Helen McConachie


Professor Helen McConachie trained as a clinical psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. She worked for 38 years in multidisciplinary child health and mental health teams, including the Neurodisability Service at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, and the Regional Complex Neurodevelopmental Disorders Service for North East England. In parallel, she has conducted research in Manchester, London, Newcastle and Bangladesh, mainly evaluation of therapy approaches for children and young people with a range of neurodevelopmental disorders and development of appropriate outcome measures. 

Areas of Research

Helen's research to date has focussed mainly on children with disabilities and their families. In several projects she has evaluated approaches to intervention for children, and reviewed or developed appropriate outcome measures. She is concerned with understanding what underpins behaviours: for example, how parent-child interaction can facilitate development of communication skills; and how neuropsychological processes link to repetitive behaviours and and anxiety in ASD. More recently she is co-leading projects which involve adults on the autism spectrum, including adaptation of a quality of life outcome measure.

To view Helen McConachie's publications, group membership and qualifications please see her University profile.

Current Studies


This project is about engaging adults on the autism spectrum and their relatives in research. It is a research programme about the life experiences of adults on the autism spectrum and their relatives/carers.


The Autism Spectrum Database - UK (ASD-UK) is the UK research database including families with children on the autism spectrum.  ASD-UK gives families the opportunity to take part in research that aims to answer important questions about autism.


Daslne is the Database of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Living in the North East. Its aim is to provide accurate information about children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) living in North East England.

F‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌EEDS Review


The FEEDS review (Focus on Early Eating Drinking and Swallowing review) aims to find out about the services currently offered to families of children with eating. drinking and swallowing difficulties by NHS services. The review aims to gather information in order to plan a future study of one or more potentially worthwhile treatments.



The Paediatric Autism Communication Trial - Generalised (PACT-G) aims to test the efficacy of social communication intervention to improve the communication skills and reduce autism symptoms in young children with autism spectrum disorder.

‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌The Transition Programme


Transition is a 5-year Programme of research looking at how health services can contribute most effectively to the successful transition of young people with complex health needs from childhood to adulthood.

Recently Completed Studies


‌MeASURe stands for Measurement in Autism Spectrum disorder Under Review. This systematic review explored the measurement properties of tools used in assessing progress and outcomes of children on the autism spectrum up to age 6 years.

Measuring Anxiety in ASD


This project focused on the devlopment of an assessment tool to measure anxiety in autistic children. A self and parent report questionnaire, the Anxiety Scale for Children - ASD (ASC-ASD©), was developed during the study.‌


The project explored whether the WHOQOL-BREF is fit for purpose in measuring quality of life of autistic adults. Through extensive consultation with the autism community, some new autism-specific items were developed to make the measure more appropriate.