Dr Kathy Leadbitter PhD

Research Fellow

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Kathy's research interests and expertise are in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children and effective interventions. She is passionate about pragmatic and high-impact research that will directly improve the lives of children with ASD and their families in the UK and internationally, including in low resource contexts. She is interested in communication and language development and how to promote effective communication with and in children with ASD. She is also interested in issues surrounding wellbeing, quality of life, and the lived experience of autistic people and their families. She has expertise in the management of large multi-site randomised controlled trials. She is an autistic ally and embraces neurodiversity. 


Current Projects

  • A Randomised Controlled Trial of Psycho-education and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy for Parents of Children recently diagnosed with ASD (REACH-ASD Trial)

  • Communication-centred Parent-mediated treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder in South Asia (COMPASS Trial)

  • The Paediatric Autism Communication Trial - Generalised (PACT-G Trial)

Past Projects

  • Follow-up to the Preschool Autism Communication Trial at age 7-11 (PACT 7-11 Study)
  • Neurofibromatosis Type 1 and Autism Study
  • The Social Outcomes and Early Life Experiences Study (SOCiAL) 
  • The Parent-mediated intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorders in South Asia (PASS) study
  • Pre-school Autism Communication Trial

Areas of expertise

  • BF Psychology - Autism Spectrum Disorder, Communication Development, Language Development, Intervention, Randomised Controlled Trials, Low Resource Settings, Bilingualism, Low & Middle Income Countries, Adoption, Neurofibromatosis Type 1, Wellbeing, quality of life and lived experience of people with ASD

Research Networks and Beacons

Biology, Medicine and Health (BMH) Domains

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2009 - Doctor of Philosophy, Joint Attention in Verbally Able Children with Autism, Lancaster University
  • 2003 - Master of Science, Developmental Psychology, Lancaster University

Related information


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Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Participating in a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etc

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