Dr Pavlopoulou is an Educational Consultant and Neurodevelopmental Specialist, as well as a passionate advocate of neurodiversity.
She has a Doctorate in Developmental Psychology and Mental Health from UCL and works with research teams in order to find the best ways to support neurodivergent people and their family members to live happier, healthier lives. She is also involved in academic research on learning, sleep, family relationships, anxiety, low mood and sex education needs of people with neurodevelopmental conditions. She is also leading Short Course in Autism and Mental Health at Anna Freud Centre. She has given talks across Europe and the US and co-authored a number of papers in family wellbeing and education. Currently, she is writing a book focusing on siblings’ relationships, experiences and ideas about neurodiversity. She is also editing a book on Mental Health in Autism: Improving Access to Psychological Services for Autistic Children, Young People and their Families. Dr Pavlopoulou is also leading a Masters’ level module on Psychological Aspects of Counselling at UCL.
Dr Pavlopoulou has 17 years of experience in designing and implementing communication, interaction and learning programs with autistic people and helping families and services to understand and respond to the mental health needs of autistic people. Dr Pavlopoulou is using acceptance and strength-based practices, contextual behavioural techniques and existential/humanistic values to help families and teachers to work with, rather than on or for, autistic people. She employs a number of creative, person-centered strategies to accommodate the needs of autistic people and to empower them to live with awareness, love and courage in order to reach their maximum potential.
Although Dr Pavlopoulou has a special interest in childhood neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism and parenting support and advice, she enjoys working with clients with a variety of conditions (ADHD, learning disabilities, Williams Syndrome, Crouzon Syndrome, Fragile X, etc.) and is able to provide high quality services for children and young people coping with various concerns, including:
- understanding and supporting behaviour at home and school
- friendships/perspective taking/social thinking
- school anxieties/school attendance
- meltdowns, burnout and family wellbeing
- siblings’ support (conflicts or worries)
- home routines
- designing, implementing or adapting a number of functional person-centered academic or direct instruction curriculum activities
- independent/life skills
- pre-vocational preparation
- transition to adulthood
In order to ensure that the multiple needs of clients with neurodevelopmental conditions are met in the best possible way, Dr Pavlopoulou works closely with a multidisciplinary team of professionals which includes Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Paediatricians, Special Educators, Psychotherapists, a Play Therapist, a Dance Therapist and Physiotherapists.
Pavlopoulou, G. (2020). ‘A Good Night’s Sleep: Learning About Sleep From Autistic Adolescents’ Personal Accounts’ Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 3597.
Pavlopoulou, G. and Dimitriou, D. (2020) ‘In their own words, in their own photos: Adolescent females’ siblinghood experiences, needs and perspectives growing up with a preverbal autistic brother or sister’ Research in developmental disabilities, 97, 103556.
Pavlopoulou, G., Wood, R. and Papadopoulos, C., 2020. Impact of Covid-19 on the experiences of parents and family carers of autistic children and young people in the UK. University College London Report
Pavlopoulou, G. and Dimitriou, D. (2019) ‘I don’t live with autism; I live with my sister. Sisters’ accounts on growing up with their preverbal autistic siblings’ Research in developmental disabilities, 88, pp.1-15.
Pavlopoulou, G. and Dimitriou, D. (2018) Autistic adults and sleep problems. National Autistic Society Report