In her professional work, Rebecca’s focus was 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 environment 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 school settings by enabling school staff to understand how autistic children might think, learn and communicate. In a multi-perspective account which includes the views of autistic children, their parents, school staff and autistic adults, her PhD study considers not only how and if autistic children are participating in the different aspects of school life, but how effectively they are being supported, the ways in which this is experienced by them and what their aspirations are. In addition, her study incorporates an analysis of how participants perceive and understand autism, and whether this impacts on their attitudes towards 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.
Since completing her PhD, Rebecca has been focusing on developing her findings and exploring further issues relating to autism, communication and interpretation.