In 2013 I obtained my BSc in Psychology from the University of East Anglia and subsequently gained extensive experience working with children and young people who are autistic and/or have intellectual (learning) disabilities in a range of clinical, educational and community settings. This experience sparked my passion to conduct research to improve quality of life for autistic people and people with intellectual disabilities, their families, and those that support them. I began my PhD at the University of Warwick in 2017, researching barriers and facilitators of access to early years support for children who are autistic and/or have intellectual and developmental disabilities. Alongside my PhD, I have conducted research on early intervention for autistic children, 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 addition to my professional/research experience, I have lived experience of neurodevelopmental conditions and mental health. I am autistic (late diagnosed) and have experienced mental health issues since childhood. I also have two siblings who are autistic and one sibling who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). My research interests include neurodevelopmental conditions, primarily autism and intellectual disabilities, improving access to support, service accessibility, early intervention, mental health and well-being, and positive behavioural support.
In her debut blog, Suzi Sapiets summarises a review exploring psychological treatment of depression in young people with neurodevelopmental conditions, which finds very limited evidence to help neurodiverse individuals. She also tells us that it’s time to #EmbraceComplexity and encourages people to join the Embracing Complexity Research Network.[read the full story...]