Dr. Sue Bettison, B.A. (Hons.), Dip. Ed., Ph. D.
Sue Bettison is a research and clinical psychologist with over forty years of experience and an international reputation for her work in the fields of intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder. This followed twelve years in education and tertiary teaching.
Her work with people with autism began as Honorary Consultant Psychologist to the Autistic Children's Association of South Australia during its formative years in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She has held senior positions in State services for people with developmental disabilities in both South Australia and New South Wales and has lectured throughout Australia and overseas. She returned to specializing in Autism Spectrun Disorders in 1987 when she was appointed Director of Professional Services by the Autistic Association of New South Wales, a position that was widened to Chief Executive Officer in 1989. She stepped down from this position in 1992 to establish the Association’s first large scale research project investigating new treatments for abnormal responses to sound.
Sue’s background is in education, child development and psychology, with an active engagement in research, clinical practice, service management, and policy formulation. She has many publications to her name and has initiated a number of innovative and successful services for people with Developmental Disabilities in both South Australia and New South Wales. Her major research has led to practical programs for bladder and bowel control, behaviour management and the alleviation of abnormal responses to sound. She has been an Associate Editor of the Journal of Intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1977, and has been involved in a number of Government committees and inquiries in relation to developmental disabilities over the years.
Sue’s work in the area of incontinence has been ground-breaking. She began the search for effective toilet training programs in 1972. Her initial eight years of research led to successful programs for incontinence in developmental disability and autism spectrum disorders and have never been superceded. She has conducted seminars and workshops in approaches to the treatment of incontinence for professionals and parents around Australia and in the US and Great Britain since the late 1970s.
Throughout her career she has helped hundreds of parents and those who work with them successfully toilet train children with the full range of developmental and autism spectrum disorders. She finally retired from clinical practice, more or less, in 2008 and immediately set about writing “Toilet Training for Children with Autism or Intellectual Disabilities”. This is now in book form and available for the first time on this web site.