On education, health and care plans and the English policy for supporting children with disabilities
With funding from the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust, as well as from the Froebel Trust, I led a serious of studies providing unique evidence on the challenges of the new policy for special educational needs and disability provision in England. In particular, my studies are the first to provide evidence on the nature of the content of more than 250 Education Health and Care plans produced between 2015 and 2018 in England.
On Autism (educational assessment and intervention)
One of my main areas of interest and research is Autism education. I have been involved in various studies (including my own PhD), which provided evidence on effective approaches and tools for assessing and intervening with children with Autism in educational settings, in various age ranges. I systematically linked several standardised developmental measures with the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF; WHO, 2007) as a basis for establishing what is essential in assessing functioning and participation in everyday life for young children with Autism.
One of my doctoral students has looked at the perceptions of young people with Autism in relation to employment and further education and examined how these views were being put into practice in the statutory documents.
On the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
My approach to education for children with disabilities is that of full inclusion whenever possible, with a focus on holistic, multidisciplinary and participation-centred strategies. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health has proven very useful in supporting such approaches and has been considered by the World Health Organisation as a gold standard for classifying disability. My studies look at applications of the ICF for the educational assessment and intervention with children with disabilities.
On children’s well-being
The socio-emotional health and wellbeing of both typical and atypical children is a priority of the educational agenda today. My research in this area aims to contribute to enhance the range of tools that can be used in educational contexts for early detection of mental health vulnerability.
On early childhood education and care
The individual, social and economic advantages of early childhood intervention have been well proven. My research in this area aims to support educational settings in equipping themselves with the strategies and approaches that are most effective for promoting early learning and engagement.