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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

In 2016 Dawn delivered a lecture on “Identification of behavioural risk markers for challenging behaviour in very young children with intellectual disabilities” to the British Academy of Childhood Disability, which is part of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom 

In 2014 Dawn led a workshop which focused on “challenging behaviour and parental stress in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities” to the department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota (US).

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: 

  • Service use and access in young children with an intellectual disability or global developmental delay: Associations with challenging behaviour. 

Year: 2016                                                            Journal: Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability

  • Age related change in social behaviour in children with Angelman syndrome

Year: 2011                                                             Journal: American Journal of Medical Genetics

  • Is the diagnosis of a genetic disorder important for children with intellectual disability?

Year: 2012                                                             Research Partner: Cerebra 

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