Professor Sue Leekam - BA (Open), DPhil (Sussex)

Professor

Research group:
Developmental & health psychology
Email:
LeekamSR@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44(0)29 2087 6604
Location:
Tower Building, Park Place

Research summary

I hold the Chair in Autism at Cardiff University and I am the Director of the Wales Autism Research Centre http://www.walesautismresearchcentre.com/. I am a developmental psychologist and I research the behavioural and cognitive factors that affect the onset and development of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). I use models of typical development to guide this work in areas of social and non-social attention, representational understanding and repetitive behaviours. I also carry out research with adults with ASD on impairments in perception and learning that may be the outcome of these earlier developmental difficulties.

My research also focuses on the clinical aspects of ASD. This and other research on the development, detection and diagnosis of ASD is part of a larger programme of work that links research with clinical practice and supports the Welsh Assembly Government’s Strategic Action Plan for ASD. See the Autism Research Policy Practice Hub for more information.

Selected publications (2008 onwards)

2016

Carrington, S. J., Uljarevic, M., Roberts, A., White, L. J., Morgan, L., Wimpory, D., Ramsden, C. and Leekam, S. R. (2016). Knowledge acquisition and research evidence in autism: researcher and practitioner perspectives and engagementResearch in Developmental Disabilities, 51-52, 126-134. (10.1016/j.ridd.2016.01.011) pdf

Leekam, S. R. (2016). Social cognitive impairment and autism: What are we trying to explain?Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences, 371(1686) (10.1098/rstb.2015.0082) pdf

Powell, G., Wass, S. V., Erichsen, J. T. and Leekam, S. R. (2016). First evidence of the feasibility of gaze-contingent attention training for school children with autismAutism (10.1177/1362361315617880) pdf

Winn, B., Gameiro, S., Shelton, K. H. and Leekam, S. R. (2016). Conflict management in couple relationships: the experiences of individuals with Asperger syndrome and their partners.Good Autism Practice pdf

2015

Barrett, S. L., Uljarevic, M., Baker, E. K., Richdale, A. L., Jones, C. R. G. and Leekam, S. R. (2015). The Adult Repetitive Behaviours Questionnaire-2 (RBQ-2A): A self-report measure of restricted and repetitive behavioursJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-13. (10.1007/s10803-015-2514-6) pdf

Carrington, S. J., Leekam, S. R., Kent, R. G., Maljaars, J., Gould, J., Wing, L., Le Couteur, A. and Van Berckelaer-Onnes, I. (2015). Signposting for diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO)Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 9, 45-52. (10.1016/j.rasd.2014.10.003) pdf

Uljarevic, M., Carrington, S. J. and Leekam, S. R. (2015). Brief Report: Effects of sensory sensitivity and intolerance of uncertainty on anxiety in mothers of children with Autism Spectrum DisorderJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46(1), 315-319. (10.1007/s10803-015-2557-8)

2014

Carrington, S. J., Kent, R. G., Maljaars, J., Le Couteur, A., Gould, J., Wing, L., Noens, I., Van Berckelaer-Onnes, I. and Leekam, S. R. (2014). DSM-5 Autism Spectrum Disorder: In search of essential behaviours for diagnosisResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(6), 701-715. (10.1016/j.rasd.2014.03.017) pdf

Iao, L. and Leekam, S. R. (2014). Non-specificity and theory of mind: New evidence from a non-verbal false-sign task and children with autism spectrum disorderJournal of Experimental Child Psychology, 122, 1-20. (10.1016/j.jecp.2013.11.017) pdf

Lidstone, J., Uljarevic, M., Kanaris, H., Mullis, J., Fasoli, L. and Leekam, S. R. (2014). Imitating the child with autism: A strategy for early intervention?Autism-Open Access, 4 (10.4172/2165-7890.1000124) pdf

Lidstone, J., Uljarevic, M., Sullivan, J., Rodgers, J., McConachie, H., Freeston, M., Le Couteur, A., Prior, M. and Leekam, S. R. (2014). Relations among restricted and repetitive behaviors, anxiety and sensory features in children with autism spectrum disordersResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(2), 82-92. (10.1016/j.rasd.2013.10.001) pdf

2013

Fletcher-Watson, S., Leekam, S. R. and Findlay, J. M. (2013). Social interest in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disordersFocus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 28(4), 222-229. (10.1177/1088357613480829)

Kent, R. G., Carrington, S. J., Le Couteur, A., Gould, J., Wing, L., Maljaars, J., Noens, I., van Berckelaer-Onnes, I. and Leekam, S. R. (2013). Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder: who will get a DSM-5 diagnosis?Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(11), 1242-1250. (10.1111/jcpp.12085) pdf

Kourkoulou, A., Kuhn, G., Findlay, J. M. and Leekam, S. R. (2013). Eye movement difficulties in Autism Spectrum Disorder: implications for implicit contextual learningAutism Research, 6(3), 177-189. (10.1002/aur.1274) pdf

Leekam, S. R. (2013). Diagnostic interview for social and communication disorders. In: Volkmar, F. ed. Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Berlin: Springer,

Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Arnott, B., Leekam, S. R. and de Rosnay, M. (2013). Mind-mindedness and theory of mind: Mediating roles of language and perspectival symbolic playChild Development, 84(5), 1777-1790. (10.1111/cdev.12061)

2012

Fletcher-Watson, S., Leekam, S. R., Connolly, B., Collis, J. M., Findlay, J. M., McConachie, H. and Rodgers, J. (2012). Attenuation of change blindness in children with autism spectrum disordersBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology, 30(3), 446-458. (10.1111/j.2044-835X.2011.02054.x)

Kourkoulou, A., Leekam, S. R. and Findlay, J. M. (2012). Implicit Learning of Local Context in Autism Spectrum DisorderJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(2), 244-256. (10.1007/s10803-011-1237-6)

Price, M., White, L. and Leekam, S. R. (2012). Engaging members of a community in research [Letter]Psychologist, 25(12), 865.

2011

Iao, L., Leekam, S. R., Perner, J. and McConachie, H. (2011). Further Evidence for Nonspecificity of Theory of Mind in Preschoolers: Training and Transferability in the Understanding of False Beliefs and False SignsJournal of Cognition and Development, 12(1), 56-79. (10.1080/15248372.2011.539523)

Kuhn, G., Tewson, L., Morpurgo, L., Freebody, S. F., Musil, A. S. and Leekam, S. R. (2011). Developmental changes in the control of saccadic eye movements in response to directional eye gaze and arrowsThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64(10), 1919-1929. (10.1080/17470218.2011.592592)

Leekam, S. R., Prior, M. R. and Uljarevic, M. (2011). Restricted and repetitive behaviors in autism spectrum disorders: A review of research in the last decadePsychological Bulletin, 137(4), 562-593. (10.1037/a0023341) pdf

Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Arnott, B., Vittorini, L., Turner, M., Leekam, S. R. and Parkinson, K. (2011). Individual Differences in Infants' Joint Attention Behaviors With Mother and a New Social PartnerInfancy, 16(6), 587-610. (10.1111/j.1532-7078.2010.00065.x)

Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Arnott, B., Turner, M. and Leekam, S. R. (2011). Mother- Versus Infant-Centered Correlates of Maternal Mind-Mindedness in the First Year of LifeInfancy, 16(2), 137-165. (10.1111/j.1532-7078.2010.00039.x)

2010

Arnott, B., McConachie, H., Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Couteur, A. L., Turner, M., Parkinson, K., Vittorini, L. and Leekam, S. R. (2010). The Frequency of Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors in a Community Sample of 15-Month-Old InfantsJournal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 31(3), 223-229. (10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181d5a2ad)

Kuhn, G., Benson, V., Fletcher-Watson, S., Kovshoff, H., McCormick, C. A., Kirkby, J. and Leekam, S. R. (2010). Eye movements affirm: automatic overt gaze and arrow cueing for typical adults and adults with autism spectrum disorderExperimental Brain Research, 201(2), 155-165. (10.1007/s00221-009-2019-7)

Kuhn, G., Kourkoulou, A. and Leekam, S. R. (2010). How magic changes our expectations about autismPsychological Science, 21(10), 1487-1493. (10.1177/0956797610383435)

Leekam, S. R., Solomon, T. L. and Teoh, Y. (2010). Adults' social cues facilitate young children's use of signs and symbolsDevelopmental Science, 13(1), 108-119. (10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00862.x)

2009

Fletcher-Watson, S., Leekam, S. R., Benson, V., Frank, M. C. and Findlay, J. M. (2009). Eye-movements reveal attention to social information in autism spectrum disorderNeuropsychologia, 47(1), 248-257. (10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.07.016)

Fletcher-Watson, S., Collis, J. M., Findlay, J. M. and Leekam, S. R. (2009). The development of change blindness: children's attentional priorities whilst viewing naturalistic scenesDevelopmental Science, 12(3), 438-445. (10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00784.x)

2008

Fletcher-Watson, S., Leekam, S. R., Findlay, J. M. and Stanton, E. C. (2008). Brief Report: Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Show Normal Attention to Eye-Gaze Information - Evidence from a New Change Blindness ParadigmJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(9), 1785-1790. (10.1007/s10803-008-0548-8)

Fletcher-Watson, S., Findlay, J. M., Leekam, S. R. and Benson, V. (2008). Rapid detection of person information in a naturalistic scenePerception, 37(4), 571-583. (10.1068/p5705) pdf

Kourkoulou, A., Findlay, J. M. and Leekam, S. R. (2008). Implicit memory of visual context is intact in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) [Abstract]Perception, 37(6), 961. (10.1068/pava08am)

Leekam, S. R., Perner, J., Healey, L. and Sewell, C. (2008). False signs and the non-specificity of theory of mind: evidence that preschoolers have general difficulties in understanding representationsBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology, 26(4), 485-497. (10.1348/026151007X260154)

Lopez, B., Leekam, S. R. and Arts, G. R. J. (2008). How central is central coherence?: Preliminary evidence on the link between conceptual and perceptual processing in children with autismAutism, 12(2), 159-171. (10.1177/1362361307086662)

Perner, J. and Leekam, S. R. (2008). The curious incident of the photo that was accused of being false: Issues of domain specificity in development, autism, and brain imagingThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61(1), 76-89. (10.1080/17470210701508756)

Full list of publications

2016

Carrington, S. J., Uljarevic, M., Roberts, A., White, L. J., Morgan, L., Wimpory, D., Ramsden, C. and Leekam, S. R. (2016). Knowledge acquisition and research evidence in autism: researcher and practitioner perspectives and engagementResearch in Developmental Disabilities, 51-52, 126-134. (10.1016/j.ridd.2016.01.011) pdf

Leekam, S. R. (2016). Social cognitive impairment and autism: What are we trying to explain?Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences, 371(1686) (10.1098/rstb.2015.0082) pdf

Powell, G., Wass, S. V., Erichsen, J. T. and Leekam, S. R. (2016). First evidence of the feasibility of gaze-contingent attention training for school children with autismAutism (10.1177/1362361315617880) pdf

Winn, B., Gameiro, S., Shelton, K. H. and Leekam, S. R. (2016). Conflict management in couple relationships: the experiences of individuals with Asperger syndrome and their partners.Good Autism Practice pdf

2015

Barrett, S. L., Uljarevic, M., Baker, E. K., Richdale, A. L., Jones, C. R. G. and Leekam, S. R. (2015). The Adult Repetitive Behaviours Questionnaire-2 (RBQ-2A): A self-report measure of restricted and repetitive behavioursJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-13. (10.1007/s10803-015-2514-6) pdf

Carrington, S. J., Leekam, S. R., Kent, R. G., Maljaars, J., Gould, J., Wing, L., Le Couteur, A. and Van Berckelaer-Onnes, I. (2015). Signposting for diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO)Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 9, 45-52. (10.1016/j.rasd.2014.10.003) pdf

Uljarevic, M., Carrington, S. J. and Leekam, S. R. (2015). Brief Report: Effects of sensory sensitivity and intolerance of uncertainty on anxiety in mothers of children with Autism Spectrum DisorderJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46(1), 315-319. (10.1007/s10803-015-2557-8)

2014

Carrington, S. J., Kent, R. G., Maljaars, J., Le Couteur, A., Gould, J., Wing, L., Noens, I., Van Berckelaer-Onnes, I. and Leekam, S. R. (2014). DSM-5 Autism Spectrum Disorder: In search of essential behaviours for diagnosisResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(6), 701-715. (10.1016/j.rasd.2014.03.017) pdf

Iao, L. and Leekam, S. R. (2014). Non-specificity and theory of mind: New evidence from a non-verbal false-sign task and children with autism spectrum disorderJournal of Experimental Child Psychology, 122, 1-20. (10.1016/j.jecp.2013.11.017) pdf

Lidstone, J., Uljarevic, M., Kanaris, H., Mullis, J., Fasoli, L. and Leekam, S. R. (2014). Imitating the child with autism: A strategy for early intervention?Autism-Open Access, 4 (10.4172/2165-7890.1000124) pdf

Lidstone, J., Uljarevic, M., Sullivan, J., Rodgers, J., McConachie, H., Freeston, M., Le Couteur, A., Prior, M. and Leekam, S. R. (2014). Relations among restricted and repetitive behaviors, anxiety and sensory features in children with autism spectrum disordersResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(2), 82-92. (10.1016/j.rasd.2013.10.001) pdf

2013

Fletcher-Watson, S., Leekam, S. R. and Findlay, J. M. (2013). Social interest in high-functioning adults with autism spectrum disordersFocus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 28(4), 222-229. (10.1177/1088357613480829)

Kent, R. G., Carrington, S. J., Le Couteur, A., Gould, J., Wing, L., Maljaars, J., Noens, I., van Berckelaer-Onnes, I. and Leekam, S. R. (2013). Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder: who will get a DSM-5 diagnosis?Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 54(11), 1242-1250. (10.1111/jcpp.12085) pdf

Kourkoulou, A., Kuhn, G., Findlay, J. M. and Leekam, S. R. (2013). Eye movement difficulties in Autism Spectrum Disorder: implications for implicit contextual learningAutism Research, 6(3), 177-189. (10.1002/aur.1274) pdf

Leekam, S. R. (2013). Diagnostic interview for social and communication disorders. In: Volkmar, F. ed. Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Berlin: Springer,

Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Arnott, B., Leekam, S. R. and de Rosnay, M. (2013). Mind-mindedness and theory of mind: Mediating roles of language and perspectival symbolic playChild Development, 84(5), 1777-1790. (10.1111/cdev.12061)

2012

Fletcher-Watson, S., Leekam, S. R., Connolly, B., Collis, J. M., Findlay, J. M., McConachie, H. and Rodgers, J. (2012). Attenuation of change blindness in children with autism spectrum disordersBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology, 30(3), 446-458. (10.1111/j.2044-835X.2011.02054.x)

Kourkoulou, A., Leekam, S. R. and Findlay, J. M. (2012). Implicit Learning of Local Context in Autism Spectrum DisorderJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42(2), 244-256. (10.1007/s10803-011-1237-6)

Price, M., White, L. and Leekam, S. R. (2012). Engaging members of a community in research [Letter]Psychologist, 25(12), 865.

2011

Iao, L., Leekam, S. R., Perner, J. and McConachie, H. (2011). Further Evidence for Nonspecificity of Theory of Mind in Preschoolers: Training and Transferability in the Understanding of False Beliefs and False SignsJournal of Cognition and Development, 12(1), 56-79. (10.1080/15248372.2011.539523)

Kuhn, G., Tewson, L., Morpurgo, L., Freebody, S. F., Musil, A. S. and Leekam, S. R. (2011). Developmental changes in the control of saccadic eye movements in response to directional eye gaze and arrowsThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 64(10), 1919-1929. (10.1080/17470218.2011.592592)

Leekam, S. R., Prior, M. R. and Uljarevic, M. (2011). Restricted and repetitive behaviors in autism spectrum disorders: A review of research in the last decadePsychological Bulletin, 137(4), 562-593. (10.1037/a0023341) pdf

Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Arnott, B., Vittorini, L., Turner, M., Leekam, S. R. and Parkinson, K. (2011). Individual Differences in Infants' Joint Attention Behaviors With Mother and a New Social PartnerInfancy, 16(6), 587-610. (10.1111/j.1532-7078.2010.00065.x)

Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Arnott, B., Turner, M. and Leekam, S. R. (2011). Mother- Versus Infant-Centered Correlates of Maternal Mind-Mindedness in the First Year of LifeInfancy, 16(2), 137-165. (10.1111/j.1532-7078.2010.00039.x)

2010

Arnott, B., McConachie, H., Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Couteur, A. L., Turner, M., Parkinson, K., Vittorini, L. and Leekam, S. R. (2010). The Frequency of Restricted and Repetitive Behaviors in a Community Sample of 15-Month-Old InfantsJournal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 31(3), 223-229. (10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181d5a2ad)

Kuhn, G., Benson, V., Fletcher-Watson, S., Kovshoff, H., McCormick, C. A., Kirkby, J. and Leekam, S. R. (2010). Eye movements affirm: automatic overt gaze and arrow cueing for typical adults and adults with autism spectrum disorderExperimental Brain Research, 201(2), 155-165. (10.1007/s00221-009-2019-7)

Kuhn, G., Kourkoulou, A. and Leekam, S. R. (2010). How magic changes our expectations about autismPsychological Science, 21(10), 1487-1493. (10.1177/0956797610383435)

Leekam, S. R., Solomon, T. L. and Teoh, Y. (2010). Adults' social cues facilitate young children's use of signs and symbolsDevelopmental Science, 13(1), 108-119. (10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00862.x)

2009

Fletcher-Watson, S., Leekam, S. R., Benson, V., Frank, M. C. and Findlay, J. M. (2009). Eye-movements reveal attention to social information in autism spectrum disorderNeuropsychologia, 47(1), 248-257. (10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.07.016)

Fletcher-Watson, S., Collis, J. M., Findlay, J. M. and Leekam, S. R. (2009). The development of change blindness: children's attentional priorities whilst viewing naturalistic scenesDevelopmental Science, 12(3), 438-445. (10.1111/j.1467-7687.2008.00784.x)

2008

Fletcher-Watson, S., Leekam, S. R., Findlay, J. M. and Stanton, E. C. (2008). Brief Report: Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Show Normal Attention to Eye-Gaze Information - Evidence from a New Change Blindness ParadigmJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(9), 1785-1790. (10.1007/s10803-008-0548-8)

Fletcher-Watson, S., Findlay, J. M., Leekam, S. R. and Benson, V. (2008). Rapid detection of person information in a naturalistic scenePerception, 37(4), 571-583. (10.1068/p5705) pdf

Kourkoulou, A., Findlay, J. M. and Leekam, S. R. (2008). Implicit memory of visual context is intact in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) [Abstract]Perception, 37(6), 961. (10.1068/pava08am)

Leekam, S. R., Perner, J., Healey, L. and Sewell, C. (2008). False signs and the non-specificity of theory of mind: evidence that preschoolers have general difficulties in understanding representationsBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology, 26(4), 485-497. (10.1348/026151007X260154)

Lopez, B., Leekam, S. R. and Arts, G. R. J. (2008). How central is central coherence?: Preliminary evidence on the link between conceptual and perceptual processing in children with autismAutism, 12(2), 159-171. (10.1177/1362361307086662)

Perner, J. and Leekam, S. R. (2008). The curious incident of the photo that was accused of being false: Issues of domain specificity in development, autism, and brain imagingThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 61(1), 76-89. (10.1080/17470210701508756)

2007

Honey, E., Leekam, S. R., Turner, M. and McConachie, H. (2007). Repetitive Behaviour and Play in Typically Developing Children and Children with Autism Spectrum DisordersJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(6), 1107-1115. (10.1007/s10803-006-0253-4)

Leekam, S. R., Nieto, C., Libby, S. J., Wing, L. and Gould, J. (2007). Describing the Sensory Abnormalities of Children and Adults with AutismJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(5), 894-910. (10.1007/s10803-006-0218-7)

Leekam, S. R. and McGregor, E. (2007). Integrating neuro-cognitive, diagnostic and intervention perspectives in autism. In: McGregor, E. et al. eds. Autism: An Integrated View from Neurocognitive, Clinical and Intervention Research. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell,

Leekam, S. R. (2007). Language comprehension difficulties in children with autism spectrum disorders. In: Cain, K. and Oakhill, J. eds. Children's Comprehension Problems in Oral and Written Language: A Cognitive Perspective. New York, NY: Guilford Press, pp. 104-127.

Leekam, S. R., Tandos, J., McConachie, H., Meins, E., Parkinson, K., Wright, C., Turner, M., Arnott, B., Vittorini, L. and Le Couteur, A. (2007). Repetitive behaviours in typically developing 2-year-oldsJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48(11), 1131-1138. (10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01778.x)

Lopez, B. and Leekam, S. R. (2007). Teoría de la coherencia central: una revisión de los supuestos teóricos - Central coherence theory: A review of theoretical assumptionsInfancia y Aprendizaje, 30(3), 439-457. (10.1174/021037007781787462)

2006

Coull, G. J., Leekam, S. R. and Bennett, M. R. (2006). Simplifying second-order belief attribution: what facilitates children's performance on measures of conceptual understanding?Social Development, 15(3), 548-563. (10.1111/j.1467-9507.2006.00340.x)

Fletcher-Watson, S., Leekam, S. R., Turner, M. A. and Moxon, L. (2006). Do people with autistic spectrum disorder show normal selection for attention? Evidence from change blindnessBritish Journal of Psychology, 97(4), 537-554. (10.1348/000712606X114057)

Leekam, S. R. (2006). Developmental and behavioural profiles of children with autism and asperger syndrome. In: Pérez, J. et al. eds. New Developments in Autism: The Future is Today. London: Jessica Kingsley, pp. 236-257.

Leekam, S. R. and Ramsden, C. A. H. (2006). Dyadic Orienting and Joint Attention in Preschool Children with AutismJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36(2), 185-197. (10.1007/s10803-005-0054-1)

2005

Leekam, S. R. (2005). Why do children with autism have a joint attention impairment?. In: Eilan, N. et al. eds. Joint Attention: Communication and Other Minds: Issues in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 205-229.

2004

Hughes, C. and Leekam, S. R. (2004). What are the links between theory of mind and social relations? Review, reflections and new directions for studies of typical and atypical developmentSocial Development, 13(4), 590-619. (10.1111/j.1467-9507.2004.00285.x)

Leekam, S. R. and Wyver, S. (2004). Beyond 'modalarity' and innateness: Sensory experience, social interaction and symbolic development in children with autism and blindness. In: Pring, L. ed. Autism and Blindness: Research and Reflections. Chichester: Wiley, pp. 26-49.

Leekam, S. R. (2004). Reconstructing children's understanding of mind: Reflections from the study of atypical development [Letter]Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27(1), 113-114. (10.1017/S0140525X0440003X) pdf

Lopez, B., Donnelly, N., Hadwin, J. A. and Leekam, S. R. (2004). Face processing in high-functioning adolescents with autism: Evidence for weak central coherenceVisual Cognition, 11(6), 673-688. (10.1080/13506280344000437)

2003

Lopez, B. and Leekam, S. R. (2003). Do children with autism fail to process information in context?Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44(2), 285-300. (10.1111/1469-7610.00121)

2002

Leekam, S. R., Libby, S. J., Wing, L., Gould, J. and Taylor, C. (2002). The Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders: Algorithms for ICD-10 childhood autism and Wing and Gould autistic spectrum disorderJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43(3), 327-342. (10.1111/1469-7610.00024)

Leekam, S. R. (2002). The social context of cognitive development. By Mary Gauvain. Guilford Press, London, 2001. pp. 250. £16.95 (pb). ISBN: 1-57230-610-6 [Book Review]Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43(4), 550-551. (10.1111/1469-7610.t01-11-00044)

Wing, L., Leekam, S. R., Libby, S. J., Gould, J. and Larcombe, M. (2002). The Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders: background, inter-rater reliability and clinical useJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 43(3), 307-325. (10.1111/1469-7610.00023)

2000

Leekam, S. R., Lopez, B. and Moore, C. (2000). Attention and joint attention in preschool children with autismDevelopmental Psychology, 36(2), 261-273. (10.1037/0012-1649.36.2.261)

Leekam, S. R., Libby, S., Wing, L., Gould, J. and Gillberg, C. (2000). Comparison of ICD-10 and Gillberg's Criteria for Asperger SyndromeAutism, 4(1), 11-28. (10.1177/1362361300004001002)

1998

Eisenmajer, R., Prior, M., Leekam, S. R., Wing, L., Ong, B., Gould, J. and Welham, M. (1998). Delayed language onset as a predictor of clinical symptoms in pervasive developmental disordersJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 28(6), 527-533. (10.1023/A:1026004212375)

Leekam, S. R., Hunnisett, E. and Moore, C. (1998). Targets and cues: gaze-following in children with autismJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 39(7), 951-962. (10.1111/1469-7610.00398)

Prior, M., Leekam, S. R., Ong, B., Eisenmajer, R., Wing, L., Gould, J. and Dowe, D. (1998). Are there subgroups within the autistic spectrum? A cluster analysis of a group of children with autistic spectrum disordersJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 39(6), 893-902. (10.1111/1469-7610.00389)

1997

Leekam, S. R., Baron-Cohen, S., Perrett, D., Milders, M. and Brown, S. (1997). Eye-direction detection: A dissociation between geometric and joint attention skills in autismBritish Journal of Developmental Psychology, 15(1), 77-95. (10.1111/j.2044-835X.1997.tb00726.x)

1996

Eisenmajer, R., Prior, M., Leekam, S. R., Wing, L., Gould, J., Welham, M. and Ong, B. (1996). Comparison of clinical symptoms in Autism and Asperger's DisorderJournal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 35(11), 1523-1531. (10.1097/00004583-199611000-00022)

Research topics and related papers

I research detection, diagnosis, cognitive development and intervention in autism. In current work I am focusing on attentional processes, repetitive behaviours, sensory interests and anxiety. I am also interested in social cognition and understanding of representations.

Funding

Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund in collaboration with NISCHR. Seedcorn grant. Visual attention control in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. June 2013. PI: Leekam, S. R. Co-Is: Wass, S., Erichsen, J., Clarke, A., Millington, A. £49, 402. (Oct 2013-Sept 2014).

ESRC Knowledge Exchange Grant. Developing a Research-Policy-Practice Hub for Autism Spectrum Disorder. PI: Leekam S.R; Co-I: Wimpory, D. (Bangor University). ESRC and matched funding from Welsh Government. £200,000. Nov 2012-March 2014. 

Wellcome Trust Longitudinal follow-up of 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome: A study of individuals at high risk for schizophrenia. October 2012, PI: Van den Bree M.B. Co-Is: Owen M.J., Thapar A., Doherty J., van Goozen S., Leekam S.R., Carrington S.J., Jones D.K. £69,579. (Oct 2012-Oct 2013).

Welsh Government. Children’s Diagnosis Methods, PI. Leekam, S.R. £42,116.

Sense. Joint Attention in Deafblind Children: An investigation into the use of alternative sensory modalities to share attention, intentions and to scaffold learning. PI: Nunez, M. Co-I:  Franco, F., Middlesex University and Leekam, S.R., Cardiff. September 2011 to September 2013.

Autism Speaks Trailblazers Award. Tuning anxiety out: Exploring the potential of noise cancellation in Autism Spectrum Disorder sound sensitivity PI: Atherton, M. (Brunel University); Co-I Leekam, S.R., McGonigle, D. (Cardiff University), Osborn, S. (Kingwood Trust). £100,000. May 2012-June 2013.

Economic and Social Research Council. Integrating research and practice in autism spectrum disorders PI Leekam, S. Co-I Carrington, S.,£124,403. July 2011- Sept 2012.

Strategic Insight Partnership Grant. Leekam, S.R. £2,000. July 2012

Waterloo Foundation. 2010. ASD and the Neurobiology of Sensory Symptoms. PI: McGonigle; Co Investigators: Leekam, Jones, Singh, Edden,

Welsh Office for Research and Development, NISCHR 2010. Developing effective early intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. (PI: Leekam), (£60,000).

Baily Thomas Foundation 2010- Developing targeted intervention for repetitive behaviours and anxiety in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. (PI: Leekam; Collaborators; Kanaris Gwent NHS and Mullis, Ashgrove School, Consultant Speech and Language Therapists; Prof Prior, University of Melbourne, Australia and Prof Evans, Buckley College, USA), (£115,618).

Welsh Assembly Government-2010: Service Evaluation of Children’s ASD Diagnostic Services in Wales. (PI. Leekam, Collaborator, Dr Wimpory) (£24,995).

Welsh Assembly Government& Betsi Caldwaladr University Health Board: 2010. Development of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) database within the Betsi Caldwaldr University Health Board (BCUHB) (PI. Dr Wimpory, Co-investigator, Leekam)

NIHR - 2009-2011: Research for Patient Benefit Effective therapy for young people with autism spectrum (PI: McConachie, Co Investigators; Leekam, Le Couteur, Rodgers, Freeston), (£228,857).

Waterloo Foundation- 2009-2010 Understanding anxiety in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD): An awareness-raising training module designed to integrate new research evidence into practice in schools. (PI: Leekam, Collaborators, Bowen and Plimley, Autism Cymru), (£14,889).

ESRC CASE Award-2009-2013. Using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) for research. (PI; Leekam in partnership with NAS), (£64,000).

Research group

Wales Autism Research Centre

Research collaborators

Dr Sarah Carrington, Research Associate
Dr Georgie Powell, Research Associate
Dr Louise White, Project Manager
Dr Chris Ramsden, Project Manager
Lynda Morgan, Project Manager

Postgraduate research interests

Symbolic, social, cognitive, attentional and sensory development in children with and without autism. Diagnosis and intervention in children with autism.

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application here.

Current students

Sarah Barratt 2013-2016: Imagination and repetitive behaviour in individuals with autism

Rachel Kent 2010-2014: Using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) for research.

Second Supervision: Rhiannon Fyfield (with Dale Hay), Bev Winn (with Katherine Shelton and Sophia Gameiro), Sarah Thompson (with Catherine Jones).

Previous students

Mirko Uljarevic 2010-2013: Developing effective early intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Linda Iao, 2007-2011: Children’s understanding of representation.

Anastasia Kourkoulou 2004-2010: Implicit learning in autism spectrum disorders.

David Marshall 2004-2011. Attention shifting in children with autism spectrum disorders.

Sue Fletcher-Watson, 2004-2007: Understanding social attention in autistic spectrum disorders.

Emma Honey, 2003-2006: The relationship between repetitive behaviour and imagination in autism. 

Lucy Carey, 2003-2006: Narrative in autism: An intervention in mainstream schools.

Greig Coull, 2003-2006: Pathways to social understanding in typical and atypical development.

Antonio Gagliano MPhil 2001-2002. The development of pretend play.

Beatriz Lopez, 1998-2001: Contextual and global processing in autism. 

Undergraduate education

She gained a first class degree in Psychology from Open University in 1982, during a 10 year career in the Civil Service.

Postgraduate education

She then began a career in research under the supervision of Professor Josef Perner at the Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex, working first as a research associate and subsequently as a PhD student with him and completing a PhD in cognitive development in 1988.

Awards/external committees

Professor Leekam is on the editorial boards of Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorder, Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice and Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disability. She has also served on expert review panels for the UK Medical Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research, USA and she holds an honorary appointment at University of Newcastle.

 

Employment

She began researching in autism in 1988 initially mentored by Professor Uta Frith and subsequently by Professor Margot Prior at La Trobe University, Australia with whom she worked as a postdoctoral fellow. In 1991 she moved back to the UK to take up a lectureship and senior lectureship at University of Kent, where she began a long term research collaboration with Dr Lorna Wing and Dr Judith Gould, National Autistic Society. Her research work specialises in identifying the cognitive, social and behavioural aspects of development that underlie the clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.