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Head of Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Biography

Emily-SimonoffEmily Simonoff is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, where she is also head of the Department. She studied Psychology and Social Relations and then Medicine at Harvard University. After qualifying she moved to train at the Maudsley Hospital and MRC Child Psychiatry Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry, London.

Her current role includes that of academic lead for the Child Mental Disorders Clinical Academic Group in King’s Health Partners, the academic health sciences centre for King’s College London.

Her clinical interests include neurodevelopmental disorders as well as mental problems in children with intellectual disability. She co-leads a clinic attracting referrals from across the UK assessing and treating children and adolescents with complex neurodevelopmental disorders including autism, ADHD and intellectual disability. She has served as a panel member for the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE on several guidelines for autism. Professor Simonoff is the Coordinator-elect of the European ADHD Guidelines Group and a member of the Steering Committee for the European Network of Hyperkinetic Disorder (EUNETHYDIS).

Professor Simonoff’s research interests focus on neurodevelopmental disorders, especially autism, ADHD and intellectual disability. She leads and is involved with studies of both epidemiological and clinical populations that include from research involving underlying disease mechanisms, longitudinal developmental cohorts and clinical trials.

Current research projects

Research studies include:

Why do people with autism spectrum disorders fare so differently in adult life? Funded by Autism Speaks
A follow-up study into early adult life of a population-based cohort of people with ASD (the SNAP cohort) to identify the factors that affect adaptive function in adult life. The study has a specific focus on the role of mental health problems, how they change over time and affect other areas.

Improving outcomes for people with autism spectrum disorders by reducing mental health problems Funded by National Institute of Health Research
This programme of research aims to improve outcomes for people with autism spectrum disorders by decreasing associated mental health problems. The research examines the personal experiences of mental health problems amongst people with autism, identifies early childhood risk and protective factors for later severe behavioural and mental health problems. The research also will develop a new instrument for assessing the severity of mental health problems and measuring their change over time. It will develop and evaluate an early parent-based intervention for mental health problems in young children with autism.

Validation of cognitive and physiological biomarkers of childhood anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorders Partly funded by South London and Maudsley Charitable Foundation
This research studies the cognitive, physiological and neuroendocrine correlates of anxiety in adolescents with autism, compared to healthy controls. Anxiety disorders are difficult to recognize in people with autism because of their communication problems. The aim of this research is to determine whether reported anxiety symptoms in young people with autism show similar cognitive and biological correlates as reported in typically developing children.

Correlates and consequences of specific language impairment: development during the first 3 years of schooling Funded by WellcomeTrust (PI Prof Courtenay Norbury, Royal Holloway)
This study determines the prevalence of specific speech and language impairments in children during their first year at school and identifies the associated neurodevelopmental and mental health problems that co-occur and develop over the early years of schooling. The study will provide a better understanding of the relation between specific impairments associated with speech and language disorders and their links to neurodevelopmental disorders.

Video: Co-occurring psychiatric disorders in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder/ADH

Watch Professor Emily Simonoff, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Head of the Department for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurscience lecture at Cereba's Annual Conference:

 

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