Dr Anderson works at the interface between developmental psychology, Applied Behaviour Analyses and educational psychology, with a special interest in inclusive education for children with challenges (special learning needs, problem behaviour, poverty, or minority status). In recent years her work increasingly focused on the needs of children with developmental disabilities, especially autism and severe challenging behaviour. As a result she was invited by the Ministry of Health (NZ) to serve on the national committee developing the national guidelines for the delivery of services to children with autism.
Now she leads the development and coordination of a research program at the Elwyn Morey Child Study Centre, an early childhood early intervention centre for children with developmental disabilities/delays. Dr Anderson’s current research interests include developing effective interventions for children with developmental disabilities, including autism. This consists of the identification of particularly important (pivotal) target behaviours and skills and the testing of novel intervention approaches within a behavioural/developmental paradigm.
In addition, she is interested in promoting evidence-based practice in early childhood education/inclusive education with a focus on developing valid and reliable outcome indicators of effective inclusive practices, including in-service professional development.