Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Professor Helen McConachie

Strategic Research Adviser


Research Interests

My research focusses on children with disabilities and their families. Several projects evaluate approaches to intervention for children, and develop appropriate outcome measures. I am also concerned to understand what underpins behaviours: for example, how parent-child interaction can develop communication skills; and neuropsychological processes linked to repetitive behaviours and anxiety in ASD. (see Autism research website

Other Expertise

I have a long-standing research and training link with a network of child development centres in Bangladesh.
I direct Daslne: the database of children with ASD living in the North East of England (


Current funding

Intervention for social attention in autism. Nuffield Foundation New Career Development Fellowship, 2009-2011 (Dr Sue Fletcher-Watson), £169,024

Effective therapy for anxiety in young people with autism spectrum disorder. NIHR, Research for Patient Benefit programme, July 2009 - May 2011, £228,857

Sensitive measurement of outcome of intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorder. Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Trust, March 2009. £19,783

Maximising the research potential of Daslne. Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Trust, June 2008. £19,586

Scales and procedures for estimating the prevalence of childhood disability and autism in Bangladesh. Autism Speaks, July 2008. (Lead applicant: Professor Naila Khan) $59,966

Parents and professionals attitudes to dietary interventions in ASD (PADIA) $100,000 Autism Speaks, Sept 2008 (Lead applicant: Professor Ann Le Couteur)

The development of repetitive behaviours in young children. ESRC, September 2007, £46,402 (Lead applicant: Dr Sue Leekam, Durham University).

Improving children’s survival through development of quality child development and neurodisability services. British Council, July 2006. £102,000. (lead applicant: Professor Naila Khan, Bangladesh, with Professor Brian Neville, Dr Mahmood Chowdhury).

Preschool Autism Communication Trial. £1,204,538 (NHS costs £517,704)
Medical Research Council, Department for Education and Skills, 2005-9 (lead applicant: Prof Jonathan Green, University of Manchester; London PI Prof Tony Charman; Newcastle PI Prof Helen McConachie £289,945)

Establishing a registry of children with autistic spectrum disorder in Northeast England. Northern Rock Foundation, 2002-9; six local authorities ongoing £176,461 (with Professors Ann Le Couteur and Allan Colver)