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School of Education and Professional Studies

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My teaching and research focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of the characteristics of autism and how these can impact on individuals on the spectrum

Dr Kate Simpson is a lecturer in the School of Education and Professional Studies at Griffith University. Kate’s teaching areas are in the Postgraduate Autism Studies program where she has taught in both the Graduate Certificate and Master program. Kate previously taught in the undergraduate teaching program at Australian Catholic University. Kate’s PhD (awarded in 2014) looked at the use of musical elements to facilitate learning outcomes in children with autism and severe language delay. Kate was awarded the Peter Sheehan Student Excellence in Research Publication Award in 2011 and 2013. 


Dr Kate Simpson

School of Education and Professional Studies

Lecturer in the Postgraduate Autism Studies Program

Fields of Expertise

  • Autism
  • Evidence Supported Practices for People on the Spectrum
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Participation and Engagement

Speeches, Seminars and Presentations

Asia Pacific Autism Conference, Brisbane 2015. Comparing song and spoken conditions on engagement and learning outcomes for children with ASD.

Australian Society for Autism Research, Perth 2016. Children with autism and severe language delay: Variability in learning and responses

Industry Experience

Kate has worked with individuals with diverse needs and their families for 20 years as an occupational therapist, teacher and researcher. More recently, Kate worked in early childhood supporting children with diverse learning needs, their families and teachers in mainstream school settings. Kate provides professional learning to schools focusing on understanding and planning for students with diverse needs and in particular students on the autism spectrum. Kate also provides parent and professional workshops. 

Research Expertise

Kate’s research focuses on increasing understanding of autism and effective intervention practices to improve learning outcomes. Kate’s publications have focused on interventions for children on the autism spectrum, factors which impact on inclusive practices for students on the autism spectrum and translation of research to practice. 

Kate is currently working on the CRC funded Longitudinal Study of Australian Students with Autism (LASA). This aim of this study is to understand the relationship between children with ASD characteristics, subtypes of ASD, experiences of intervention and school support with developmental and behavioural trajectories. Her research highlights include:

  • · (2018). School-related anxiety symptomatology in a community sample of primary-school-aged children on the autism spectrum. Journal of School Psychology, 70, 64–73.
  • · (2018). Parent descriptions of the presentation and management of anxiousness in children on the autism spectrum. Autism, 1–13.
  • · (2018). Measuring language progress in students with developmental language disorder while attending a specialist school: A retrospective analysis. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 20(1), 3–7.
  • · (2017). Participation of children on the autism spectrum in home, school, and community. Child: Care, Health and Development, 1–9.
  • · (2017). Anxiety-related symptomatology in young children on the autism spectrum. Autism, 1–9.


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