Raising a child with ASD

Rebecca McStay outlines her Doctoral thesis which explores the roles of child age on maternal outcomes, as well as understanding the potential predictors of stress and family quality of life in mothers and fathers.

Dr Heather Nuske is awarded a Victoria Fellowship (VESKI) in Life Sciences in the 2014 Victoria Prizes for Science and Innovation

Blog Veski Heather copy

The 2014 Victoria Fellowships recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution of Victoria’s leading scientists and researchers in the fields of physical sciences and life sciences. The recipients work in the forefront of the new technologies, products and services that enhance our way of life and create new high value jobs and prosperity for our communities.

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Wellbeing of Toddler-aged Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Child playing

By Katherine (Kat) Crea, Psychologist, Doctor of Clinical Psychology Candidate

During my previous employment at the Australian Psychological Society on the early childhood mental health promotion, prevention, and early intervention initiative, KidsMatter Early Childhood, I developed a keen interest in the well-being of children under school age. I discovered that even during toddlerhood, some children begin to show signs of emotional and behavioral difficulties, including “acting out” difficulties such as aggression, and “holding in” difficulties such as excessive worry and anxiety. Whilst some children “grow out of” these difficulties, around 1 in 2 children do not seem to improve without intervention, and continue to show signs of difficulties when followed up in later years.

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Introducing Dr Mirko Uljarevic

Dr Mirko Uljarevic

Dr Mirko Uljarevic

I recently joined the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre as a CRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow to work with Associate Professor Amanda Richdale on a project that aims to identify and describe the comprehensive and unique profiles of Australian school leavers with ASD. This project also aims to investigate well-being of parents of school leavers with ASD.

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Ask a Researcher – What is DAMP?

Question Mark


“Could you please let me know where DAMP and Aspergers crossover, and where to find more info on DAMP?”

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The Director’s Report – September 2014

Prof Dissanayake

Cheryl Dissanayake, PhD, MAPS
Director, Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre

We have turned six years old since our last newsletter, and recently had our sixth Annual General Meeting.   Our 2014 Annual Report is now available and you will see that we have had another successful year at OTARC.  Speaking of success, I would like to congratulate Dr Heather Nuske on receipt of a competitive Veski Victoria Fellowship in the Life Sciences, recently awarded by Victorian State Government Minister, the Honorable Louise Asher.

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CRC update – September 2014


The Autism CRC has a new CEO, Mr Andrew Davies, who has taken up his position at the headquarters in Long Pocket Brisbane this month. Andrew has worked extensively with Australian companies and public sector research organisations to deliver development partnerships, joint ventures, intellectual property licences and financing. Our CRC team at OTARC looks forward to meeting him. In addition to our two CRC post doctoral fellows working at OTARC, Drs Heather Nuske and Mirko Uljaravic, we have two CRC PhD scholars (Stacey Rabba and Ru Cai) working on CRC projects with us, as well as Research Assistants (Melanie Muniandy and Lahna Bradley).

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Visitors to the Centre – July to September 2014

Lesley Stirling

July 16 – December

Associate Professor Lesley Stirling from University of Melbourne is currently spending her study leave at OTARC.

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OTARC Staff Out & About

Babylab photo

Baby Sebastian following the pointing gesture of Dr Chloe Taylor at the Birkbeck Babylab

A visit to the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, University of London

By Dr Kristelle Hudry

Dr Kristelle Hudry and Dr Josephine Barbaro took advantage of their visit to the International Conference on Infant Studies held in Berlin, to also make a week-long visit to London to begin their work with a group based at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD) at Birkbeck College – also known as the Birkbeck Babylab.

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Conferences – July to September 2014


2 – 4 July
The International Society on Infant Studies biennial conference (Berlin, Germany)

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