Empowering parents as advocates and decision-makers for their children with autism spectrum disorder

Amanda Webster

University of Wollongong

Amanda Webster is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong. She has gained national prominence for her focus on creating successful school communities for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. Starting her career nearly 30 years ago as a group home parent for adult women with autism and intellectual disabilities, she has worked closely with individuals with ASD and their families as a school leader, teacher, consultant, and behaviour analyst in the USA and Australia. Since moving into the university setting, she has served as the Program Convenor for the Autism Studies program at Griffith University and is a researcher in the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism. She is now leading a team to launch a new autism learning research and teaching program at the University of Wollongong.


A growing number of parents report feeling frustrated and disempowered in decision-making processes regarding their child’s education. Parent participation in goal setting and education planning is critical to the success of... [ view full abstract ]

Ethics and permissions statement and / or disclosure of potential conflict of interest (if relevant)

This research received full ethics approval from Griffith University and was conducted within ethics guidelines. Participants were recruited through advertisements placed on the university and other relevant websites. Full... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Amanda Webster (University of Wollongong)
  2. Yoriko Kikkawa (Griffith University)

Topic Area

Topics: Research


V1A » Oral Posters: Parent training; family/peer support; mentoring I (12:00 - Friday, 16th September, Moorfoot Room)

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