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Current PhD students


Barah Alallawi


My PhD is focusing on the support needs of Arabic families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) living in the UK. I am also working in collaboration with Calthorpe Academy in Birmingham to evaluate an intervention to teach numeracy skills to pupils with ASD (including Arabic pupils). Additionally, I will translate the numeracy intervention into the Arabic language to conduct a pilot evaluation with Arabic speaking children with ASD.


Magda Apanasionok


My PhD will focus on evaluating interventions to teach numeracy and science to children with Intellectual Disability. I will work in collaboration with Calthorpe Academy in Birmingham to investigate current practice in special school setting and to extend and develop research evidence on teaching of numeracy and science to pupils with Intellectual Disability.


Nikita Hayden


The predominant focus of my PhD research will be to explore the educational and psychological outcomes of siblings of children with intellectual (learning) disability/autism. Throughout the project I will be working collaboratively with Sibs - a charity which helps siblings of disabled children to access information and support. I will be approaching the research using mixed methods: analysing quantitative data, conducting qualitative interviews, and evaluating aspects of Sibs’ school-based interventions.


Mikeda Jess


My PhD will focus on data obtained from a large scale survey study of 1,000 families of children with intellectual disabilities (including autism). I am investigating the role of maternal positivity in relation to their child with either an Intellectual Disability (ID) or Autism. I will also explore the implications of maternal positivity on maternal well-being and the well-being of the child with ID or Autism.


Emma Langley


I am working on the Cerebra 1,000 Families study, a large scale survey study of families of children with intellectual disabilities (including autism). My research questions relate to family systems, looking at how the well-being of different family members may be related to or dependent on others’ well-being. I am particularly interested in exploring the psychological adjustment of fathers and the behaviour and emotional welfare of siblings.

Jane Margetson  

Jane Margetson


The focus of my PhD is to further understand the risk and protective factors for behavioural and emotional problems in children with developmental disabilities across a wide age range (between 4 and 15 years 11 months of age) in a large sample study (1000 families).


Andreas Paris


For my PhD I will be looking into the implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in special education settings in the UK.
I will focus on special education staff training on EBPs and on the analysis of information regarding the barriers to implementation in special education settings with learners with autism and/or intellectual disabilities. This will enable the identification and compilation of potential contextual variables that may affect EBPs implementation in general but may also provide data/reasons for the difficulties in implementing more specific EBPs, such as the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Different factors of the system's implementation will thus be investigated, including pre-requisite or pre-session environmental and contextual factors, common mistakes during implementation, common implementation difficulties, and core components and knowledge of the protocol.


Louise Rixon


My PhD will examine the siblings of children with severe to profound autism, focusing on sibling resilience and whether
this differs depending on the nature and severity of the autism. I will be studying part-time at CEDAR.


Suzi Scott


The purpose of my PhD research is to improve access to early intervention and support for young children with intellectual (learning) disabilities and/or autism. My research will focus on exploring the factors associated with access to early intervention followed by designing and evaluating an intervention to facilitate access and enhance outcomes of early intervention. The research is in collaboration with charities Cerebra, Mencap and Ambitious about Autism.


Michelle Underwood


The focus of my PhD is to develop a model of support for children starting mainstream school. This is aimed at children with
developmental delay who are missing essential school readiness skills and involves small group teaching which is then generalised across classroom and home settings. I currently work for the Centre for Behaviour Solutions in a
Wiltshire-based clinic. The company directors are co-supervisors on this project