Cheryl is founder and director of the Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre at La Trobe University, Victoria. In addition to observational studies, she has investigated the physiological correlates of the behaviour of children with autism. Her work has contributed to understanding the social and emotional development of children with autism and Asperger’s disorder. She also investigates the signs of autism in infancy, as well as undertaking studies of growth in individuals with autism.
Her team has successfully conducted a large community-based study to prospectively identify autism in infancy via the Maternal and Child Health Service. Other collaborative studies include investigating autistic manifestations in boys with fragile X syndrome, and comparative studies of behavioural and cognitive profiles in children with idiopathic autism and comorbid autism.
Cheryl serves on the Professional Panel of Autism Victoria, and is co-founder and convenor of one of its reference groups, the ASD Research Group. She is a member of the International Society for Autism Research, Society for Research in Child Development, Australasian Human Development Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Asian Psychological Society.
Cheryl is a registered psychologist in Victoria.