Dr Sarah Carrington

Lecturer in Psychology

Programme Director for BSc Psychology & Business 
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • School of Life & Health Sciences,  Aston University,  Birmingham,  B4 7ET,  United Kingdom 
  • Room: SW509a
  • Email: s.carrington@aston.ac.uk
  • Tel: 0121 204 4322


Research Group

Basic & Applied Neurosciences

Sarah Carrington

New film to raise awareness of the signs of ASD

I am delighted to share the second edition of The Birthday Party, a training film for professionals that describes the signs of autism in children. The film is a partnership project between government, university and clinical partners. This second edition (2018) incorporates feedback from the autism community and is available in multiple languages. It has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and Welsh Government.

Members of the project team:

  • Prof. Sue Leekam (Wales Autism Research Centre, School of Psychology, Cardiff University)
  • Ms. Johanna Manikiza (Welsh Local Government Association and Public Health Wales funded by the Welsh Government)
  • Dr Sarah Carrington (Psychology, Aston University)
  • Dr Judith Gould (Lorna Wing Centre, Masons Hill, Bromley)

To watch the film visit www.aston.ac.uk/thebirthdaypartyfilm.

  • 2009 - DPhil, University of Oxford
  • 2004 - MSc Neuroscience, University of Oxford
  • 2003 – BA (Hons) Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford
  • 2015 - Current: Lecturer, School of Life and Health Sciences (Psychology), Aston University.
  • 2015 - Current: Honorary Research Fellow, School of Psychology, Cardiff University.
  • 2010 - 2014: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Wales Autism Research Centre, Cardiff University.
  • 2009 - 2010: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Oxford Autism Research Group, University of Oxford.
  • PY2208 Developmental Psychology
  • PY3351 Child Development (module lead)
  • PY3010 Research into Autism Spectrum Disorder: clinical, psychological and neurobiological perspectives


I have two strands of research, both of which focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The first strand relates to the behavioural symptoms, particularly in relation to our growing understanding of autism as a spectrum.  The second strand has involved both functional and structural imaging of the brain in autism.  My overall research aim is to combine these two strands to develop a better understanding of the link between the clinical and neurobiological profiles of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

My most recent work has focused on the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and I am part of an international collaboration of researchers and clinicians working with an instrument called the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO).  We have used the DISCO to test the new DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder and I led a series of studies to develop an abbreviated form of the interview.  You can find more information about this research and clinical training provided as part of a Welsh Government Strategy at the following site:

  • Ewelina Rosiecke: Exploring sex differences in the clinical, cognitive, and neurobiological profiles of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Funded by the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Research Foundation. Feb 2017 onward.



  • Birmingham Children’s Hospital Research Foundation.  Exploring sex differences in the clinical, cognitive, and neurobiological profiles of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (PhD stundentship).  PIs:  Carrington, S.J., Liew, A. Co-Is: Kessler, K., Stefano, S. Rippon, G., Simmons, D., Robson, K. (2017) £70,176.35.
  • Wellcome Trust. Longitudinal follow-up of 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome: A study of individuals at high risk for schizophrenia. PI: Van den Bree, M.B. Co-Is: Owen, M.J., Thapar, A., Doherty, J., van Goozen, S., Leekam S.R., Carrington, S.J., Jones, D.K. (2012) £69,579.
  • Cardiff University Community Engagement Team. Developing web content on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) research for Families affected by ASD. PI: Carrington, S.J. Co-I: Lidstone, J. (2012) £490.
  • NMHRI White matter alterations in 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome: a pilot study PI: Carrington, S.J. Co-I: Van den Bree, M.B., Leekam, S.R., Jones, D.K., Owen, M.J. (2012) £4,964.75.
  • ESRC. Integrating research and practice in autism spectrum disorders. Co-Is: Leekam, S. R. & Carrington, S. J. (2010). £124,403.40 (FEC). July 2011-Sept 2012.

 Recent Publications