Dr Elfriede

Dr Elfriede Ihsen

Research Fellow

College of Science, Health and Engineering

School of Psychology and Public Health

Department of Psychology and Counselling

Room 252 Biological Sciences Building 2, Melbourne (Bundoora)

Research centres

Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre


PhD, BSc (HONS), Monash



Membership of professional associations


Area of study


Brief profile

Dr Elfriede Ihsen is a Research Fellow at the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) and the School of Psychology and Public Health in the College of Science, Health and Engineering.


Prior to joining La Trobe University, Dr Ihsen was a lecturer and researcher in the School of Studies in Disability at Deakin University (1988 – 1997) and in Psychology at Swinburne University of Technology (1998 – 2006). Her main teaching subjects were child development (including the development of children with a disability), early intervention and visual impairment and blindness.


Areas of Interest

  • Development in early childhood, especially play, executive function and effortful control, parenting, transitions.
  • Development of children who grow up with disabilities or in non-optimal family and community environments. Particular expertise: development of children with congenital visual impairment and blindness, with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and of children who have been abused and/or neglected by their caregivers.
  • Services and programs that support children with disabilities, their families and communities. Particular expertise: early childhood intervention, family-centred intervention, outcomes-based programs, evaluation of programs and services, staff development and training.


Recent publications

Randall, M., Sciberras, E., Brignell, A., Ihsen, E., Efron, D., Dissanayake, C. & Williams, K. (in press). Autism Spectrum Disorder: Presentation and prevalence in a nationally representative Australian sample. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. DOI 10.1177/0004867415595287

Kelly, R., Dissanayake, C., Hammond, S.W. & Ihsen, E. (2011). The relationship between symbolic play and executive function in young children. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 36, 21-27.

Ihsen, E., Troester, H. & Brambring, M. (2010). The role of sound in encouraging infants with congenital blindness to reach for objects. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 104 (8), 478-488.

Ihsen, E. (with assistance from A. Hacker (2007). “Kasserian Ingera?” - How are the children? Evaluation of Yarra Ranges Integrated Family Services Year 1 (2005-2006).

Oxley, J., Ihsen, E., Fildes, B.N., Day, R.H., & Charlton, J.L. (2005). Crossing roads safely: Age differences in gap selection. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 37, 962-971.