Banksia Grove: Curtin University researcher internationally recognised for work in autism

Melissa Scott (centre) with supervisors Marita Falkmer and Sonya Girdler.
Melissa Scott (centre) with supervisors Marita Falkmer and Sonya Girdler.

MELISSA Scott has been internationally recognised for her autism research.

The Banksia Grove resident was recently awarded the Distinguished Dissertation Award from the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) for her PhD research.

Her research focused on the employment of adults on the autism spectrum and she worked with employers to help them hire and support individuals with autism in their workplaces, using an autism-specific workplace tool designed to modify the work environment.

Her PhD focused on the design, development and evaluation of this tool, called the Integrated Employment Success Tool, which is a practical manual designed specifically for employers to be used across a variety of workplaces.

Ms Scott, who is from the School of Occupational Therapy, Social Work and Speech Pathology at Curtin University, was presented the award in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and presented her research at the INSAR conference.

Melissa Scott on stage at the International Society for Autism Research.

She said it was “quite an incredible feeling”.

“The last six months before I completed my thesis were so very busy and had many difficult long days and late nights trying to submit,” she said.

“So receiving this award both validated the importance of my research as well as it was a reward and recognition for my hard work.

“Then having the opportunity to present this research was nerve-wracking and a challenge but also an absolute privilege.”