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Personal profile

Area of academic 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


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

Companies and organisations that provide support to families with developmental disabilities

Target collaborative organisations

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


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

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Carrie Ballantyne is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 1 Similar Profiles
Aptitude Medicine & Life Sciences
Fragile X Syndrome Medicine & Life Sciences
Autistic Disorder Medicine & Life Sciences
Theory of Mind Medicine & Life Sciences
Emotions Medicine & Life Sciences
Ownership Medicine & Life Sciences
Ego Medicine & Life Sciences
Self Concept Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2004 2018

1 Downloads (Pure)

The I in autism: severity and social functioning in autism is related to self-processing

Gillespie-Smith, K., Ballantyne, C., Branigan, H. P., Turk, D. J. & Cunningham, S., 1 Mar 2018, In : British Journal of Developmental Psychology. 36, 1, p. 127–141

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Autistic Disorder

An eye-tracking study on the impact of scene complexity and task engagement on attention allocation in children with autism

Gillespie-Smith, K., Ballantyne, C., McGuire, A., Hancock, P. J. B., Doherty-Sneddon, G. & Riby, D., 30 Aug 2017.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Bringing methods into focus: how task demand and scene complexity drives attention allocation in autism

Gillespie-Smith, K., Doherty-Sneddon, G., Ballantyne, C. & Hancock, P., 18 Dec 2017.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

Autistic Disorder
Fragile X Syndrome
Theory of Mind

Perceptuo-motor calibration of older adults with fragile X syndrome and autism

Ballantyne, C., Potter, L. & Grealy, M., 14 Mar 2017.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Fragile X Syndrome
Autistic Disorder
Independent Living
Biomechanical Phenomena

Activities 2016 2019

  • 1 Types of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition
  • 1 Types of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation
  • 1 Oral presentation

Inclusion and ASD: Perceived Barriers in the Classroom

Carrie Ballantyne (Speaker), Claire Wilson (Speaker), Karri Gillespie-Smith (Speaker)
28 Mar 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation

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

Karri Gillespie-Smith (Contributor), Carrie Ballantyne (Contributor)
23 Jul 201727 Jul 2017

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

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

Carrie Ballantyne (Interviewee)
13 Apr 2016

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