Audio and Video resources




Research into Autism Spectrum Disorders


1. Introducing Research into Autism Spectrum Disorders

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake introduces research programs at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC), as well as explaining our important relationships within Australia and internationally.


2. Interview with Professor Margot Prior

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake interviews Professor Margot Prior about her distinguished career as a researcher into Autism Spectrum Disorders.


3. Professor Dissanayake of the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre

The Director of Olga Tennison Autism Research (OTARC), Professor Cheryl Dissanayake is interviewed by Dr David Trembath (Research Fellow at OTARC) about her career as a researcher in Autism Spectrum Disorders and the past, present and future of autism research.


4. Behavioural and cognitive development and differences

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake explains some of the issues relevant to differences and similarities in behavioural and cognitive development in children with autism compared with typically developing children. This is one of the core research theme of the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre.


5. N1: Practice is Research

Dr David Trembath explains the  N1 research project which  is designed to teach clinicians how to evaluate client outcomes using Single Case Experimental Designs (also known as N1 designs).

The Inside the Lab series


Inside the Lab #01:
Separating Autism and Intellectual Disability

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake, Director of OTARC, Dr Cynthia Zierhut from the MIND Institute, University of California, and Dr Giacomo Vivanti, Research Fellow at the Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre (ASELCC) at La Trobe, talk about recent developments in Autism practice and research. Discussions revolve around the early intervention program implemented at ASELCC, the Early Start Denver Model, and associated research projects, which focus on how children with autism learn. One of the outcomes of this research shows that Intellectual Disability, so often diagnosed as a co-morbid condition in people with autism, may be a result of the social learning difficulties associated with severe autism, rather than being a separate disability. Finding out more about how children with autism learn, and what strategies should be adopted to teach them, may result in better intellectual outcomes for these children.


Inside the Lab #02:
Stakeholder driven research

Dr Kristelle Hudry, Lecturer in Psychology and Researchers at OTARC, Mrs Amanda Golding, a parent of a son with autism and a service professional, and Professor Ann Le Couteur, Newcastle University, UK, are starting their discussion with new developments in the diagnostic tools for autism and training for the use of these tools. The discussion then moves to practices in the UK for involving stakeholders (autism professionals, parents of children with autism and adults with autism) to drive policy and research development, and the Australian Autism CRC (Cooperative Research Centre) with user-driven input.


Inside the Lab #03:
Autism in China

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake, Director of OTARC, Dr Josephine Barbaro, Research Fellow at OTARC, and Associate Professor Chongying Wang, Nakai University, Tianjin, China, discuss Autism diagnosis and intervention in China, as well as the implementation of early identification practices using Social Attention and Communication Surveillance (SACS) developed by Dr Barbaro at OTARC.

play Inside the Lab #04:
Research into early interventions
play Inside the Lab #05:
Focus on adults

Inside the Lab #06:
Early Autism and Global Knowledge Transfer

Dr Josephine Barbaro (Research Fellow at OTARC) is joined by Professor Catherine Lord (Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain at Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Columbia University) and Dr Andy Shih (Vice President of Scientific Affairs, Autism Speaks) to discuss issues related to early identification and diagnosis of ASD, and global knowledge and resources transfer as part of Autism Speaks' Global Autism Public Health Initiative. This vodcast is also available as podcast on iTunes.


Inside the Lab #07:
Specialisterne employment model in Australia

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake (Director of OTARC), Thorkil Sonne (CEO of Specialisterne Foundation in Denmark) and Michael Fieldhouse (Accounts Executive, Hewlett Packard) discuss the Specialisterne employment model for adults with autism and its implementation in Australia. Hewlett Packard and the Federal Department of Human Services are collaborating with Specialisterne in the 'Dandelion Project' which is aimed at training and placing adults in software testing jobs. OTARC is studying the impact this has on the lives of adults with autism.


Ray David's Mural at La Trobe University

Dr Ray David was the first artist selected to exhibit in Frame of Mind exhibition in 2014, which was organised by the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre’s as part of its autism awareness campaign during the World Autism Awareness month. Following the exhibition, Ray’s work was chosen to feature as a mural at La Trobe University. High quality photographic reproductions of his paintings are seen here being installed over two levels in the David Myers East stairwell, on the Bundoora campus. Here he speaks about what his work represents and his appreciation of having the work displayed at the University.

play Frame of Mind: Ray David

Research into Early Identification and Diagnosis

play 1. Identification and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders
play 2. Jaidyn's story
play 3. Transforming the early detection of autism
play 4. Mapping autism diagnoses in Australia
play 5. Understanding the DSM-5, with Giacomo Vivanti


play The benefits of ASDetect
play ASDetect: Early detection app for Apple and Android
play The technology behind ASDetect

Research into Interventions for Children and Their Families

play Learning & Teaching by Dr Giacomo Vivanti

Understanding and facilitating learning in children with Autism

Dr Giacomo Vivanti, Research Fellow at the Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre (ASELCC) at La Trobe, talks about his recent research on how children with autism learn and how we can improve the learning outcomes using innovative treatment approaches. Autism, more than any other neurodevelopmental disorder, impacts the ability of individuals to learn the communication skills, socialisation skills and daily living skills necessary to live an independent life, to find and maintain a job, to have friends and to have a social life.

play Victorian Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre
play Focus on families: affected by a member with ASD
play Raising a child with ASD: an exploration of family adaptation
play Wellbeing in toddler aged siblings of children with ASD
play Emotional Reactions of children with Autism
play Language and communication 

The Autism Biobank

Professor Cheryl Dissanayake, Director of OTARC, introduces the Autism Biobank, a national signature project funded by the Autism Cooperative Research Centre (Autism CRC). OTARC is the Victorian site for collection on biological data (blood and saliva), physical measurements (incl. head circumference) and behavioural and cognitive data from children with autism aged 2 to 17 years and their parents. These data will contribute to our understanding of the many types of autism and their underlying bases.

Research into Interventions across the lifespan

play Intervention across the lifespan for people with ASD

Longitudinal study for School Leavers with Autism

Dr Mirko Uljarević, Research Fellow OTARC, talks about his study that aims to understand the process of transitioning of young people with ASD, aged 15-25, from high-school to either higher education or vocational training. Collaborators in this study are Associate Professor Amanda Richdale and PhD scholar Ru Cai, as well as with the Autism CRC. The specific aims are to identify barriers and facilitators that are associated with positive and negative outcomes for students with ASD and their families, which will lead to the development of person-centred support programs.


The Dandelion Project: Employing adults on the autism spectrum

Dr Darren Hedley, Research Fellow OTARC, talks about The 'Dandelion Project', a study supported by Hewlett-Packard, Australia, the Australian Government Department of Human Services (DHS) and in collaboration with Specialist People Foundation, Denmark. The project, that is looking at factors associated with successful transition to employment of adults on the Autism Spectrum who are employed by DHS as software testers. OTARC research will collect information from the adults with autism, their families, as well as their co-workers and managers to determine whether the training and employment leads to improvements in wellbeing, quality of life and self-worth, and reductions in anxiety and depression.

play Related Conditions