Report by Dr Kristelle Hudry
August 2013 saw the beginning of a very exciting new development. Drawing on the expertise of OTARC researchers, PSY3ASD: Understanding and Treating Autism Spectrum Disorders was launched through La Trobe University’s School of Psychological Science. This is the first, undergraduate semester-long subject dedicated to ASD in Australia. The vision of Prof. Cheryl Dissanayake, PSY3ASD was developed and coordinated by Dr Kristelle Hudry. Lectures were taught by various members of our team of OTARC researchers and staff – Dr Josephine Barbaro, Dr Giacomo Vivanti, Dr Cherie Green, Associate Professor Amanda Richdale, and Dr Nancy Sadka, as well as Professor Dissanayake and Dr Hudry – with support from other La Trobe staff and postgraduate students with interest and expertise in ASDs. Lectures were delivered to 340 students. These originated from La Trobe’s Bundoora campus in Melbourne, with video-conferencing to students at La Trobe’s Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga campuses. Fortnightly tutorials were facilitated by OTARC postgraduate students Lisa Rumney and Heather Nuske in Melbourne, by Tim Godber in Bendigo, and by Dr Sharon Hanna in Albury-Wodonga. Students from various disciplines, including Psychological Science, Occupational Therapy, Health Science, Law and education, were enrolled in this new subject.