Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Andrew Whitehouse

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Andrew Whitehouse

Photography by Frances Andrijich Working as a speech-language pathologist back in the early 2000s, Andrew Whitehouse saw one family after another struggling to get good care for their autistic children, some of them pursuing pricey, unproven therapies. One family scrimped to pay to have their autistic child strapped to a machine that they had been told would “literally rewire the brain,” he says, but actually, “all it did was beep.” Whitehouse, 40, decided then that he would devote his career to raising the standard of care for autism. He went to graduate school in psychology and is now professor of autism research at the University of Western Australia in Perth, where among other duties, he creates policy to help children with autism get properly diagnosed and treated. He helped develop a national guideline for Australia for diagnosing autism and is at work on a similar guideline for early-intervention protocols. Whitehouse told Spectrum how he helps parents connect with their children, what it’s like to be an identical twin and about his conservation efforts in the Outback. Spectrum : What ‘big question’ drives your research? Andrew Whitehouse: How can we conduct science and translate evidence into policy to support children […]

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