University as a lecturer in the department of education. In August 2014 I took on a lectureship at the University of the West of Scotland.

My teaching interests lie in the areas of atypical child development, biological psychology and research methods.

My research interests lie in the area of atypical lifespan development. I have secured funding through the Scottish International Education Trust and The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland in order to investigate processing biases in children with autism and fragile X syndrome. I am currently furthering my work in this area and collaborating with Strathclyde, Heriot Watt and Edinburgh Universities.

Target Collaborative Companies (National, International, up to 3).

Companies and organisations that provide support to families with developmental disabilities

Target Collaborative Organisations (National, International, up to 3).

Education and health care providers for children and adults with fragile X syndrome and/or ASD.

Research output

  1. Assessment of knowledge about ASD among mainstream teachers in the UK and China: What factors affect awareness?

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  2. Expressive Drawing Ability, Emotion Recognition and Theory of Mind in Children with ASD

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  3. Level of functioning and symptom severity in autism is associated with self-processing ability.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

View all (32) »

Activities

  1. Meet the Expert: An eye-tracking exploration of how children see the world.

    Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition

  2. Too much detail, or not enough? How do children with Fragile X process visual information?

    Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation

View all (2) »

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