Stevenage Girls’ School
BSc (hons) Psychology, MA Child Psychology, PhD Child Health
Westminster Children’s Hospital, University of Liverpool, University of Manchester
Professor of Developmental Disorders
I joined City University of London in 2005 and I am now Professor of Developmental Disorders.
I trained as a psychologist completing a BSc Hons in Psychology (Hertfordshire) and an MA in Clinical Child Psychology (Nottingham), before then completing a PhD in Child Health (Liverpool).
I have been researching childhood language and communication difficulties for around 20 years. I previously worked for 10 years at The University of Manchester and I am joint-investigator on The Manchester Language Study, which is the largest UK longitudinal study of developmental language impairment. I am also interested in autism, ADHD, emotional difficulties and in how children with these difficulties cope and thrive in the classroom.
My Typical Day:
A mix of teaching students training to be Speech and Language Therapists, analysing data, writing papers and grant bids, being a personal tutor, supervising PhD students and lots of emails and admin!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Enthusiastic ; Problem-solving ; Determined
What did you want to be after you left school?
A teacher or an educational psychologist (or a dancer, but that was never going to happen!)
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Only very occasionally. Once we hid a friend from another class in a cupboard and she made ghost noises. The teacher didn't find it as funny as we did...
Who is your favourite singer or band?
At the moment, probably Sia. But can't beat Dire Straits, Queen and ABBA for some original classics
What's your favourite food?
What topics do you work on?
Developmental Language Disorder (DLD); Autism (ASD); Other areas of atypical language; ADHD; Executive function and memory in atypical language learners; Emotional wellbeing; Assessing children and adolescents; How teenagers with difficulties access the classroom curriculum; Longterm effects of communication difficulties and of low birth weight.
What methods do you use?
Who was your favourite teacher?
My English Language teacher who taught me that teachers were real people!
Me and my work
I am a developmental psychologist interested in communication, language and thinking skills, especially in children, adolescents and adults with developmental disorders and other atypical language groups. The link between language and thinking, as well as long term effects of early difficulties are topics that I investigate.
A mix of teaching students who are training to be Speech and Language Therapists, analysing data, writing papers and grant bids, being a personal tutor, supervising PhD students and lots of emails and admin!