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Current PhD students

 


Danielle Adams

Email: Danielle.Adams@warwick.ac.uk

My PhD will focus on following up on the quality of life of people with intellectual disability who have undergone a programme of deprescribing of psychotropic medicines which were prescribed for the management of behaviour that challenges in the absence of a documented mental health diagnosis. This links in with the NHS England STOMP campaign which was developed following the Winterbourne View report together with other evidence demonstrating the overprescribing of these medicines in people with intellectual disability.

 


Shahad Alarifi

Email: Shahad.Alarifi@warwick.ac.uk

My PhD will focus on the function-based interventions for children with intellectual disability in early childhood. I will identify the prevalence of challenging behaviour in children with intellectual disability in mainstream and special school settings in Saudi Arabia.

   


Nouf Alatifi

Email: Nouf.Alatifi@warwick.ac.uk

My PhD is to understand further the implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in early intervention. I will focus on special education teachers, who are working in early years settings in special education schools and mainstream schools in Saudi Arabia.

Lorena  


Lorena Beqiraj

Email: Lorena.Beqiraj@warwick.ac.uk

The main focus of my PhD research will be on the implementation and outcomes of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) for pupils with Intellectual Disabilities and/or Autism in special education settings. Positive Behaviour Support is a multicomponent framework that combines evidence-based behaviour management with evidence-based teaching and learning strategies to help pupils reach their potential. The research project is in collaboration with the Ambitious about Autism charity and will employ a mixed methods design. More specifically, the Ambitious about Autism services will be used as case studies, with evaluation focused on quantitative data collection and qualitative research with stakeholders. Additionally, I will conduct further studies of school-wide PBS implementation in various special education contexts, and gather larger scale survey data to inform policy-influencing and uptake of PBS models across the UK.

   


Francis Davis

Email: francis.davis@warwick.ac.uk

 


Hatice Gundeslioglu

Email: Hatice.Gundeslioglu@warwick.ac.uk

The aim of my PhD research is to adapt FASST items for use with children particularly girls. FASST is an autism screening tool currently being developed to diagnose the condition in young adult females. My work will focus on adapting this tool for use with children by engaging the parents of girls with autism.

 


Olivia Hewitt

Email: olivia.hewitt@warwick.ac.uk

I am a clinical psychologist and am completing my PhD at CEDAR through an NIHR Clinical Doctoral Fellowship. My PhD focuses on using a co-production methodology with people with intellectual disabilities to design and test a mental imagery intervention for people with intellectual disabilities and anxiety. The project has a strong qualitative component, and I am looking forward to analysing both verbal and visual data using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). I'm fortunate to have three highly experienced supervisors working with me: Professor Peter Langdon is based at CEDAR, Professor Craig Steel is based at the University of Oxford and has expertise in mental imagery interventions, and Dr Michael Larkin works at Aston University and is an expert in qualitative methodologies.
 


Olivia Kurzeja

Email: Olivia.Kurzeja@warwick.ac.uk 

The focus of my research is teaching reading comprehension to young people with a learning disability and/or autism. I initially plan to explore what the empirical evidence tells us about strategies for teaching reading comprehension by completing a systematic review of the current literature. I will also conduct a survey with UK teachers to investigate how schools are currently teaching this skill and the challenges they face. I will then review the processes involved in reading comprehension in order to identify the strategies that are successful in improving comprehension and what areas require further development and research.

 


Wenyuan Liu

Email: Wenyuan.Liu@warwick.ac.uk 

I am a Monash Warwick Alliance PhD student from China mainland. My broad academic interests focus on how individual, interpersonal and social contextual risk and protective factors influence behavioural and mental health of children with autism spectrum disorder and their parents’ well-being, and how resilience in both children and parents can be promoted particularly via evidence-based interventions. Based on Monash Warwick joint PhD programme, my doctoral study aims to investigate patterns, pathways and classes of developmental trajectories of autism child emotional and behavioural characteristics and their parental well-being, as well as reciprocal relationships between child and parental adjustments. It will also examine the over-time effects of protective parenting cognitions and practices on studied relationships. Secondary analysis of longitudinal data from existing national datasets in both Australia and the United Kingdom with latent variable modelling and relevant statistical techniques will be conducted to achieve such research goals.

Jane Margetson  

Jane Margetson

Email: J.Margetson@warwick.ac.uk

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).

 Caitlin Murray  


Caitlin Murray

Email: C.Murray.7@warwick.ac.uk

My PhD focuses on the family context for children with learning disabilities, particularly focused on autism and Down’s syndrome. I am interested in the wellbeing and mental health of children with autism and/or learning disabilities, and will be drawing on the Cerebra 1,000 Families Study to explore these areas. I am also working with Suzi on the Support in the Early Years Study.

   

Gemma Nicholls

Email: G.nicholls.1@warwick.ac.uk

 

Atiyya Nisar

Email: Atiyya.Nisar@warwick.ac.uk

The focus of my PhD is to explore initiatives to improve pupil well-being in North Wales schools. I will investigate the use of evidence-based well-being interventions in North Wales schools, and factors relating to the successful implementation of such interventions. The research is in partnership with GwE, the Regional School Effectiveness and Improvement Service for North Wales.

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Andreas Paris

Email: A.Paris.1@warwick.ac.uk

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.

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Louise Rixon

Email: L.Rixon@warwick.ac.uk

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.

Ronaldo  


Ronaldo Luis Rodas Jara

Email: Ronaldo-Luis.Rodas-Jara@warwick.ac.uk

I am a full time PhD student from Yhú, Paraguay. The purpose of my PhD research is to investigate the effectiveness of numeracy and literacy interventions for students with developmental and intellectual disabilities in low income countries. My research will analyze the factors that contribute to interventions to be effective, particularly in low income countries. I also plan to explore evidence based practices for students with intellectual disabilities to examine the implication of the application of evidence based practices at mainstream schools.

 


Tammy Rutter

Email: Tammy.Rutter@warwick.ac.uk 

My PhD will explore families' experiences of pre-natal testing for Down Syndrome and is a collaborative project with the family-led charity Down Syndrome UK. In the context of the current roll-out of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing, we are seeking to develop evidence relating to the information and support that is provided to prospective parents at all stages of the genetic testing pathway - and the impact that these experiences can have on families. As well as reviewing international literature, I will survey UK parents about their experiences, expanding on work initiated by Down Syndrome UK.

As a background to this, I will also be reviewing international evidence relating to the psychological wellbeing and parenting experiences of parents of children with Down Syndrome.
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Suzi Sapiets

Email: Suzi.Sapiets@warwick.ac.uk

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.

 

Daniel Sutherland

Email: Daniel.Sutherland@warwick.ac.uk 

I am a first-year full time PhD student. My research will be investigating family systems interventions for families of children with developmental disabilities. I will be conducting a review of existing interventions and a feasibility trial for a new family intervention aiming to improve family relationships and wellbeing.

 

Katherine Tapp

Email: Katherine.Tapp@warwick.ac.uk 

My PhD will focus on the development and feasibility of attentional bias modification training with adults who have intellectual disabilities. The hope is that this will be an effective intervention for individuals experiencing mental health conditions within this population. This project is in collaboration with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust.

 


Caitlin Williams

Email: Caitlin.Williams.7@warwick.ac.uk

I am a full time first year PhD student working under the supervision of Professor Richard Hastings and Dr Tom Bailey. My PhD will focus on exploring well-being in families of children with intellectual disabilities overtime. My PhD will involve collecting and working with longitudinal data collected as part of the Cerebra 1000 Families Study.