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About the Research Team

The Ladders Project is led by a team of researchers based at Aston University who are passionate about improving the lives and outcomes of children with intellectual disability, autism and rare genetic syndromes, and their families.

Dr Jane Waite


Dr Jane Waite is a Senior Lecturer and Clinical Psychologist, and is the Principle Investigator in this study. Jane conceived the idea of the project and secured its funding. She developed the manual, and provided regular supervision for the researcher(s) carrying out the intervention.

Dr Jo Tarver


Dr Jo Tarver is a Lecturer at Aston University. Jo helped develop the manual used during the intervention, and completed focus groups with families to gather feedback on the intervention. She is currently running a study looking at the well-being of parents of autistic children with anxiety, which has helped inform the content of the manual.


Dr Effie Pearson


Dr Effie Pearson is a Post-doctoral Researcher at Aston University. She helped develop the manual used in the project, and completed focus groups with families of autistic children, to gather feedback on the project and the manual. 

Jessica Hughes


Jessica Hughes is an Assistant Research Psychologist at Aston University. She recruited families to the project, and ran the intervention with families, with regular supervision from Dr Jane Waite. 

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