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Current PhD students


Danielle Adams

Email: Danielle dot Adams at warwick dot ac dot 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.


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.


Lorena Beqiraj


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.


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.

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).

 Caitlin Murray  

Caitlin Murray


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.


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.


Ronaldo Luis Rodas Jara


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.


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.


Eurwen Williams

Eurwen dot Williams at warwick dot ac dot uk

For my PhD I will be looking into school based mental health and wellbeing interventions. This project will take place primarily in North Wales schools and is in collaboration with GwE the School Effectiveness and Improvement Service for North Wales.