I graduated in my undergraduate degree at the University of Newcastle in July, 2009.
Since then, my professional life has primarily focused on working in a variety of school settings, providing me with an understanding of and sensitivity to the needs of a range of learners. I have led teams by coordinating and delivering initiatives and explicit programs which focus on inclusive education by supporting the learning and engagement of students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
My personal life too has been affected through the challenges faced by people living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Raising a son with Autism has been an integral part of my desire in keeping abreast of current research in this field. I have been moved by the remarkable strength my son has shown in the eyes of adversity, as I have witnessed firsthand the daily challenges he has faced.
As a result of my professional and personal desire to assist people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in reaching their full potential, I have continually reviewed legislation and initiatives for people with disabilities. This has shaped my views and developed my understanding and skills as an educator; in working towards improving practices and outcomes for individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
My focus of study is to investigate and understand the potential influences affecting post-schooling employment outcomes of local young Australians with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Moreover, this research mirrors my fundamental belief that individuals with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder can and should expect to fulfil their post-schooling employment aspirations; through an integrated and inclusive person-centred approach.