Department of Psychology

Professor Elisabeth Hill

Position held:
Professor of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Pro-Warden (Teaching, Learning and Enhancement)

+44 (0)20 7919 7088

+44 (0)20 7919 7088 (PA: Sarah Khan)

e.hill (

Deptford Town Hall,
Goldsmiths, University of London,
New Cross, SE14 6NW

Office hours:
By appointment.

Summary of research

Neurodevelopmental disorders, developmental co-ordination disorder, autism spectrum disorder, the relationship between social and motor development in typical and atypical populations, the role of alexithymia in neurodevelopmental disorders, mental health in adults with neurodevelopmental disorders, employment experiences of adults with neurodevelopmental disorders and those caring for a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder 

Academic qualifications

BSc PhD CPsychol

Areas of supervision

  • Developmental co-ordination disorder.
  • Relationships between motor development and other aspects of development (e.g. social interaction, language, cognitive ability) in typical and atypical populations.
  • Co-occurring biological, cognitive and/or behavioural features across neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Mental health in adults and children with neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Alexithymia in autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Employment experiences in adults with neurodevelopmental disorders and their parents.
  • Experiences of an ASD or DCD diagnosis.

Grants & awards

Much of my research has been funded through small grants from a variety of organisations as well as larger grants and through unfunded work in collaboration with a range of individuals and organisations including The British Academy, The Royal Society, ESRC, The Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, Prospects Employment Agency, The Wellcome Trust and the Experimental Psychology Society.  I have been working with the Progress Educational Trust on the Spectrum of Opinion project (funded by The Wellcome Trust; see in which we have developed materials aimed at raising awareness of issues relating to genes, autism and psychological spectrum disorders (see We are also working with the BASIS team ( investigate the relationships between early motor development and social outcomes. I am involved in part of the work funded by a large grant awarded by the European Research Council to Dr. Andy Bremner (, and I am working with the Dr Antonia Hamilton's lab ( at the University of Nottingham on a project investigating the underlying cognitive causes of autism and dyspraxia.

Sample grants awarded:

Farran, E., Karmiloff-Smith, A. & Hill, E.L. Motor development and navigation in ADHD. The Waterloo Foundation (2014-2015).

Hill, E.L. The role of motor abilities in the development of typical and atypical social behaviour. The Leverhulme Trust (2013-2016).

Crane, L., Goddard, L. Henry, L. & Hill, E.L. Experiences of receiving and communicating a diagnosis of autism: Perspectives of adults, parents and practitioners. The British Academy (2012-2013).

Henry, L., Leonard, H.C. & Hill, E.L. Executive functioning in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. The Waterloo Foundation (2012-2014).

Hamilton, A. & Hill, E.L. Autism and dyspraxia: A common cognitive cause? The Waterloo Foundation (2011-2013).

Kirby, A. & Hill, E.L. Employment in adults with Developmental Coordination Disorder. The Waterloo Foundation (2011-2012).

Hill, E.L. The impact of motor development on social and educational outcomes in early childhood: a pilot study. The Nuffield Foundation (2011).

Hill, E.L. Evaluating the relationship between the development of motor skills and social behaviour: A prospective study. The British Academy (2010-2011).

Hill, E.L. DCD as a translational impairment. The Experimental Psychology Society (2009-2010).

Hill, E.L. The Autism & Employment Study. The Wellcome Trust (2007).

Custance, D., Heaton, P. & Hill, E.L. Object-directed motor imitation in children with autism. ESRC (2007).

Hill, E.L. & Bremner, A. Cross-modal representations of visual/tactual space in typical children and children with developmental coordination disorder. The British Academy (2006–2007).

Hill, E.L. & Bremner, A. Cross-modal representations of visual/tactual space in typical children and children with developmental coordination disorder. University of London, Central Research Fund (2006–2007).

Hill, E.L. Defining the pattern of cognitive function and dysfunction in neurodevelopmental disorders Royal Society Research Grant (2004–2005).

Professional activities

I am a member of the committee of ISR-DCD-UK ( and a founding member of Movement Matters UK (, an umbrella organisation involved in informing policy makers, producing dissemination materials and other issues relating to those with movement disorders in the UK. With Movement Matters, I have been involved in developing European Guidelines for clinical/educational issues relating to the diagnosis, assessment and remediation of developmental coordination disorder ( to the UK context, a consensus process involving a wide range of professions. I am also involved in providing guidance for adults with DCD and those supporting them.

Recorded works

You can listen to / watch discussion of some of our recent work, including broader issues relating to developmental coordination disorder (DCD) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by clicking on the links below:


Podcast Academy interview by Adam Smith focusing on a mini-intervention study using the Wii with children with movement difficulties:

Podcast Academy interview by Adam Smith focusing on the dilemmas involved in conducting intervention studies:

Reuters video piece focusing on the use of the Wii Fit to support children with DCD:


Autism Employment event at the RSA:

Research interests

My research concerns cognitive dysfunction across and within neurodevelopmental disorders. Overall, my research has both theoretical and applied (educational and clinical) aims and benefits. My work falls into the following strands:

  1. Cognitive dysfunction in developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including executive functions, motor skill and the cognitive processing of emotions (including alexithymia) in children and adults with ASD, as well as their relatives. Interactions between these domains, and depression and anxiety, are also being investigated.
  2. The Employment & Developmental Disorders Study (including The Autism & Employment Study). This study is evaluating the employment experiences of adults with neurodevelopmental disorders, including ASD and DCD, as well as parents of a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder. This work is conducted alongside a range of colleagues including Dr. Alice Jones. I have also worked with the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities and Prospects Employment Service on this topic. Read our HR factsheet on ASD, employment and mental health, including 'Top Tips' and case studies at:, as well as information for Human Resources employees ( as well as those working in Occupational Health ( I have been involved in setting up the Autism Employment Alliance which is a large group of academics, employers and other related organisations to work together to improve employment support for people with ASD and their [potential] employers.
  3. The profile of motor difficulties in children and adults with developmental coordination disorder (DCD, often referred to as dyspraxia), and its relationship to socio-emotional difficulties and mental health issues.
  4. Investigating co-occurring symptoms in neurodevelopmental disorders, in particular the nature and extent of limb coordination impairments in disorders such as DCD, ASD and specific language impairment. On-going work has shown, for example, that children with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders experience widespread difficulties in many areas of limb coordination. This has implications for both theoretical accounts of the disorders and methods of providing support in education and daily life situations.
  5. The Autism Diagnosis Study: I am involved in this study, funded by The British Academy. Other investigators are Dr. Laura Crane, Dr. Lorna Goddard and Professor Lucy Henry. See more information about this study at
  6. The DCD/dyspraxia Diagnosis Study: We are seeking detailed experiences of obtaining a diagnosis of DCD/dyspraxia in the UK. This project is a collaboration with Dr. Laura Crane and Claudia  Alonso. See more information about this study at Results of phase one will be available over the next few months.


Interested in participating in my research?


Our lab is called GOAL (GOldsmiths Action Lab). We have lots of studies running at the moment!


The Autism & Employment Study

We are running a large Autism and Employment project. This has a few strands. Some people will be suitable in all strands, other people will fit the criteria for one strand. If you are an adult (aged 18+) with or without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), please consider helping us. The findings of our project will inform policy and support for those in or seeking work.


Strand (1) A survey: (this takes around 30-45 minutes to complete and there is the chance of winning £125 from a prize draw). You do not have to be in employment at the moment to complete this survey. Please also complete it if you have not had a paid job, but have been a volunteer.


Strand (2) A Survey: (this takes around 15-20 minutes to complete and you must be in paid employment to complete this survey).


Strand (3) Are you about to start paid or voluntary work, or are actively looking for such work at the moment? We are keen to hear from adults with and without ASD who are about to begin any kind of paid or voluntary employment. Part of our Autism and Employment project is looking at the effects of employment prior to starting a paid or voluntary job and then a few months into the job. If you think you may be able to help with this, please contact Lisa Dockery:


The 'Moving People' study

Motor skills support the way we interact with the environment and those around us. Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and those with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) present with difficulties in motor skill or social interaction, to varying degrees. To fully investigate the relationship between motor and social abilities, we are seeking children aged between 7-10 years with a diagnosis of DCD or ASD to take part in this study. We have developed new innovative eye-tracking measures, which address action perception and understanding, and also social processing scenarios. These measures support the more standardised assessments. We hope you would agree, this is a great way to further our understanding of these two neurodevelopmental disorders and to raise awareness of the relationship between motor and social development. Even better, children love the eye-tracking games! Interested in taking part? For further information, please contact or


The Movers & Shakers Study

Researchers in my lab are investigating the role on motor development of having an older sibling. We are looking for infants of 6 months and younger to take part in a study of motor development. Infants who have no older siblings or who have one older sibling who is 6 years or younger can take part. Parents will receive a diary in which they can keep track of their infant's motor milestones between the ages of 4 months and 18 months. At 18 months, we will organise a research visit to conduct a short motor assessment with your child. The diary has blank pages for comments and photos, and parents can keep the diary at the end of the study as a keepsake. Parents will also be asked to complete a few questionnaires during the study. This is a great way to keep a note of your child's development (see and we'll provide plenty of support over the course of the study. If you are interested or know someone with an infant who would be interested, please contact Hanna Adeyinka on or 020 7078 5484 to find out more details and to sign up.


The Body Sense Study

We are investigating how children learn to use different senses (such as vision and touch) to understand their own bodies, which is important for everyday environmental interactions. Children with DCD or Williams syndrome can take part. They will complete fun sensory, cognitive and motor tasks with us, and parents would complete several paper-based questionnaires. This project is funded by the European Research Council. For more information please email Joanne Camp at


Read our recent newsletter about past and ongoing work and activities here. Contact me at

Selected publications

Number of items: 76.


Leonard, Hayley C., Bernardi, M., Hill, Elisabeth L. and Henry, L.A.. 2015. Executive functioning, motor difficulties and Developmental Coordination Disorder. Developmental Neuropsychology, ISSN 8756-5641 [Article] (In Press)

Crane, Laura, Chester, James, Goddard, Lorna, Henry, Lucy and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2015. Experiences of autism diagnosis: A survey of over 1000 parents in the United Kingdom. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, [Article] (In Press)

Leonard, Hayley C., Bedford, R., Pickles, A., Hill, Elisabeth L. and The BASIS, Team. 2015. Predicting the rate of language development from early motor skills in at-risk infants who develop autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, ISSN 1750-9467 [Article] (In Press)

Barnett, Anna, Hill, Elisabeth L., Kirby, Amanda and Sugden, David A.. 2014. Adaptation and Extension of the European Recommendations (EACD) on Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) for the UK context. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, pp. 1-13. ISSN 0194-2638 [Article] (Forthcoming)

Pratt, Michelle L., Leonard, Hayley C., Adeyinka, Hanna and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2014. The effect of motor load on planning and inhibition in developmental coordination disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35(7), pp. 1579-1587. ISSN 0891-4222 [Article]

Jones, L, Goddard, Lorna, Hill, Elisabeth L., Henry, L and Crane, Laura. 2014. Experiences of receiving a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder: A survey of adults in the United Kingdom. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(12), pp. 3033-3044. ISSN 0162-3257 [Article]

Leonard, Hayley C., Elsabbagh, Mayada, Hill, Elisabeth L. and Basis Team, The. 2014. Motor development in children at-risk of autism: A follow-up study of infant siblings. Autism, 18(3), pp. 281-291. ISSN 1362-3613 [Article]

Ludlow, A., Heaton, Pam F., Hill, Elisabeth L. and Franklin, A.. 2014. Color Obsessions and Phobias in Autism Spectrum Disorders: the Case of J.G. Neurocase, 20(3), pp. 296-306. ISSN 1355-4794 [Article]

Leonard, Hayley C., Elsabbagh, Mayada, Hill, Elisabeth L. and Basis team, -. 2014. Early and persistent motor delay in infants at-risk of developing autism spectrum disorder: A prospective study. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 11(1), pp. 18-35. ISSN 1740-5629 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L., Jones, Alice P., Lang, Jane, Yarker, Joanna and Patterson, Allyson. 2014. Employment experiences of parents of children with ASD or ADHD: An exploratory study. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, pp. 1-13. ISSN 2047-3869 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2014. Linking clinical and industrial psychology: Autism spectrum disorder at work. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 7, pp. 163-166. ISSN 1754-9426 [Article]

Hammond, James, Jones, Victoria, Hill, Elisabeth L., Green, Dido and Male, Ian. 2014. An investigation of the impact of regular use of the Wii Fit to improve motor and psychosocial outcomes in children with movement difficulties: A pilot study. (Forthcoming). Child: care, health and development, 40(2), pp. 165-175. [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L. and Brown, Duncan. 2013. Mood impairments in adults previously diagnosed with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Journal of Mental Health, 22(4), pp. 334-340. ISSN 0963-8237 [Article]

Kirby, A., Williams, N., Thomas, M. and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2013. Self Reported Mood, General Health, Wellbeing and Employment Status in Adults with Suspected DCD. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(4), pp. 1357-1364. [Article]

Bremner, Andrew J., Hill, Elisabeth L., Pratt, Michelle L., Rigato, Silvia and Spence, Charles. 2013. Bodily illusions in young children: Developmental change in visual and proprioceptive contributions to perceived hand position. PLoS ONE, 8(1), e51887. ISSN 1932-6203 [Article]

Custance, Deborah M., Mayer, Jennifer L., Kumar, Emmelianna, Hill, Elisabeth L. and Heaton, Pam F.. 2013. Do Children With Autism Re-Enact Object Movements Rather Than Imitate Demonstrator Actions? Autism Research, 7(1), pp. 28-39. ISSN 1939-3792 [Article]

Berthoz, Sylvie, Lalanne, Christophe, Crane, Laura and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2013. Investigating emotional impairments in adults with autism spectrum disorders and the broader autism phenotype. Psychiatry Research, 208, pp. 257-264. [Article]

Smits-Engelsman, B and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2012. The Relationship Between Motor Coordination and Intelligence Across the IQ Range. PEDIATRICS, 130(4), e950-e956. ISSN 0031-4005 [Article]

Heaton, Pam F., Reichenbacher, Lisa, Sauter, Disa, Allen, Rory, Scott, Sophie K. and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2012. Measuring the effects of alexithymia on perception of emotional vocalisations in Autistic Spectrum Disorder and typical development. Psychological Medicine, 42(11), pp. 2453-2459. [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L., Dockery, Lisa, Mcintosh, Barbara and Perkins, David. 2012. Mental health and Asperger syndrome: The role of occupational health professionals. Occupational Health [At Work], 12, pp. 16-19. [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L., McIntosh, Barbara and Perkins, David. 2011. Reaching and understanding. The HR & Training Journal, 10(1), pp. 89-91. ISSN 1755-3520 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L. and Barnett, Anna. 2011. Movement difficulties in children. Psychologist, 24(1), pp. 34-37. [Article]

Pratt, Michelle L. and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2011. Anxiety profiles in children with and without developmental coordination disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32(4), pp. 1253-1259. ISSN 08914222 [Article]

Sinani, Charikleia, Sugden, David A. and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2011. Gesture production in school vs. clinical samples of children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and typically developing children. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 32(4), pp. 1270-1282. ISSN 0891-4222 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2010. The importance of motor skill in general development. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 52(10), p. 888. ISSN 00121622 [Article]

White, S. J., Burgess, P. W. and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2009. Impairments on "open-ended" executive function tests in autism. Autism Research, 2(3), pp. 138-147. ISSN 1939-3792 [Article]

White, Sarah, Hill, Elisabeth L., Happé, Francesca and Frith, Uta. 2009. Revisiting the Strange Stories: Revealing Mentalizing Impairments in Autism. Child Development, 80(4), pp. 1097-1117. ISSN 0009-3920 [Article]

Allen, Rory, Hill, Elisabeth L. and Heaton, Pam F.. 2009. The Subjective Experience of Music in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1169(1), pp. 326-331. ISSN 00778923 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L. and Khanem, Fateha. 2009. The development of hand preference in children: The effect of task demands and links with manual dexterity. Brain and Cognition, 71(2), pp. 99-107. ISSN 02782626 [Article]

Zoia, Stefania, Barnett, Anna, Wilson, Peter and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2006. Developmental Coordination Disorder: current issues. Child: Care, Health and Development, 32(6), pp. 613-618. ISSN 0305-1862 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L. and Bird, Chris M.. 2006. Executive processes in Asperger syndrome: Patterns of performance in a multiple case series. Neuropsychologia, 44(14), pp. 2822-2835. ISSN 00283932 [Article]

Sally, David and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2006. The development of interpersonal strategy: Autism, theory-of-mind, cooperation and fairness. Journal of Economic Psychology, 27(1), pp. 73-97. ISSN 0167-4870 [Article]

White, Sarah, Hill, Elisabeth L., Winston, Joel and Frith, Uta. 2006. An islet of social ability in Asperger Syndrome: Judging social attributes from faces. Brain and Cognition, 61(1), pp. 69-77. ISSN 02782626 [Article]

Berthoz, Sylvie and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2005. The validity of using self-reports to assess emotion regulation abilities in adults with autism spectrum disorder. European Psychiatry, 20(3), pp. 291-298. ISSN 09249338 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L., Berthoz, Sylvie and Frith, Uta. 2004. Brief Report: Cognitive Processing of Own Emotions in Individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and in Their Relatives. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34(2), pp. 229-235. ISSN 0162-3257 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2004. Evaluating the theory of executive dysfunction in autism. Developmental Review, 24(2), pp. 189-233. ISSN 02732297 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2004. Executive dysfunction in autism. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 8(1), pp. 26-32. ISSN 13646613 [Article]

Frith, U. and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2003. Editorial. Autism: Mind and Brain. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society Series B, 358, pp. 277-280. ISSN 0080-4622 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L. and Frith, Uta. 2003. Understanding autism: insights from mind and brain. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society Series B, 358(1430), pp. 281-289. [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L. and Russell, J.. 2002. Action memory and self-monitoring in children with autism: self versus other. Infant and Child Development, 11(2), pp. 159-170. ISSN 1522-7227 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L. and Frith, Uta. 2002. Understanding autism: insights from mind and brain. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences, 358(1430), pp. 281-289. ISSN 09628436 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L. and Russell, James. 2001. Action-monitoring and intention reporting in children with autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42(3), pp. 317-328. ISSN 00219630 [Article]

Russell, J. and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2001. Action-monitoring and Intention Reporting in Children with Autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 42(3), pp. 317-328. ISSN 0021-9630 [Article]

Russell, J., Hill, Elisabeth L. and Franco, F.. 2001. The role of belief veracity in understanding intentions-in-action Preschool children's performance on the transparent intentions task. Cognitive Development, 16(3), pp. 775-792. ISSN 08852014 [Article]

Russell, J., Saltmarsh, R. and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 1999. What Do Executive Factors Contribute to the Failure on False Belief Tasks by Children with Autism? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40(6), pp. 859-868. ISSN 0021-9630 [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L. and Bishop, Dorothy V.. 1998. A Reaching Test Reveals Weak Hand Preference in Specific Language Impairment and Developmental Co-ordination Disorder. Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, 3(4), pp. 295-310. ISSN 1357-650X [Article]

Hill, Elisabeth L., Bishop, Dorothy V. and Nimmo-Smith, Ian. 1998. Representational gestures in Developmental Coordination Disorder and specific language impairment: Error-types and the reliability of ratings. Human Movement Science, 17(4-5), pp. 655-678. ISSN 0167-9457 [Article]



Frith, U. and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2003. Autism: Mind and Brain. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198529244 [Book]

Book Section

Hill, Elisabeth L., Crane, Laura and Bremner, Andrew J.. 2012. Developmental disorders and multisensory perception. In: Andrew J. Bremner, David J. Lewkowicz and Charles Spence, eds. Multisensory Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 273-300. ISBN 978-0-19-958605-9 [Book Section]

Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2007. Executive functioning in autism spectrum disorder: where it fits in the causal model. In: M. McGregor, M. Nunez, K. Williams and J-C. Gomez, eds. An Integrated View of Autism: Perspectives from Neurocognitive, Clinical and Intervention Research. Oxford: Blackwells. [Book Section]

Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2005. The planning and organisation of action and activities of daily living in developmental coordination disorder. In: David A. Sugden and M. Chambers, eds. Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. London: Whurr Publishers, pp. 47-71. ISBN 978-1-86156-458-0 [Book Section]

Hill, Elisabeth L. and Frith, U.. 2004. Understanding autism: insights from mind and brain. In: U. Frith and Elisabeth L. Hill, eds. Autism: Mind and Brain. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-19. [Book Section]

Hill, Elisabeth L. and Wing, A. M.. 1999. The use of grip force to compensate for inertial forces during voluntary movement. In: K. Connolly, ed. The Psychobiology of the Hand. London: Mac Keith Press, pp. 199-212. [Book Section]


Printed Ephemera


This list was generated on Mon Mar 30 00:31:26 2015 BST.

Expert opinion piece written for Autism Awareness Day 2014 on autism & employment. Read it here.

Content last modified: 26 Mar 2015

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