Staff profile

Dr Amanda

Dr Amanda Richdale

Associate Professor, Principal Research Fellow

College of Science, Health and Engineering

School of Psychology and Public Health

Department of Psychology and Counselling

BIOL 2 Building Rm 255, Melbourne (Bundoora)

Research centres

Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre


B.App.Sc., M.Behav.Sc. (Preliminary), Ph.D.



Membership of professional associations

Registered Psychologist (AHPRA, Educational & Developmental endorsement). Member: Australian Psychological Society / College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists, Australasian Society for Autism Research, Australian Society for Intellectual Disability, Australasian Sleep Association, International Society for Autism Research, International Pediatric Sleep Association, European Sleep Research Society

Area of study


Brief profile

Associate Professor Amanda Richdale is a founding staff member at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC). She completed her PhD at La Trobe University in 1992 and joined RMIT University in 1993 before returning to La Trobe in 2009. Amanda's research interests include autism spectrum disorder, specific learning difficulties and developmental disorders, and paediatric sleep. Amanda was Chair of the former Autism Victoria Professional Panel and was co-founder of the Autism Victoria (now AMAZE) Autism Spectrum Disorder Reseach Group (2003) and the Australasian Autism Research Alliance (2005). She was a member of the group of autism researchers who founded the Australasian Research Collaboration (2009), and a member of the founding (interum) committee of the Australasian Society for Autism Research (2011). Amanda is currently Deputy Chair of the EPIC Early Intervention Centre's Committee of Management and a committe member of the APS Interest Group Psychology of Intellectual Disability and Autism. Amanda is a project leader in the Autism Cooperative Research Centre; La Trobe University is an Autism CRC essential partner.








Research interests

Cognitive and developmental psychology

- Autism spectrum disorder, Developmental disorders, Sleep

Teaching units







Workshops/seminars on paediatric sleep (including autism spectrum disorder); Workshops/seminars about autism spectrum disorder.

Recent publications

Book Chapters

Jacobs, D., & Richdale, A. (2014). Language and literacy subtypes in young children with a high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. In Arciuli, J., & Brock, J. (Eds.). Communication in Autism (Ch 7).  Trends in Language Acquisition Research 11 (TiLAR). John Benjamins Publishing Co: Amsterdam.

Richdale, A. L. (2013). Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. In A. R. Wolfson & H. Montgomery-Downs.The Oxford Handbook of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Sleep and Behavior (pp 471-494). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.  


Hedley, D., Dissanayake, C., Richdale, A, Uljarević, M., & Spoor, J. (Sep. 23, 2016). Dandelion Program: 2016 Annual Research Report. Research report prepared for Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the Australian Government Department of Human Services, and the Australian Government Department of Defence. Melbourne: La Trobe University.

Hedley, D., Dissanayake, C., Richdale, A, Uljarević, M., & Spoor, J. (Nov. 27, 2015). Dandelion Program: 2015 Preliminary Research Report. Research report prepared for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and the Australian Government Department of Human Services. Melbourne: La Trobe University.

Hedley, D., Dissanayake, C., Richdale, A, Uljarević, M., & Spoor, J. (Sep. 23, 2015). Dandelion Program: Interim Report I. Research report prepared for Hewlett Packard Enterprise and the Australian Government Department of Human Services. Melbourne: La Trobe University.

Richdale, A., & Cai R Y (June, 2015). Can we Measure Child Sleep, Temperature and Humidity Variables under different Bedding Conditions in a Home Setting? Four Pilot Cases. Australian Wool Innovation.

Richdale, A., & Cai R Y (June, 2014). The influence of bedding, sleep hygiene, and environment on sleep in children aged 2 to 10 years. Australian Wool Innovation.

Richdale, A. (June, 2013). The influence of bedding and sleep hygiene factors on children aged 2-5 years. Australian Wool Innovation.

Richdale, A., Dissanayake, C., & Cai, R. (Nov 2012). Supporting transition to and participation in tertiary education for students with an autism spectrum disorder. Report for the Department of Human Services, Victoria 

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Cai, R. Y., Richdale, A. L., Dissanayake, C., & Uljarević, M. (2017, in press). Brief Report: Inter-relationship bewteen emotion regulation, intolerance of uncertainty, anxiety and depression in youth with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Uljarević, M., Richdale, A. L., McConachie, H., Hedley, D.,  Cai, R. Y.,  Merrick, H., Parr, J. R., Couteur, A. (2017, in press). The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale: Factor structure and psychometric properties in older adolescents and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism Research.

Hedley, D., Uljarević, M., Wilmot, M., Richdale, A., & Dissanayake, C. (2017). Brief report: Social support, depression and suicidal ideation in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3274-2.

Whitehouse, A. J. O., Granich, J., Alvares, G., Busacca, M.,  Cooper, M. N., Dass, A., Duong, T.,  Harper, R.,  Marshall, W., Richdale, A., -------- & Anderson, A. (2017). A randomised-controlled trial of an iPad-based application to complement early behavioural intervention in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 9, 1042-1052. DOI:10.1111/jcpp.12752.

Hedley D., Cai, R., Uljarevic, M., Wilmot, M., Spoor, J. R., Richdale, A., & Dissanayake, C. (2017). Transition to work: Perspectives from the autism spectrum. Autism.  DOI: 10.1177/1362361316687697

Uljarević, M., Richdale, A.L., Evans, D.W., Cai, R.Y., & Leekam, S.R. (2017). Interrelationship between insistence on sameness, effortful control and anxiety in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Molecular Autism, 8, 36. DOI 10.1186/s13229-017-0158-4

Baker, E. M., Richdale, A. L., Hazi, A., & Prendergast, L. (2017). Assessing the dim light melatonin onset in adults with autism spectrum disorder and no comorbid intellectual disability. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47, 2120-2137.  doi:10.1007/s10803-017-3122-4

Baker E. M., & Richdale A. L . (2017). Examining the behavioural sleep-wake rhythm in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder and no comorbid intellectual disability. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47, 1207-1223. doi:10.1007/s10803-017-3042-3

Hedley, D. Uljarevic, M., Cameron, L., Halder, S., Richdale, A., & Dissanayake, C.  (2016). Employment programmes and interventions targeting adults with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review of the literature. Autism, doi: 10.1177/1362361316661855

Granich, J., Dass, A., Busacca, M., Moore, D., Anderson, A., Ventatesh, S., Duong, T., Vellanki, P., Richdale, A., ----------- Whitehouse, A. J. O. (2016). Randomised controlled trail of an iPad based early intervention for autism: TOBY playpad study protocol. BMC Pediatrics, 16, 167. DOI 10.1186/s12887-016-0704-9

Haas, K., Costley, D., Falkmer, M., Richdale, A.,  Sofronoff, K., & Falkmer, T. (2016). Factors influencing the research participation of adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46, 1793-1805.

Cai, R. Y. & Richdale, A. L. (2016). Educational experiences and needs of higher education students with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 46, 31-41

Baker, E. K., & Richdale, A. L. (2015). Sleep patterns in adults with a diagnosis of high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Sleep, 38, 1765 - 1774

Barrett, S. L., Uljarević, M., Baker, E. K., Richdale, A. L., Jones, C. R. G. & Leekam, S. R. ( 2015). The Adult Repetitive Behaviours Questionnaire – 2 (RBQ-2A): A self-report measure of restricted and repetitive behaviours. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(11), 3680-3692. DOI 10.1007/s10803-015-2514-6 (Open Access)

Richdale, A. L., & Baglin, C. L. (2015). Self-report and caregiver-report of sleep and psychopathology in children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder: A pilot study. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 8(4), 272-279

Richdale, A. L., & Baker E. K. (2014). Sleep in individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability: Recent research reports. Current Developmental Disorders Reports, 1, 74-85. DOI 10.1007/s40474-014-0010-x (Open Access)

Richdale, A. L., Baker, E. M., Short, M. & Gradisar, M. (2014). The role of insomnia, pre-sleep arousal, and psychopathology symptoms in daytime impairment in adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Sleep Medicine, 15 (9), 1082-1088.

Jacobs, D. W. & Richdale, A. L. (2013). Predicting literacy on children with a high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34, 2379-2390. 

Baker, E., Richdale, A., Short, M., & Gradisar, M. (2013). An investigation of sleep patterns in adolescents with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder compared with typically developing adolescents. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 16, 155-165.

Richdale, A. L. (Online, Jan 2013). Behavioral infant sleep intervention does not have long-lasting effects on children’s emotions or behaviour or child-parent relationship or maternal outcomes. Commentary. Evidence Based Mental Health. doi:10.1136/eb-2012-101123.

Vivanti, G., Hudry, K., Trembath, D., Barbaro, J., Richdale, A. & Dissanayake, C. (2013). Towards the DSM-5 criteria for autism: Clinical, Cultural and Research Implications. Australian Psychologist, 48, 258-261.

Goldman, S. E., Richdale, A. L., Clemens, T., & Malow B. A. (2012). Parental sleep concerns in autism spectrum disorders: Variations from childhood to adolescence, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 42, 531-538.
















Older publications

Book Chapters

Richdale, A. L., & Schreck, K. A. (2008). Assessment and intervention in autism: An historical perspective. In J. Matson (Ed). Clinical assessment and intervention for autism spectrum disorders (pp. 3-32). New York: Elsevier.  

Polimeni, M., Richdale, A., & Francis, A. (2007). Research update: clinical issues in the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of sleep problems in children with autism spectrum disorders, in P. C. Carlisle (Ed.) Progress in Autism Research. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Richdale, A. (2001).  Sleep disorders in autism and Asperger’s syndrome. In G. Stores & L. Wiggs (Eds).  Sleep disturbances in disorders of development: its significance and management. London: MacKeith Press.


Richdale, A.Gavidia-Payne, S. Itsines, M., & Nixon, J. (Nov, 2007). Development of enhanced Signposts Children with Autism module. Department of Human Services, Victoria

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Schreck, K. A., & Richdale, A. L. (2011). Knowledge of childhood sleep: A possible variable in under or misdiagnosis of childhood sleep problems. Journal of Sleep Research, 20, 598-597

Goldman, S. E., McGrew, S., Johnson, K., Richdale, A.Clemons, T., Malow, B. A. (2011). Sleep is associated with problem behaviors in children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 1223-1229.

Cotton. S., & Richdale, A. (2010). Sleep patterns and behaviour in typically developing children and children with autism, Down Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome and intellectual disability. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4, 490-500.

Chu, J., & Richdale, A. L. (2009). Sleep quality and psychological wellbeing in mothers of children with developmental disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 30, 1512-1522.

Richdale, A. L. & Schreck, K. A. (2009). Sleep problems in autism spectrum disorders: Prevalence, nature & possible biopsychosocial aetiologies. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 13, 403-411.

Mahar, N., & Richdale, A. (2008) Primary teachers’ linguistic knowledge and perceptions of early literacy instruction. Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, 13, 17-37.

Polimeni, M. A., Richdale, A. L., & Francis, A. J. P. (2007). The impact of children’s sleep problems on the family and behavioural processes related to their development and maintenance. E-Journal of Applied Psychology, 76–85.

Cotton, S., & Richdale, A. (2006). Brief Report: Parental Descriptions of Sleep Problems in Children with Autism, Down Syndrome, and Prader-Willi Syndrome. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 27, 151 - 161. (Selected for the American Psychological Associations’ Clinician’s Research Digest, Oct, 2006)

Kos, J. M., Richdale, A. L., & Hay, D. (2006) Children with ADHD and their teachers: A review of the literature. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 53, 147-160. (Special Issue on ADHD)

Richdale, A., & Wiggs, L. (2005) Behavioral approaches to the treatment of sleep problems in children with developmental disorders. What is the state of the art? International Journal of Behavioral and Consultation Therapy, 1, 165–189.

Polimeni, M. A., Richdale, A. L., & Francis, A. J. P. (2005). A survey of sleep problems in autism, Asperger’s disorder and typically developing children. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 49, 260 -268

Weiskop, S, Richdale, A.& Matthews, J. (2005). Treatment to Reduce Sleep Problems in Children with Autism or Fragile X Syndrome. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 47, 94-104

Kos, J. M., & Richdale, A. L. (2004).  The history of attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder. Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, 9, 22-24.

Kos, J. M., Richdale, A. L., & Jackson, M. S. (2004).  Knowledge about attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder: A comparison of in-service and pre-service teachers.  Psychology in the Schools, 45, 517-526.  

Robinson, A. M., & Richdale, A. L. (2004). Sleep problems in children with an intellectual disability: Parental views of treatment, satisfaction and effectiveness. Child: Care, Health and Development, 30, 139 – 150.

Richdale, A. L. (2003). A descriptive analysis of sleep behaviour in children with Fragile X. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 28, 97 - 104.

Thackeray, E., & Richdale, A. (2002). The behavioural treatment of sleep difficulties in children with an intellectual disability. Behavioral Interventions, 17, 211-231.

Weiskop, S., Matthews, J., & Richdale, A. (2001). Treatment of sleep problems in a 5-year-old boy with autism using behavioural principles. Autism, 5, 209-221.

Braithwaite, K., & Richdale, A. L. (2000). Functional communication training to replace challenging behaviors across two behavioral outcomes.  Behavioral Interventions, 15, 21-36.

Richdale, A., Gavidia-Payne, S., Francis, A., & Cotton, S. (2000). Sleep problems, behaviour and stress in children with an intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 25, 147-161.

Richdale, A.L. (1999). Annotation: Sleep problems and autism: Comparison with other disabilities, causes, and intervention. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 41, 60-66.

Richdale, A. L., Cotton, S., & Hibbit, K. (1999). Sleep and behaviour difficulties in the Prader-Willi syndrome. A questionnaire study. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 43, 380-392.

Patzold, L, Richdale, A., & Tonge, B. (1998). An investigation into the sleep characteristics of children with autism and Asperger’s disorder. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 34, 528-533.

Lawson, A., & Richdale, A. L. (1996). A scale for measuring teachers' beliefs about reading and children with reading disabilities. Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, 1, 28-32.

Richdale, A. L.Reece, J. E., & Lawson, A. (1996). Teachers, children with reading difficulties and remedial reading assistance in primary schools. Behaviour Change, 13, 47-61.

Richdale, A. L. & Prior, M. R. (1995). The sleep/wake rhythm in children with autism. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 4, 175-186.

Richdale, A. L. & Prior, M. R. (1992). Urinary cortisol rhythm in a group of high-functioning autistic children. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 22, 433-447.

Gibbs, M. E., Richdale, A. L., & Ng, K.T. (1987). Effect of excess intracranial amino acids on memory formation: A behavioral survey. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 11, 331-339.

Williamson, A. M., Ng, K. T., & Richdale, A. L. (1981). Changes in corticosterone levels in iron deficient rats. Physiology and Behavior, 27, 1085-1088.

Gibbs, M. E., Richdale, A. L., & Ng, K. T. (1979). Biochemical aspects of protein synthesis inhibition in one or both hemispheres of the chick brain. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 10, 929-931.

Gibbs, M. E., Ng, K. T., & Richdale, A. L. (1977). L-Proline inhibition of long-term memory formation. Neuroscience Letters, 6, 355-360.












Research projects

Current Students

Doctoral Students

  • Eva Laurent (PhD): Autism and STEM Employment
  • Ru Cai (PhD): Emotion regulation in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders. 

Honours Psychology

  • Stephanie Roussis: Sleep and behavioural problems in young children with autism

Completed Doctoral Students

2017: Maria Lambrou (DPsych): Defining and assessing client suitability for short-term cognitive behaviour therapy

2017: Emma Baker (PhD): Does Circadian Rhythm Disturbance Explain Insomnia in Adults with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder?

2016: Kavi Jayasinghe (DPsych): Repetitive Behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Role of Stress Response, Selective Attention to Sensory Stimuli and Conceptual Abstraction

2016: Monica Chester (DPsych): Social skills intervention for high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorder. Deakin University

2013: Claire Forsythe (DPsych): Investigating Social Attribution in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. What can attention deficits tell us?

2012: Rachel Leonard (PhD): Executive function and social skills in young high-functioning children with autism. RMIT University

2011: Mickaela Schelleman (PhD): The impact of diet on children’s behaviour and learning. RMIT University

2010: Helen Chau (PhD): A study of approaches and methods of practice in early in intervention in autism and related disorders. RMIT University

2009: Diane Jacobs (PhD): Language, literacy, and behaviour of children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder, specific language impairment, or specific reading disorder, compared to typically developing peers. RMIT University

2008: Rosemary Badenoch (PhD) Evaluation of the Correa program for children with autism who are climbers or absconders. University of Melbourne

2007: Anthony Robinson (D.Psych), Children with an intellectual disability and sleep problems: The role of child and parent factors and treatment efficacy using the Signposts program. RMIT University

2005: Melinda Polimeni (Ph.D.), An examination of sleep problems and bio-behavioural treatment outcomes in typically developing children and children with an autism spectrum disorder or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. RMIT University

2005: Tania Pietrzak (Ph.D.), Parent-driven behavioural interventions for children with an autism spectrum disorder: Supervision effects and family outcomes. RMIT University.

2004: Julie Kos (Ph.D.), Primary school teachers' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours toward children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. RMIT University.

2001: Sophie Weiskop (D.Psych.), The effectiveness of a parent training program to reduce sleep problems in children with autism or Fragile X syndrome. RMIT University.

1998: Brynne E. Dippell (Ph.D.), Dawn simulation in the treatment of sleep disorders in children with autism. California Graduate Institute, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Current and Recent Research Studies and Support 

2016: Autism CRC. Supporting staff and students with HFA in STEM programs. K Sofronoff, M Whelan and A Richdale

2015-2017: HP Australia: The Dandelion Project. Evaluation. C Dissanayake, D Hedley, A Richdale, & M Ulajarevic.

2015: Living with Disease RFA grant, La Trobe University: Serotonergic systems, anxiety and insomnia in a model of autism spectrum disorder. M Hale, J Lesku, A Richdale, S Kent, & C Dissanayake

2014-2016: Autism CRC: Base Resourcing. Richdale, A, Troller, J, Falkmer, T, & Lennox, N.

2014-2016: Autism CRC: Unique profile of ASD school leavers. Richdale, A., Falkmer, T., Trollor, J., & Lennox, N.

2014: Autism CRC: Optimising recruitment for retention in longitudinal research. Costley, D., Clarke, T., Richdale, A., Falkmer, T., & Sofronoff, K.

2013-2014: Australian Children's Trust. Multi-site randomized controlled trial of an iPad app to complement therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder: The TOBY trial. Whitehouse, A., Venkatesh, S., Moore, D., Richdale, A., Trembath, D., Anderson, A., Cairns, D., Marshall, W., Granich, D., & Dass, A.

2013-2014: La Trobe University Living with Disease RFA Award: Investigating the Genetics of Co-morbid Anxiety and Insomnia in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Richdale, A., Somers, J. Lesku, J., Hale, M., Dissanayake, C., & Kent, S.

2013-2014: William and Vera Housten Memorial Trust: Parents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dissanayake, C. & Richdale, A.

2013-2014: Australian Wool Innovation: The Influence of Bedding, Sleep Hygiene and Environment on Sleep in Children Aged 2 to 10 Years, Richdale, A.

2012-2013:  Australian Wool Innovation. Bedding and Sleep Quality in Children Aged 2 – 5 years, Richdale, A.

2012:  Apex Autism Trust. Circadian Rhythm Dysfunction in Adults with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence from Dim Light Melatonin Onset. Emma Baker (PhD student); A Richdale (Primary supervisor)

2010 - 2012:  Department of Human Services (Vic). Supporting tertiary transition to and participation in tertiary education for students with ASD. Richdale A. & Dissanayake, C.