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Dr Rachel Kent

Job title Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist

Area of expertise: 

  • Neurodiversity  
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 
  • Emotional and Behavioural difficulties in Neurodevelopmental Disorders  
  • Adapting interventions for neurodiverse young people  
  • Changes in Neurodevelopmental Disorders across development 


Dr Rachel Kent is a Clinical Psychologist in the Neuropsychiatry and Challenging Behaviour Team as part of the Service for Complex Autism and Associated Neurodevelopmental Disorders (SCAAND).  Rachel provides individualised clinical interventions for autistic young people with co-occurring conditions, their families and networks.  Interventions focus on supporting better understanding of complex neurodevelopmental differences through psychoeducation as well as promoting behaviour change using adapted cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and parent/network consultations.  In addition, Rachel supports the multi-disciplinary team in second opinion and complex neurodevelopmental assessments using standardised diagnostic measures. 

Rachel completed her PhD at the Wales Autism Research Centre (Cardiff University) exploring the role of core and associated differences in the diagnosis of autism.  She went on to work as a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, King’s College London.  Her research focused on examining how symptoms of autism and co-occurring mental health conditions change over time from childhood to young adulthood as well as developing psychoeducation packages for managing anxiety in children, adolescents and young adults with ASD.  Rachel completed her training in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience (KCL) with specialist placements within SLaM’s National & Specialist CAMHS teams including SCAAND and CUES-Ed, a psycho-education project based in primary schools. 

Rachel is committed to improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people with complex neurodevelopmental difficulties.   

Education and Training 

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (IoPPN, King’s College London), 2020 
  • PhD Psychology (Cardiff University in partnership with the National Autistic Society), 2014 
  • MSc Social Science Research Methods (Cardiff University), 2010 
  • BSc Psychology (Cardiff University), 2009 


Forbes, G., Kent, R., Charman, T., Baird, G., Pickles, A., & Simonoff, E. (2023). How do autistic people fare in adult life and can we predict it from childhood? Autism Research, 16(2), 458–473. https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.2868 

Hollocks, M. J., Meiser‐Stedman, R., Kent, R., Lukito, S., Briskman, J., Stringer, D., ... & Simonoff, E. (2021). The association of adverse life events and parental mental health with emotional and behavioral outcomes in young adults with autism spectrum disorder. Autism research.  

Simonoff E, Kent R, Stringer D, Lord C, Briskman J, Lukito S, Pickles A, Charman T, Baird G. Trajectories in Symptoms of Autism and Cognitive Ability in Autism From Childhood to Adult Life: Findings From a Longitudinal Epidemiological Cohort. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2020 Dec;59(12):1342-1352. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2019.11.020.  

Stringer D, Kent R, Briskman J, Lukito S, Charman T, Baird G, Lord C, Pickles A, Simonoff E. Trajectories of emotional and behavioral problems from childhood to early adult life. Autism. 2020 May;24(4):1011-1024. doi: 10.1177/1362361320908972.  
Carruthers S, Kent R, Hollocks MJ, Simonoff E. Brief Report: Testing the Psychometric Properties of the Spence Children's Anxiety Scale (SCAS) and the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) in Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord. 2020 Jul;50(7):2625-2632. doi: 10.1007/s10803-018-3774-8.  

Carter Leno V, Vitoratou S, Kent R, Charman T, Chandler S, Jones CR, Happé F, Baird G, Pickles A, Simonoff E. Exploring the neurocognitive correlates of challenging behaviours in young people with autism spectrum disorder. Autism. 2019 Jul;23(5):1152-1164. doi: 10.1177/1362361318769176. 

Carrington, S. Leekam, S., Kent, R., Maljaars, J., Gould, J., Wing, L., Le Couteur, A., Van Berckelaer-Onnes, I., Noens, I. (2015). Signposting for diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder using the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO). Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 9, 45-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2014.10.003. 

Carrington SJ, Kent RG, Maljaars J, Le Couteur A, Gould J, Wing L, Noens I, Van Berckelaer-Onnes I, Leekam SR. DSM-5 Autism Spectrum Disorder: In search of essential behaviours for diagnosis. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2014: 8 (6), 701-715.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2014.03.017. 

Kent RG, Carrington SJ, Le Couteur A, Gould J, Wing L, Maljaars J, Noens I, van Berckelaer-Onnes I, Leekam SR. Diagnosing autism spectrum disorder: who will get a DSM-5 diagnosis? J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2013 Nov;54(11):1242-50. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12085.  

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