I am a Professor of Paediatric Neurodisability, and a Consultant Neurodisability Paediatrician. I have expertise in neurodevelopmental disorders, and complex disability, including the diagnosis and clinical management of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
My clinical work is for two local NHS Trusts: At Northumberland Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust I work in the Complex Neurodevelopmental Disorder Service (Regional Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis, management and intervention service). I lead multidisciplinary assessments of children referred with a question relating to the autism spectrum (possible ASD diagnosis, advice about an aspect of ASD). At the Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust I lead the multidisciplinary Regional (Tertiary) Dysphagia/Feeding clinical team, which undertakes assessments of children with swallowing problems and gives advice on future eating and drinking
In the Complex Neurodevelopmental Disorders service we see children to address questions around ASD diagnosis and management. Please note children referred to this service must have been referred to us by a child health professional, and a local team ASD assessment must have been completed before we can consider assessments of children; children should remain under local team care during our assessments. For more details, please see: https://www.cntw.nhs.uk/services/complex-neurodevelopmental-disorders-service-cnds-outreach-day-service-children-young-people-newcastle/.
Within CNDS, I lead the intervention programme for situation specific anxiety, fear and phobia for children with ASD – ‘the Newcastle Blue Room treatment’. Further information can be found here: https://www.cntw.nhs.uk/content/uploads/2017/05/NTW-Services-Brochure-The-Blue-Room-CNDS-V2-July-2017.pdf
I also work at Newcastle University, where I co lead the neurodevelopment and disability research group: https://research.ncl.ac.uk/neurodisability/ourstudies/. I have wide-ranging research interests in the Neurodisability field, including investigating the neurobiological basis of disabilities, carrying out interventions studies to reduce the impact of disability and undertaking research into clinical service delivery.
Current national committee roles
• Member of the Executive Committee of the British Academy of Childhood Disability (2007-present)
• Chair of the British Academy of Childhood Disability Strategic Research Group (2012-present)
• Member, the NIHR Paediatric Neurosciences Clinical Study Group (2013-present)
• Member of the British Paediatric Neurology Association Research Committee (2013-present)
• Trustee for the Castang Foundation charity
Previous national committee roles
• Co-Chair of the Research Autism Scientific Advisory Committee (2012-17)
• Expert adviser to The National Autism Project (2015-17)
November 2006 – May 2009
Consultant and Honorary Senior Lecturer, Pediatric Neurodisability, Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Institute of Child Health, London.
September 2008 – May 2009
Senior Academic Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Pediatrician University of Oxford and Oxford Children’s Hospital.