Helping those with autism thrive

A story about autism and sleepovers

A story about autism and sleepovers

Meet Heidi. At the age of 2, she was diagnosed with autism. With La Trobe's help, she's worked hard to do things other kids take for granted

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Our understanding of autism has progressed substantially over the past few decades, but there are still many questions to be answered. What is the best way to help someone with autism? How can we increase awareness and understanding in the community?

La Trobe’s Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) is Australia’s first centre dedicated to researching Autism Spectrum Disorders. Part of OTARC’s research focus is looking for ways to diagnose autism in children before they reach verbal maturity. The earlier a child is diagnosed, the sooner they can start a treatment journey and reach their full potential.

OTARC have been able to improve the lives of children and their families, and now with the release of Dr Josephine Barbaro’s ASDetect app, even more families can benefit from this research. Meet our researchers and the people they’ve helped – and challenge your subconscious assumptions about how the human brain functions.

Improving the lives of people with autism

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake talks about the benefits of early detection.

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What do you know about the brain?

We invite you to challenge myths about brain development.

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Leading research

Research from the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre changes lives.

Learn how

Improving lives with early detection

Explore how our work on early detection of autism helps the community.

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Meet Heidi, the star of our video.
Meet Heidi, the star of our video.
Heidi was diagnosed with autism at age two.
Heidi was diagnosed with autism at age two.
Early detection and intervention helped improve her learning development.
Early detection and intervention helped improve her learning development.
Heidi and her mother are very close.
Heidi and her mother are very close.
Like all 11-year-olds, she loves to play.
Like all 11-year-olds, she loves to play.
Whether it’s creating imaginary characters...
Whether it’s creating imaginary characters...
…or playing analytical board games.
…or playing analytical board games.
Heidi enjoys sleepovers…
Heidi enjoys sleepovers…
...and her packing list keeps her prepared.
...and her packing list keeps her prepared.
Here’s our video crew behind the scenes.
Here’s our video crew behind the scenes.
Meet La Trobe’s autism researchers.
Meet La Trobe’s autism researchers.