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post-Doctoral researchers


Millie Blandford-Elliott is a Post Doc Researcher with SF-DDARIN based at Bangor University, North Wales. Her doctoral research involved the implementation of School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) in mainstream primary schools in Wales. In 2013 Millie graduated with a first-class degree in Psychology and Childhood Studies from Bangor University. She then went on to earn a MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis as part of the Atlantis project, which included studying and an internship in Warsaw, California, and Bangor. In 2018 Millie qualified as a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. Since then she has been supervising students working in a foundation phase resource base for pupils with emotional, social and behavioural problems. Here the focus has been on building behaviour repertoires to allow the pupils to be successful when transitioning back to their schools, through targeting skill deficits, both social and academic. Millie’s research interests include SWPBS, classroom behaviour management and teacher training, and ABA in Pupil Referral Units (PRU).



Bernie Kirkpatrick is a Post Doc Researcher with SF-DDARIN. Upon completing her PhD in Behaviour Analytic Techniques, she started working as a Research Fellow in the School of Psychology at the National University of Ireland Galway. During her time at NUIG Bernie conducted extensive research into the development of Assistive Technology to support behaviour analytical sleep interventions for children with Autism and she also lectured on the MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis. In 2010, Bernie obtained her MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis and her applied practice focused on supporting children and young people with an Intellectual Disability to develop independent behavioural repertoires to enhance daily functioning. Prior to this she worked for 16 years with the Education Authority implementing early interventions based on Behavioural Psychology to promote social inclusion and inclusive education for children with Autism. Her research interests include Behaviour Analytic interventions to promote social inclusion, educational attainment, and the use of Assistive Technology to promote effective educational and quality of life outcomes.

Selected publications

Kirkpatrick, B., Gilroy, S. P., & Leader, G. (2019). Qualitative study on parents’ perspectives of the familial impact of living with a child with autism spectrum disorder who experiences insomnia. Sleep Medicine, 62, 59-68.

Kirkpatrick, B., Louw, J. S., & Leader, G. (2019). Efficacy of parent training incorporated in behavioral sleep interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder and/or intellectual disabilities: a systematic review. Sleep Medicine, 53, 141-152.

Mannion, A., White, K., Porter, E., Louw, J., Kirkpatrick, B., Gilroy, S. P., & Leader, G. (2019). Psychosis. In Handbook of Intellectual Disabilities (pp. 869-893). Springer, Cham.

Louw, J. S., Kirkpatrick, B., & Leader, G. (2020). Enhancing social inclusion of young adults with intellectual disabilities: A systematic review of original empirical studies. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 33(5), 793-807.

Suzi Sapiets is a Post Doc Researcher with SF-DDARIN based at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent. Suzi is currently finishing her PhD exploring access to early years support and early intervention for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research (CEDAR), University of Warwick. Alongside her PhD, Suzi has conducted research on early intervention for children with autism, the use and impact of restrictive interventions in schools, gathering the views of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with behaviour described as challenging, and embracing complexity in research across neurodevelopmental conditions and mental health. In 2013, Suzi obtained her BSc in Psychology from the University of East Anglia and subsequently gained extensive experience working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a range of clinical, educational and community settings. This experience sparked Suzi’s passion to conduct research to improve quality of life for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and those that support them. Suzi’s research interests include improving access to support, early intervention, mental health and well-being, and positive behavioural support across the lifespan.

Selected publications

Scott, S. J., Totsika, V., & Hastings, R. P. (2019). Barriers and facilitators of access to early intervention for families with children with developmental disabilities [Conference presentation abstract]. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 63(7), 740. 

Scott, S. J., Denne, L. D., & Hastings, R. P. (2018). Developing a logic model to guide evaluation of impact for learning disability projects: the case of the PBS Academy. Tizard Learning Disability Review, 23(3), 125-132. 

Scott, S. J., Denne, L. D., & Hastings, R. P. (2018). Assessing the impact of the PBS Academy: An internet survey. International Journal of Positive Behavioural Support, 8(1), 28-37.