Kristelle is a psychologist and researcher at La Trobe University. She has a continuing position as a Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology. However, from 2016 to 2018, she has stepped out of this role to take up an exciting opportunity to work with the Victorian Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre (ASELCC) team of energetic and inspiring educational and allied health professionals. Together, the team works to deliver evidence-based early intervention for young children with autism, and Kristelle’s role is to oversee the research program associated with this service.

Kristelle first began to work with children with autism and their families while she was studying undergraduate psychology. She developed particular interest in intervention research during her training in Educational Psychology at the University of Queensland, when she worked as a research therapist delivering parent-mediated intervention. After completing her PhD, she spent 5 years in London working with autism research teams at the Institute of Child Health and the Institute of Education. There, she was involved in a large, randomised-controlled trial of parent-mediated intervention and also in a longitudinal study into the early development of infants who were later-diagnosed with autism.

Kristelle has been back in Australia since 2010. Here, through her teaching, she is building undergraduate students’ interest for future careers working with people with autism, and building capacity for diagnostic best-practice among allied health/medical professionals through her workshops on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS). She continues to conduct research on early development in children with autism. Kristelle is particularly interested in understanding how communities can best support children with autism and what parents can do to help their children become their best possible future selves.

Read Kristelle Hurdy’s full session description on the VAC program here