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Dr Jane Waite - Aston University. Birmingham, , GB

Dr Jane Waite

Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology | Aston University


Dr Waite focuses on understanding the development of mental health difficulties, and improving identification of these difficulties.





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Assessing Anxiety in Fragile X Syndrome: Research Update, Dr Jane Waite, Aston University Dr Jane Waite




Dr Jane Waite joined Aston University as a lecturer in 2017, having spent the previous four years working at the Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders as a research fellow and clinical psychologist.

In 2020, she became the Co-Director of the Cerebra Network for Neurodevelopmental Disorders. The network focuses on key themes that are central to improving the lives of individuals with intellectual disability who have communication difficulties and complex needs, and their families. Research themes within the network include mental health, autism profiles, behaviours that challenge, pain and sleep.

Dr. Waite's research focus is understanding the development of mental health difficulties, and improving the identification of these difficulties, in people with intellectual disabilities and neurodevelopmental conditions. Her research team are developing clinical assessment tools and interventions for individuals with intellectual disability and autistic individuals who use few or no words.

She is passionate about dissemination of research findings to families and clinicians, and is lead for an online resource that facilitates this process for people with rare genetic syndromes (www.findresources.co.uk). Dr. Waite is also committed to supporting the next generation of researchers and clinicians with expertise in intellectual disability and her research team aims to prioritise the development of junior researchers and aspiring clinical psychologists.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Intellectual Disabilities

Mental Health Difficulties

Neurodevelopmental Conditions

Communication Difficulties

Education (1)

University of Birmingham: PhD 2012

Media Appearances (2)

Reducing anxiety in autistic children with intellectual disabilities



Jane Waite and her team are working with families and doctors to develop a parent-led intervention for anxiety for autistic children who also have an intellectual disability. The intervention will include well evidenced anxiety-reduction strategies adapted for autistic individuals and behavioural strategies that have been proven to work with autistic children who speak few or no words.

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Repetitive Behaviour in Prader-Willi Syndrome

Further Inform Neurogenetic Disorders  online


Stereotyped behaviours are defined as repetitive or ritualistic movement, posture, or vocalisations. The behaviours can often appear to be apparently meaningless.

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Articles (3)

An examination of the caregiver-reported profile and function of behaviour directed towards others (aggressive behaviour) in children and adults with SATB2-Associated syndrome

Journal of Intellectual Disability Research


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A parent-led intervention to reduce anxiety in autistic children with a severe to profound intellectual disability: protocol for the LADDERS pilot feasibility trial


2022 Background There is a need for evidence-based approaches to reduce anxiety experienced by autistic children with severe to profound intellectual disability (ID). Avoidance of anxiety triggers, as a response to pronounced anxiety, occurs irrespective of age, background and neurodiversity. When avoidance is unhelpful, evidence-based anxiety reduction approaches aim to reduce it gradually (graded exposure), subsequently reducing anxiety. Combining graded exposure with emotional regulation techniques may be effective and acceptable for autistic children with severe to profound ID, if sensitive to needs and characteristics of autistic children. We have developed a 16-week, parent-led intervention (LADDERS) to reduce anxiety in this population of autistic children. LADDERS consists of psychoeducation, graded exposure-based tasks, and skills building, delivered utilising a person-centred approach. This study aims to assess whether LADDERS 1) reduces anxiety and 2) whether autistic children and parents find it acceptable and feasible. [...]

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Distress and challenging behavior in people with profound or severe intellectual disability and complex needs: Assessment of causes and evaluation of intervention outcomes

international Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities

2022 Previously, we have proposed that there are nine domains that warrant assessment when intervening to decrease challenging behavior and\or increase well-being in people with profound or severe intellectual disability and complex needs. These domains are: pain and discomfort, sensory sensitivity, anxiety and low mood, sleep, emotional dysregulation, cognitive difference, learned or functional behaviors, and expressive communication. In this article we: (1) identify specific challenging behaviors that might be influenced by these domains, (2) describe the relationship between these domains and the specified challenging behaviors, (3) identify assessments for each domain and (4) describe interactions between the domains. Our aim in this article is to provide practitioners with a framework for assessment and to stimulate debate about the domains that are demonstrably important when considering challenging behavior and well-being in people with profound or severe intellectual disability and complex needs.

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