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Sarah is an ESRC funded autistic PhD student at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, supervised by Dr Rosa Hoekstra, Dr Sam Norton and Professor Lance McCracken.

Previously, Sarah had a career in financial administration and project management, before commencing undergraduate studies as a mature student. Sarah continued to work as a research project administrator throughout both degrees at the University of Essex, where she graduated with a first-class honours degree in Psychology, and with distinction for her MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience. Her MSc thesis, on speech-error monitoring in primary school children, won the Robert Ferry memorial prize for best dissertation.

Sarah’s research interests include:

  • neurodevelopmental disabilities and differences
  • autism and physical health
  • sensory processing and autistic experiences of pain
  • psycholinguistics and neurodivergent communication
  • gender and cultural aspects of autism

Sarah’s PhD research is a mixed method project exploring a possible association between autism, central sensitisation and ‘central sensitivity syndromes’ (CSS) such as fibromyalgia, me/cfs and migraine, and the lived experience of autistic people with co-occurring CSS.

Project Title: The CENSSAS study: Exploring Associations Between CENtral Sensitivity Syndromes and the Autism Spectrum

In addition to her PhD work, Sarah is a GTA, treasurer of the KCL neurodiversity and mental health society, and a member and administrator of the Stigma and Autism Research Network (SARN).