Beverley Winn

Research student, School of Psychology

Research summary

Doctoral Research: The REACH Project

The primary aim of the  REACH project is to consider the relationship between adult symptoms of autism  and the quality of couple relationships and whether these associations have  implications for adult mental health and well-being.

Teaching summary

2012-2013: Postgraduate  marker BSc /BA undergraduate first year FSM module essays.

Undergraduate education

2007 - 2010: BSc Psychology – Department of  Applied Psychology University of Wales institute Cardiff (UWIC) – 2:1

Postgraduate education

2010 - 2012: MSc Health  Psychology, Cardiff Metropolitan University - Distinction

2013: PhD: REACH Project – Supervised  by Dr Katherine Shelton and Professor Susan Leekam

2015: BPS  Practitioner Certificate in Health Psychology (Stage 2) - Supervised  by Dr Caroline Limbert

Conference presentations/presentations

International talks

June 2011: Autism Cymru 4th International Conference:  'Harnessing repetitive behaviours in a playful sensory environment’

Selected internal talks

December 2014: Wales Autism Research Centre: Research Exploring  Autism spectrum condition Couple relationship satisfaction, Health &  wellbeing (REACH).

November 2014: Postgraduate Conference, School of  Psychology:  Research Exploring Autism  spectrum condition Couple relationship satisfaction, Health & wellbeing  (REACH).

November 2013: Wales Autism Research  Centre: Research Exploring Autism spectrum condition Couple relationship  satisfaction, Health & wellbeing (REACH).

July 2011: Cardiff University School of  Humanities (ASPAARG): 'Harnessing repetitive behaviours in children with low  functioning autism in a playful sensory environment’.

November 2013: Wales Autism Research  Centre: Research Exploring Autism spectrum condition Couple relationship  satisfaction, Health & wellbeing (REACH).

July 2011: Cardiff University School of  Humanities (ASPAARG): 'Harnessing repetitive behaviours in children with low  functioning autism in a playful sensory environment’.

External talks

February  2014: Gwent Magistrates Youth Panel: Autism Spectrum    Condition  – Implications for the youth justice system

August  2013: Rougemont Independent School Teacher’s Workshop: Teaching Children with  Autism Spectrum Condition: Strategies

June  2013: National Autistic Society Bridgend Branch Parent support group: Research  Exploring Autism spectrum condition Couple relationship satisfaction, Health  & wellbeing (REACH)

June  2013: Independent Schools Deputy Headmasters Conference (East Wales & West  England Independent Schools Group): Teaching Children with Autism  Spectrum Condition: Strategies

January 2011: Teachers and academic staff,  Kings Monkton Independent College, Cardiff: 'Teaching Children with an Autism  Spectrum Disorder: Strategies’.

May 2011: University of Wales institute  Cardiff (UWIC): 'Autism Spectrum Disorders: From Exclusion to Inclusion’.

Awards/external committees

2013-: Remedi Research Award. Remedi supports medical research in all aspects of rehabilitation and  disability in the UK.
2013 -: Contributor & Member of Science of Relationships.
2013-: Contributor & Member of The Love Research Network, St       Andrews University, Scotland, UK.
2013-: Member of the International Association for Relationship       Research.
2010-: Member of       the ASPARRG - Autism Spectrum People and Religion       Research Group, Cardiff University.
2010-:  Member of the Bristol Autism Research Group.
2010-:  Member of Cross Party Autism Group in Wales.
2010-:  Member of the Learning Disability and Autism Network.
2010-:  Member of International Society for Autism Research.
2010-:  Member of Cardiff Autism Research Group.


2010 Parent  Consultant, Wales Autism Research Centre:

As the Parent Consultant for the Wales Autism Research Centre (WARC) an important aspect of my role is  to liaise between parents and researchers and to provide the parent perspective  to the research team and facilitate communication between parents and  researchers. Assisting parents & care-givers with any requests, questions  or needs they may have in relation to the Centre’s research is very important  to me. I work with the rest of the team to ensure that the environment is  comfortable and friendly and sensitive to visitors with an ASC.

2010-:  Member of Wales Autism Research Centre (WARC):

I  have worked on the re-design of the parent pages of WARC’s webpages. I have  also assisted with organising events such as WARC annual open days, and  involving WARC with other organisations such as collaboration with Autism  Cymru, the National Autistic Society and the Welsh Government. In addition, I  assist with organising promotional materials, newsletters and annual reports. I  have previously worked on a number of WARC research projects.


2010-:  Parent Consultant (Wales Autism Research Centre)
2010 – 2012: Postgraduate  Research Assistant (Cardiff University)
2010 – 2011: Undergraduate  Research Assistant (Cardiff University)

Research interests

Research topics and related papers

REACH Project
Research Exploring Autism  spectrum condition Couple relationship satisfaction, Health  and wellbeing.

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Condition  demonstrate neurological and developmental challenges that impact on their  ability to predict the intentions of others. Difficulty predicting the  intentions of others affects the ability to attend to the most relevant  information, process that information and problem solve. This can result in  confusion, low self-esteem, heightened anxiety and social withdrawal, with  implications for the forging and maintenance of social relationships. Little is known about how  adult symptoms of autism impact on couple relationship satisfaction,  co-parenting, broader indices of family functioning and the implications, in  turn, for individual mental health and well-being.

The REACH project is a  5 year project that will use mixed methodology. The first phase of the project  was conducted during 2013. Interviews were conducted with couples where one or  both have a formal diagnosis of ASC. Current analysis will inform a larger study  to be conducted 2014/2015.

Research Impact

As a direct  result of the dissemination of the REACH project, I created, developed and  currently co- facilitate the first ASC Couples Support Group in Wales at the  invitation of Vale of Glamorgan Council Autism Adult Support Services. This  group aims to connect ASC couples and partners with other couples in order to  support one another and to provide an opportunity for social interaction which  is often a challenge for individuals with ASC. The meetings also provide an  opportunity for couples to share their coping strategies and suggestions within  the group. The group meets each month:


Cardiff  School of Psychology PhD Studentship  
Remedi – Research Award 2013

Research group

Developmental & Health Psychology
Dr Katherine Shelton (Principal Supervisor)

Wales  Autism Research Centre (WARC)
Professor  Susan Leekam (Chair of the Wales Autism Research Centre, Cardiff University)  and 2nd Supervisor

Research collaborators

Dr  Wendy Keay-Bright, Reader,  Cardiff  Metropolitan University
Dr  Darren Walker, Cardiff Metropolitan University
Dr  Deborah Clayton, Cardiff Metropolitan University