Prof Young's research over the past 10 years has focused on intervention and detection of children with autism. Research on early signs of autism published in Autism and the International Review of Research in Mental Retardation underpinned the development of a detection tool, Autism Detection in Early Childhood (ADEC, 2007) which can diagnose children as young as 18 months of age, opening up hitherto untapped opportunities for intervention.

Together with colleagues at Flinders University, Robyn developed an intervention tool called "The Structured Program for Early Childhood Therapists Working with Autism" (SPECTRA; ACER Press; 2010).

More recently Robyn's work has turned to adults with ASD. Sbe is active in the community and consults regularly in forensic matters such as fitness to plead and victims of crime assessments, as well as giving public lectures in these and related matters. Her expertise is often sought in court matters where persons with ASD have been either victims of crime or committed a crime. She had a book on this matter published in June 2014. 

Assoc Prof Young will present on Day 1 in Symposium 3 - Transforming Life After School. 

People with ASD in the Criminal Justice System: It is a common misperception that persons with ASD have little or no interest in social interaction. While this may be the case for some, many adults with ASD crave social interaction but lack the skills to initiate these interactions. Thus, persons with ASD depend more than most, on others to initiate an interaction. Ironically, a recent study by Butler and Gillis (2011) found that persons described with the social symptoms of ASD were less likely to be considered as desirable for social interaction. Thus, persons with ASD who often seek social interaction, are less likely to be approached by others and lack the skills to approach and develop appropriate relationships. The consequence of this is that they may become be less selective in the friendships they make. This paper will identify symptoms of ASD that make persons vulnerable to being involved in relationships which are problematic. These relationships often result in the person with ASD being manipulated, bullied or even becoming involved in criminal activity.

Also presenting in this Symposium:
Peter Vermeulen
Assoc Prof Amanda Richdale.