In her professional work, Rebecca’s focus was increasingly on the training of staff who support autistic children in pre-school and primary school settings by devising and delivering her own programmes which aimed to engender a holistic, informed and positive approach to the education of autistic children. She worked within a diverse and multi-cultural sphere and was also involved with the assessment and diagnosis of autistic children as part of a multi-disciplinary team, as well as providing individualised education programmes and running support and information groups for parents of newly diagnosed children.
In her research, Rebecca’s core aspiration is to facilitate the inclusion of autistic children in mainstream primary school settings by taking into account an aspect of this which is often neglected: tests. By providing a multi-perspective account which includes the views of autistic children, their parents, school staff and autistic adults who attended a mainstream primary school when they were younger, her research considers not only how and if autistic children are participating in this part of school life, but whether this should be a priority for them. In addition, her study incorporates an analysis of the ways in which participants perceive and understand autism, and how this might impact on their attitudes to the education of autistic children.
Rebecca is passionate about helping to create greater understanding about the needs, rights and abilities of autistic children through research and practice, and her goal is to realise this through both her research and her role as Project Manager of the Transform Autism Education project.