Dr Belinda Gasston

Learning & Behaviour Specialist

Belinda’s career has led to a speciality in understanding children, adolescents and young adults with learning difficulties, including those with associated behavioural...

Belinda’s career has led to a speciality in understanding children, adolescents and young adults with learning difficulties, including those with associated behavioural challenges.   She supports families to understand how the individual’s unique characteristics can cause problems and to understand how unique strengths can be used to support the individual and to give them a sense of mastery and control over their environment; something critical for mental health. She facilitates the design and implementation of intervention plans to support individuals within the community and education system.  A diagnosis can be confronting, stressful and upsetting. Belinda helps parents with navigating the school system and learning how they can best support their child.

Belinda obtained her PhD in 2018. She is an Associate of Leadership International, University of Southern Queensland. Her field of study was behaviour change and improving the quality of teaching of students with learning/developmental disorders (dysgraphia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD, Autism, Intellectual Impairment and social/emotional disorders).  She obtained her Masters of Special Education in 2004 specialising in the Autism Spectrum and Intellectual Disability. Belinda works with students who have a wide range of learning and functional challenges. She loves the nature versus nurture debate and believes passionately that all behaviour is learned through teaching and reinforcement. However, her nutty labradoodle reminds her that nature is also important.

Belinda supports families and young adults through provision of the following services:

  • Educational Assessments
  • Functional Behaviour Assessments
  • Behaviour therapy
  • Emotional regulation
  • Social skills
  • Specialised teaching for children with diagnosed learning disorders (Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia)
  • Specialised Teaching for children with developmental disorders: ADHD, Autism and Intellectual disabilities.
  • Early Childhood Intervention
  • Life skills assessments and Intervention Plans

Prior to becoming a member of the team at Understanding Minds Clinic, Belinda worked in the education sector in various leadership roles such as a Deputy Head, Head of Learning Enhancement and Chief Investigator of a number of research projects conducted within schools. The research projects focused on improving the quality of teaching of diverse learners. All projects have contributed to the broader community through publications in journals and conference presentations at national and international levels.  Belinda was a recipient of two awards in 2018: New Voice in Educational Leadership Research Award (National Award);  Inspiring Leader- Research in Educational Leadership and Management Award (Qld State Award); and obtained the Master of Special Education Academic Excellence Award 2004, Griffith University.

A selection of Belinda’s research projects:

  • ASD students and classroom implications – Understanding how students with ASD think and learn
  • Identifying students at risk of dyslexia and dysgraphia in the classroom and developing intervention strategies
  • Executive Function – What is it? What it may look like in the classroom
  • Gifted/Asperger’s Child – Numeracy: “I can’t explain it, I just know it” the Asperger’s/Gifted child and Mathematics
  • High Achieving/High Anxiety students in Mathematics Problem Solving Situations
  • What anxiety in early education may look like in the classroom?
  • Development of a whole school approach to teaching emotional regulation
  • How do we identify the function of behaviour in the classroom and what can we do about it?
  • Positive psychology and Growth Mindset
  • Utilisation of Assistive Technology for all learners in the classroom, including gifted, those with disabilities and learning difficulties

Selected publications and presentations

Invited Book Chapters, Journal Publications and Presentations

Gasston-Holmes, B. (2019). The Connection Between Leadership and Learning: A middle leader’s experience navigating the waters. Leading and Managing, 25(1) 15-28.

Gasston-Holmes, B. (2019). Empowerment and Agency. Invited speaker for symposium session at Australian Council for Educational Leadership National Conference: Vision and Voice, October 2019.

Holmes, B. (2019). Designing enablers to inspire and empower diverse learners to have a voice in their own learning process. New Voice Perspectives, Perspectives No. 1 2019, p.24, Australian Council for Educational Leaders.

Holmes, B., (2017). A Middle Leader’s Initiative to Lead Teachers in Learning to Self-Assess their Professional Growth Using the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Australian Council for Educational Leadership: Leading and Managing Journal Special Edition. The leadership and learning connection: what we know works. Vol, 22(2), pp76-93.

Holmes, B. (2016). Action Learning Action Research: Meaningful collaboration creating teacher change. Australian Council for Educational Research: Excellence in Professional Practice Conference: Collaboration for School Improvement, May 2016

Holmes, B., & Frost M. (2016). High Achieving Students and Growth Mindset. AAEGT: National Gifted Conference: Beyond the boundaries in gifted education, 2016. This paper is also a selected publication in the Independent Schools MagazineCatalyst Winter 2016 issue. High Achieving Students and Growth Mindset.

Holmes, B. (2014). Leading Learning for Sustainable Change: A Learning Leader’s Experience. Australian Council Education Leadership National Conference: Passion and Purpose: Setting the Learning Agenda. Held in Melbourne June 2014.

Paper Presentation at the 11th Asia Pacific Gifted Conference: Effective Partnerships for talent development in Sydney 2010.  The title of the presentation: Mathematics: I just know it! Do you? The Gifted and Asperger’s student.

Holmes, B. & Sutherland, L. (2010) Mathematics: I Just Know It!  The Gifted and Asperger’s Student, in Vialle, W. & Wormald,C. Eds. Dual Exceptionality. Sydney.


Learning & Behaviour Specialist


PhD M. Spec. Ed. B. Ed.

Certificates & awards

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