Martin, Catriona

Catriona Martin

Full time student


Year of Entry: 2012

Thesis Title: Improving Behavioural Safety for Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Area of Research: Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a science that utilises the principles of behaviour to encourage situationally/socially appropriate and developmentally relevant behaviours across all populations including those with autism. Some people still erroneously think that ABA is to be equated with the early work of Lovaas (Lovaas et al, 1978), however it is clear that while Lovaas' methods were based in ABA, the science itself has much to offer beyond some early concrete methodologies.

In order to address some of this misunderstanding, I am particularly interested in using the principles derived from the science of Applied Behaviour Analysis to address behavioural safety. For example, drowning is the 3rd leading cause of death in all children under 5 years of age. With regard to children with ASD 49% of whom elope regularly and 24% of whom encounter near-drowning experiences.

Exploring issues related to learning to swim and other safety concerns will encourage a more contemporary understanding of how ABA can be utilised to encourage development across a variety of populations including those with autism.

Personal Statement: I completed my undergraduate degree in Law at the University of Aberdeen in 2009. I have since undertaken two Master’s degrees, one in Child Development from the University of Stirling and one in Autism from the University of Strathclyde. I have been an ABA therapist for the past two years, working primarily with young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Supervisor: Prof Karola Dillenburger