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Lai-Sang Iao

Lai-Sang Iao

Senior Lecturer

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)
Academic Division Admissions Psychology


Lai-Sang is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology. She is the Course Leader for MSc Applied Child Psychology. She is a module leader of modules on developmental psychology and disorders at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She also teaches undergraduate tutorials, research methods and analytical thinking in Educational and Developmental Psychology. She is also a project supervisor supervising research projects at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including BSc, MSc and PhD. Lai-Sang is currently accepting applications from prospective PhD students.

Research areas

Lai-Sang’s primary research focus is autism. Her research interests include social and cognitive development within and beyond the autism spectrum, early screening for autism, and mental health in autistic people and their caregivers. As the Lead of the Autism and Neurodiversity Research Group, she is committed to empower academics, students, and stakeholders to actively conduct transformational research on autism and neurodiversity and create positive changes and better outcomes for autistic people, neurodivergent people and their families.

Lai-Sang is accepting applications from prospective PhD students with relevant research interests.

External activity

Lai-Sang engages in a range of external activities, she is currently a/an/the:

  • Chartered Psychologist
  • Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Lead External Examiner for BSc (Honours) Psychology with Criminology at Northumbria University
  • External Examiner for BSc (Hons) Psychology (delivered at Newcastle and Kaplan)
  • Research Consultant for Hokkaido University in Japan
  • Lead Topic Editor of Wellbeing in Parents of Neurodivergent Children for Frontiers in Psychiatry
  • Peer reviewer for a number of journals
  • Right to Read Volunteer

Sponsors and collaborators

  • Professor Chin-chin Wu (Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan)
  • Professor Yuh-Ming Hou (Ditmanson Medical Foundation Chia-Yi Christian Hospital, Taiwan)
  • Dr Gary Yu-Hin Lam (Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
  • Dr Satoshi Okada (Hokkaido University, Japan)
  • Dr Nicolás Ruiz Robledillo (University of Alicante, Spain)
  • Dr Brian Lovell (Northumbria University)
  • Dr Paige Davis (York St John University)

Lai-Sang has contributed to the TKCOM project, led by Dr Lucy Betts in the Department of Psychology at NTU, funded by the Erasmus+ scheme led by Dr Elena Cano (University of Barcelona, Spain). This project involves international collaborations led by:

  • Dr Maria Pessoa (University of Coimbra, Portugal)
  • Dr Jianping Xu (Beijing University, China)
  • Professor Aibao Zhou (Northwest Normal University, China)
  • Professor Yule Jin (Southwest Normal University, China)

Lai-Sang has also worked with a number of schools in the UK on various research projects.


Lai-Sang has contributed to many journals, books and conferences;

See all of Lai-Sang Iao's publications...