What was the focus of your doctoral research?
My doctoral research investigated the 12 month clinical outcomes of preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorder receiving treatment based on two different models of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). One group, in Vancouver, received Verbal Behavior ABA in a group pre-school setting. The second group, in Halifax, received Pivotal Response Treatment. Both groups showed statistically significantly changes in cognitive scores, receptive and expressive age equivalents, and problem behaviors scores. Although this study was exploratory in nature, and additional research is needed, both behavioral treatment models appear to hold promise as effective and relatively cost-effective early interventions for ASD.
How did funding received at UBC help launch your career?
During my tenure as a doctoral student at UBC, I was fortunate to receive funding support from several local and national sources, including: UBC Tuition Fee Award, Wilda Adams Memorial Scholarship, Sally M. Rogow Graduate Research Scholarship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship, and a Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Autism Research Training Scholarship. The impact of this funding was significant as it allowed me the freedom to focus on my research and has subsequently led to exciting research partnerships in my local clinical community.
What are you doing now?
Since completing my doctoral studies at UBC I have been engaged in a variety of exciting academic and clinical pursuits. I am the Program Coordinator, Practicum Convenor, and full-time faculty Instructor in the Applied Behavior Analysis – Autism department at Capilano University. I also continue to provide private clinical consulting services to students with ASD between the ages of 2 and 18 in home, school, and community settings. Additionally, I teach courses in Applied Behavior Analysis as an Assistant Professor at the University of Western Ontario and as an Adjunct Faculty in the department of Education at UBC.