• Room 02.003 - 6 College Green

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

20142022

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Research Statement

The focus of my doctoral research was on improving the happiness and quality of life of young autistic children by encouraging their self-determination. I am particularly interested in how behavioural indicators of mood can be evaluated as quality of life measures during interventions for individuals with disabilities. My findings to date have suggested that individualized mood indicators can be operationally defined and reliably measured among young autistic children. I also found that their individualized indices of happiness can be improved through child-centered approaches. As a future research avenue, I would be interested in further validating these mood indices through physiological measures.

My current research is focused on improving the quality of care for individuals who are receiving behavioural and/or special education services. Along with my colleague from Dublin City University, I was recently awarded seed funding from the Standing Conference on Teacher Education, North and South (SCoTENS). By using inclusive participatory methods, we aim to compare the perspectives of the autistic community with those of educators working directly with autistic learners in Ireland. In turn, we will be making recommendations for educators so that their practice may better align with autistic people’s wants and needs. Through this research project, we hope to reduce the use of pathologizing and stigmatizing language within educational settings and improve individual education planning for autistic learners.

I have a strong commitment to research, as I believe the dissemination of behaviour analysis can help to improve the quality of life of individuals with and without disabilities around the world. I have acted as lead author or co-author for seven peer-reviewed journal articles and four book chapters. My papers have been published in high-impact and respected journals such as Behaviour Analysis in Practice, the Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, and the Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. This publication record has given me a certain level of expertise in single-subject research methodology and systematic literature reviews.

In addition to this, I have been invited to act as a peer reviewer for several key journals within the field. I also continue to maintain a close connection with the greater behaviour analytic community, as I am a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Division of Behaviour Analysis Ireland, Psychological Society of Ireland, and the U.K. Society for Behaviour Analysis.

I am actively supervising master’s students within the Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (MScABA) program here at Queen’s University Belfast, as well as Trinity College Dublin. I have supervised many different research projects, but my research interests lie in the following areas: (a) improving services for the autistic community by centering autistic voices; (b) measuring indices of happiness and unhappiness as quality of life indicators; (c) improving the psychosexual development of adolescents on the autism spectrum; (d) naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions; (e) the use of telehealth for parent and learner support; (f) technology-based instruction and virtual reality, and (g) variations of functional analysis procedures to support the development of appropriate interventions. I am open to supervising research projects in any of these areas, but my focus remains on improving the quality of life of individuals with disabilities and their caregivers.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

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