Dr Debra Costley has an international reputation in the field of autism across the lifespan, with a particular focus on education. Her research in the last ten years has been focused on autism, interventions, and outcomes for children and adults. Examples of interventions evaluated include, Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH); Pivotal Response Training (PRT); Secret Agent Society social and emotional skills program (SAS); Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP); and iPads for teaching and learning. Debra was lead author on a book based on research and practical experience aimed at teachers in mainstream schools called A Practical Guide for Teachers of Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder in Secondary Education. In addition, Debra led the first national projects in Australia that gathered the views of adults and adolescents on a range of subjects from education to employment, in order to identify their experiences, needs and aspirations. These two studies have been used to influence Government policy in Australia and have been published in a variety of forms, including full and summary reports, journal articles, and most recently a book entitled Shining a Light on the Autism Spectrum: Experiences and Aspiration of Adults.