Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (The University of Western Australia)
Research Field: Child Health
Autism is a debilitating developmental disorder affecting approximately one in every 100 Australians, but the exact causes of the condition remain unclear. A/Professor Whitehouse’s research aims to discover the biological and environmental causes of autism, and to use this understanding to identify and treat affected children as early as possible.
The discovery of biological markers for autism – such as genes, patterns of brain growth and hormone levels – could help identify children at risk, perhaps as early as the prenatal period. Andrew is also investigating effective behavioural interventions and drugs to treat children with autism. The evaluation of new and existing interventions will help match children with the most appropriate services. Through his novel methods of data collection and investigation (unique in the Southern Hemisphere), Andrew has made a number of high-impact findings on the potential causes of autism.
Andrew is regularly interviewed by national and international media outlets including Reuters, Associated Press and Agence France and his research has been profiled on the ABC’s 7:30 Report. He delivers numerous presentations to therapists and parents of children with autism and is a board-member of two autism community organisations, and has presented twice to student delegates of the National Youth Science Forum.