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School of Education and Professional Studies

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My research aims to help parents, teachers and anyone working with young people with disabilities to better understand challenging or difficult behaviour and how to reduce it or its impact

Dr Dawn Adams is a Senior Lecturer in the Autism Centre of Excellence Education at the School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University.  She completed her undergraduate and PhD at the University of Birmingham, UK, before moving to Southampton University (UK) to complete her Clinical Psychology Doctorate.  Dawn has also completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Paediatric Neuropsychology at the University College London.



Dr Dawn Adams

School of Education and Professional Studies

Senior Lecturer in the Autism Centre of Excellence

Fields of Expertise

  • Autism
  • Childhood Behaviour
  • Clinical Psychology/Neuropsychology
  • Development Disabilities and Genetic Syndromes
  • Mental Health

Speeches, Seminars and Presentations

Dawn has a passion for translating research findings out in to the real world, so each year she delivers workshops to more than 100 parents of children with autism and PD to more than 200 teachers and professionals in her areas of speciality, which include autism, behaviour and mental health (with a particular focus on anxiety).

Dawn is regularly invited to present nationally and internationally. She is a passionate speaker who tailors her delivery to parent, teacher and/or academic audiences. Her combination of clinical and research experiences means that she is able to detail the most up-to-date research findings and apply this knowledge into real-life examples though case studies or descriptions.

Industry Experience

Dawn has worked with a range of parent support groups, helping them with their research priorities, feeding back results to parent conferences and providing research overviews in lay language. She was part of a team funded by Cerebra, a charity dedicated to helping families with children with brain conditions. Dawn has also provided consultation and training to private and public psychology services and schools on areas of their interest, including mental health, specific learning disabilities, understanding behaviour and helping each child to reach their potential.

Research Expertise

Dawn is a registered Clinical Psychologist in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and has a strong belief in translating research into clinical practice.  To support this, she was awarded a five-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship by the National Institute of Health Research for a program of research into challenging behaviour in children (including those with Autism and those with rare genetic syndromes) and its impact on family members and others working with the child. Examples of Dawn’s research highlights include: 

  • · (2018). Parent descriptions of the presentation and management of anxiousness in children on the autism spectrum. Autism, 1–13.
  • · (2018). School-related anxiety symptomatology in a community sample of primary-school-aged children on the autism spectrum. Journal of School Psychology, 70, 64–73.
  • · (2018). Mental Health and Well-Being in Mothers of Children With Rare Genetic Syndromes Showing Chronic Challenging Behavior: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Study. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 123(3), 241–253.
  • · (2017). Coping strategies in mothers of children with intellectual disabilities showing multiple forms of challenging behaviour: associations with maternal mental health. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 1–19

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