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The team at the Aspect Research Centre for Autism Practice (ARCAP) plans, supports and implements research projects, including evaluations, to ensure the continuous improvement of Aspect services. ARCAP researchers also collaborate in autism research studies with other autism researchers across Australia and internationally, and share the findings of their research through publications and presentations. The expertise of our research team encompasses autism specific education, interventions, assessment and inclusive practices.

Dr Vicki Gibbs – Head of Research

Vicki Gibbs is a Clinical Psychologist and Head of Research at Aspect. Prior to her current role, Vicki was responsible for establishing Aspect’s first dedicated diagnostic assessment service and developing an Australian-first website aimed at assisting young Autistic people to navigate the transition from school to adult life. Vicki has presented at numerous conferences, workshops and training seminars in relation to autism assessment and has co-authored a number of published papers into autism assessment practices and the intersection between autism and the criminal justice system in Australia. Vicki’s PhD investigated victimisation experiences of Autistic adults.

Dr Ru Ying Cai – Research Fellow

Ru is passionate about understanding and researching the person-specific and environmental factors that promote mental health and resilience in Autistic individuals and their parents/caregivers. And translating the research knowledge into practical programs to improve the lives of Autistic individuals and their caregivers. Ru’s PhD thesis focused on examining the relationships between emotion regulation, intolerance of uncertainty, and mental health and well-being in youth and adults on the autism spectrum. Currently, Ru is leading a program of work that aims to explore the self-compassion experiences of Autistic adults and parents of Autistic children.

Dr Abbey Love – Research Fellow

Abbey is an Educational Psychologist with experience working as a teacher, advocate, and researcher. She completed her PhD at the University of Kentucky where her dissertation and advocacy work centred on educating first responders to better support their autistic community members. She has worked as a lecturer in inclusion in the international context, and has experience teaching school-aged students with a focus on teaching students on the autism spectrum. Currently, her research aims to impact the lives of autistic people and their families/carers, and her project include work within criminal justice, education, and adulthood.

Dr Chris Edwards – Research Fellow

Chris Edwards

Chris is an autism researcher and Adjunct Research Fellow with the Menzies Health Institute Queensland (Griffith University) as part of the Inclusive Futures beacon. Chris is also an Executive Committee member of the Australasian Society for Autism Research (ASfAR). Chris has been supporting the Autistic community for over nine years through various roles. These roles have been in special education settings, as a disability support worker, positive behaviour support and research-focused positions.

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