Dr Kelly McKenna-Kerr is an experienced Consultant Psychiatrist with specialist expertise in Autism, having worked in dual disability Psychiatry for over ten years. She has received awards from both the University of Western Australia and the Royal Australian College of Psychiatrists for clinical and academic excellence. She contributes to academic research in the field of Autism through affiliation with the UWA School of Psychological Sciences. She is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Special Interest Group in the Psychiatry of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the WA Autism Peer Review Group.
Dr McKenna-Kerr founded the Youth Diagnostic clinic in conjunction with the Autism Association of WA in 2019, in response to identifying major barriers to diagnostic assessment associated with poor outcomes for young people in Western Australia. She is particularly experienced in youth and adult diagnostic assessment, appreciating the factors that influence later presentation eg presentations in women and girls. She is trained and experienced in the administration of specialised autism assessments including the ADOS-2, 3di and ADI-R. She is passionate about identifying and supporting all people on the spectrum, and works hard to be an ally in advocacy roles in addition to her clinical work. She has developed a range of resources and provides educational seminars to WA public mental health services and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. She is an invited speaker on the topic of Autism to national conferences and the WA Mental Health Commission. She has been privileged to provide clinical care to both adults and adolescent youth on the spectrum in a variety of settings throughout her career.
Please note, all referrals to be made out to Dr Kelly McKenna-Kerr, Consultant Psychiatrist, Autism Association of WA, 215 Stubbs Terrace, Shenton Park WA 6008
Dr Lauren Taylor is a Clinical Psychologist at the Autism Association of Western Australia and Lecturer at the University of Western Australia. She has more than 15 years’ experience working with people with autism and their families, across both clinical and research settings. She has co-authored ~20 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters focused on autism spectrum disorder and related neurodevelopmental conditions. Her clinical experience covers the full lifespan – Lauren has been part of transdisciplinary teams supporting children, adolescents and adults with autism, including those with significant disability and co-occurring mental health conditions. She also led a national research project on diagnostic practices for autism in Australia, the results of which informed the development of the National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism in Australia.
After completing her postgraduate training in psychology at UWA, Lauren pursued a postdoctoral research position at King’s College London (Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience), where she led the London research arm of the world’s largest multisite randomised controlled trial for children with autism (the Paediatric Autism Communication Trial-Generalised). Over the course of her time in London, Lauren undertook extensive training in assessment for children with ASD, which included training on the ADI-R, to research-reliability on the ADOS-2, and emerging measures such as the Brief Observation of Social Communication Change (BOSCC).
In addition to working in the Youth Diagnostic Clinic at the Autism Association of Western Australia, Lauren also coordinates and teaches in the Graduate Certificate in Autism Diagnosis at the University of Western Australia, the world’s only postgraduate training program that is specifically focused on Autism Diagnosis. She is an ADOS-2 trainer, one of only two in WA.
Certified in Practicing Speech Pathology, Ali trained at the UWA, Curtin University and the University of Alberta in Canada. She has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors including Sydney Children’s Hospital, where she was part of the Community Outpatients Team.
Ali is passionate about helping children with severe speech, language and fluency (stuttering) disorders and specialises in Autism Diagnosis across the lifespan and is ADOS-2 trained.
Amy is an Occupational Therapist who graduated from Curtin University in 2015. Amy is currently working at the Autism Association across both the School Age Intervention Team and Youth Diagnostic Clinic. Amy has experience working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder across a variety of settings, and has a passion for delivering high-quality and evidence based assessment and intervention services to those she supports. Amy is also currently completing her Masters of Public Health at the University of WA, with the hopes of bettering outcomes for those living with disability in Australia. Amy maintains her professional registration with the Australian Health Regulation Agency and also holds a registration with the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission.
Dr Danielle Hewitt is a Developmental Paediatrician, whose special interests include complex diagnosis and supporting the development of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Completing her advanced training and a fellowship in a number of specialist disability assessments services in Sydney, Danielle also completed her Undergraduate Medical Degree from the UWA, a Master’s in Public Health for the UNSW and has a Fellowship at the Royal Australian College of Physicians.
Dr Frances Caulfield is a Clinical Psychologist who has been working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other co-occurring neurodevelopmental and mental health conditions for the past 8 years. Frances completed her postgraduate training in psychology at UWA in 2014. As part of her doctoral research she co-authored a number of peer-reviewed publications focusing on the interaction between Autism Spectrum Disorders and other cognitive processes, such as face perception.
Frances is passionate about supporting people with Autism and their families of all ages. She has worked extensively across a range of therapy services, providing evidence-based interventions and training within transdisciplinary teams. Frances is trained in using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) as well as other psychometric measures, such as cognitive assessment tools. Frances has worked across the Children’s and Youth Diagnostic Clinic services.
Monica knows psychology from the inside out and has worked in the disability sector for over 20 years. As a Registered Psychologist, she supports her families in understanding and navigating the joys and challenges of the autism journey. Balancing her time between providing diagnostic assessments and therapy services (for families, children and adults who are on the autism spectrum), she has developed a considerable understanding in providing consultations to individuals and their families while working with them throughout the entire journey.
With a Graduate Certificate in Autism Diagnoses, Monica has been a valued member of the Diagnostics Team in both of our Diagnostic Clinics since her graduation in 2017, and has worked on the assessments conducted in the Children’s Diagnostic Clinic and Specialist Youth Autism Diagnostic Clinic. Both these clinics perform to international best-practice standards and are aligned with the National Guideline for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Australia.
Monica is passionate about using positive support strategies in her work and prides herself in providing this and practical applications to people of all ages, and their families to achieve ‘real world’ outcomes for her clients.
Dr Sarah Ong is a Consultant Paediatrician trained and specialised in Developmental Paediatrics and General Paediatrics.
Dr Ong obtained her primary medical degree from the University of Western Australia. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and holds dual qualifications in Community Child Health and General Paediatrics. She is also undertaking a Master of Public Health through the University of New South Wales. Dr Ong is an active member of the Neurodevelopmental and Behavioural Paediatric Society of Australasia.
Sharyn is a Speech Pathologist who graduated from Curtin University in 2007 and whose experience lies in diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder and Language Disorders in children and youth. She has been trained in using the ADOS and 3Di and has extensive experience using language assessments.
Sharyn worked as a generalist Speech Pathologist in Regional Western Australia before coming back to Perth and working at the Autism Association.
With an Undergraduate degree in Speech Pathology from Curtin University and a Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies, Su Ann is a skilful Senior Speech Pathologist with over 10 years’ experience working extensively with people with Autism across their whole lifespan.
She is passionate about providing quality service and best practice methodologies to the individual and their families.
Su Ann has also worked internationally and is trained in the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2). Specialising in this, she aims to provide families with a high standard of assessment and support through the diagnostic process.
In her free time, Su Ann enjoys spending it with her family which includes her two beautiful children.