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Staff Profile

Sue Mesa

Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

Sue Mesa

I qualified as an Occupational Therapist from Lancaster University in 1999 and I spent over 10 years working in clinical practice. My specialism is learning disability and autism. My most recent clinical position was in a learning disability assertive outreach service, working with individuals who were difficult to engage and in frequent contact with mental health services and/or the criminal justice system. I maintain contact and currency with practice by mentoring and supervising several Occupational Therapists and support workers, working in learning disability and autism services.

I am one of 6 UK-based trainers for the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS), which is an internationally used, standardised occupational therapy assessment tool and outcome measure. In the UK I have also provided consultancy and developed a follow-up AMPS course looking in more depth at the interpretation and documentation of the assessment.

I joined York St John in 2013, teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate occupational therapy programmes. My research relates to autism and learning disability.

Teaching

I teach the MSc and BSc Occupational Therapy programmes and also postgraduate courses related to assessment and outcome measurement.

In the OT programmes, I am involved in teaching related to:

  • Autism
  • Learning disability
  • Occupational therapy theory and methods of assessment
  • Use of critical reflection in practice
  • Emerging areas of occupational therapy practice, with groups and communities

I supervise research students in both occupational therapy programmes.

Professional Activities

I am a HCPC registered, a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapy and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I am a reviewer for several journals and for the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR). I have authored several book chapters related to occupational therapy theory, models of practice, and assessment.

Within the university, I co-facilitate the York Autism Community Of Practice (with Lorna Hamilton, Psychology and Jonathan Vincent, Education):

Research

I am interested in research related to autism and learning disability and have several research publications in these fields. My most recent research centres around the experiences of mainstream schooling for autistic young people. I am currently enrolled on a PhD at York St John. My project is entitled AIMSS: Autism Inclusive Mainstream Secondary Schooling. I am working in partnership with a small group of autistic young people, using narrative and participatory methods to co produce an intervention to support secondary schools to be more inclusive.

I am also interested in research related to parenthood and occupational science perspectives on marginalised groups and communities.

Publications

Articles:

Hamilton, L. G., Kelly, L., & Mesa, S. (2023). “I’m able to function better when I know there’s a beginning and an end time”: Autistic adolescents’ experiences of lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, 8. 

Mesa, S. and Hamilton, L.G. (2022), "“We are different, that’s a fact, but they treat us like we’re different-er”: understandings of autism and adolescent identity development". Advances in Autism, 8 (3), pp. 217-231.  

Hamilton, L., Mesa S., Hayward E., Price R & Bright, G. (2017). “There’s a lot of places I’d like to go and things I’d like to do”: The daily living experiences of adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities during a time of personalised social care reform in the UK”, Disability and Society, 32 (3), pp. 287-307.  

Mesa, S & Tsakanikos, E (2014). “Attitudes and self-efficacy towards adults with mild intellectual disability among staff in acute psychiatric wards: an empirical investigation”. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 8 (2). pp. 79-90. 

Mesa, S., Heron, P., Chard, G & Rowe, J (2014) “Using the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills as part of the diagnostic process in an inner-city learning disability service”. The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 77 (4). pp. 170-173. 

Research Reports:

Mesa, S  & Hamilton, L  (2022) School transitions for autistic young people in mainstream settings. Project Report. Institute for Social Justice, York.

Brooke-Hudson, G., Vincent, J., Mesa, S and Larkin, F  (2021) York ISL Supported Living Service Evaluation. Project Report. York St John University, York.

Book chapters:

Danzca, K., Mesa, S. & Powrie, B. (In press) Occupational Therapy Intervention Process Model (OTIPM). In Ikiugu, M.N., Taff, S., Kantartzis., S & Pollard, N. (eds). Theories, Models and Concepts in Occupational Therapy: Foundations for sustaining the profession. Slack.

Dancza, K & Mesa, S (2018) Intervention Phase In: Dancza, Karina and Rodgers, Sylvia, (eds.) Implementing occupation-centred practice: A practical guide for occupational therapy practice learning. Routledge, Oxon: pp 119-219.

Danzca, K and Head, J and Mesa, S (2018) Key tools of the occupational therapist: occupational profiling, activity analysis and occupational performance analysis. In: Dancza, Karina and Rodgers, Sylvia, (eds.) Implementing occupation-centred practice: A practical guide for occupational therapy practice learning. Routledge, Oxon: pp 49-81.

Mesa, S., Dancza, K., & Head, J (2018) Observing client’s performance of prioritised tasks and implement performance analysis. In: Dancza, Karina and Rodger, Sylvia, (eds.) Implementing occupation-centred practice: A practical guide for occupational therapy practice learning. Routledge, Oxon: pp 125-143

Chard, G & Mesa, S (2017). Chapter 16 Analysis of Occupational Performance: Motor, Process and Social Interaction Skills. In: Curtin M, Egan M & Adams J (eds) Occupational Therapy for people experiencing illness, injury or impairment, promoting occupation and participation (7th ed). Elsevier.

 

Conference Presentations

Mesa, S (2022) Autistic Young Peoples experiences of mainstream schooling in York. In: York Disability Week 2022, Online.

Mesa, S & Hamilton, L (2021) “We are different, that’s a fact, but they treat us like we’re different-er”. Parent, teacher, and child perspectives on mainstream schooling for young people with autism and the impact on identity. In: Association for Caribbean Occupational Therapists Conference, October 2021,  Online.  

Mesa, S & Hamilton, L (2021) “We are different, that’s a fact, but they treat us like we’re different-er”. Parent, teacher, and child perspectives on mainstream schooling for young people with autism and the impact on identity. In: Royal College of Occupational Therapy National Conference, June 2021, Online.  

Hamilton, L and Mesa, S(2015) Does personalised social care meet the needs of adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities? In: BPS North East of England Branch Annual Conference - Psychology across the lifespan, 7 September 2015, York St John University.

Mesa, S and Dancza, K (2013) What helps first year occupational therapy students to integrate theory into clinical practice? In: College of Occupational Therapy National Conference. June 2013, Glasgow.

Mesa, S and Dancza, K  (2012) Using the OTIPM in a first year university programme to explore how occupation influences early student learning about practice. In: AMPS Symposium, September 2012. Copenhagen.

Mesa, S (2012) The Mental Capacity Act and its application to OT practice. In: College of Occupational Therapists specialist section for learning disability conference. October 2012, COT London.

Mesa, S (2012) An investigation into acute psychiatric staffs’ attitudes and self-efficacy towards adults with learning disabilities. In: College of Occupational Therapists specialist section for learning disability conference. October 2012, COT London.

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