Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson is a Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences
As a developmental psychologist I am interested in how children develop and learn, particularly those who have an autistic spectrum disorder. I am also interested in applying psychological research methods to answer questions that have clinical, educational and societal impact.
APPLYING PSYCHOLOGY METHODS TO CLINICAL AND EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES
One area of my research looks at how we can characterise the early abilities and difficulties of babies who have experienced adversity — such as being born prematurely — or who go on to receive a diagnosis of ASD.
The other strand of my work looks at how we can intervene to improve the lives of these babies and young children. This work mostly involves direct observation and assessment including eye-tracking.
It is within this latter area that I am particularly interested to see where technology, such as the use of iPads or tablets, can be used to benefit children. Specifically, I want to see if apps can be developed and then used as interventional and assessment tools.
I joined the University of Edinburgh with funding from the Nuffield Foundation to develop and evaluate an iPad app designed to promote social cognitive skills in preschool-aged children with autism spectrum disorder. The results of this app and its accompanying randomised controlled trial have been published.
Sue’s Blog: D.A.R.T