Research Team

Our team consists of primarily clinical-developmental psychology trainees, including PhD and MA level students, and post-doctoral fellows who are supported by the Chair in Autism and Nuerodevelopmental Disability Mental Health. Please contact Dr. Weiss (jonweiss@yorku.ca) if you are interested in volunteering with our lab or to ask about graduate student availability.

PhD Students 

Suzanne Robinson

Suzanne Robinson

I am interested in the health and well being of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. My MA thesis explored the experiences of parents applying for developmental services for their adult child with developmental disabilities. For my dissertation, I will focus on social support for parents of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Stephanie Ryan (nee Fung)

Stephanie Ryan (nee Fung)

My current interests include research on the patterns of sport participation in youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Specifically, I am interested in studying the personal and environmental factors affecting sport participation, as well as the psychosocial outcomes associated with sport involvement. I am also interested in studying the prevalence and utilization of mental health services for individuals with ASD.

Victoria Chan (nee Ting)

Victoria Chan (nee Ting)

My current research is focused on parent therapeutic factors in mental health treatment for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Specifically, I will develop a conceptual framework of parent therapeutic factors (e.g., parent participation and parent-child alliance) in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for children with ASD. This conceptual framework will form the basis of an observational measure I will develop to quantify parent therapeutic factors demonstrated in therapy sessions. Improving our understanding of parent participation and parent-child alliance in therapy can lead to more effective mental health treatment for children with ASD.

Andrea Maughan

Andrea Maughan

I am interested in how families best adapt to and support children with developmental disabilities. For my master’s thesis, I studied how parenting, parent mental health, and the parent-child relationship are impacted when parents of children with autism are involved in their child's therapy. For my dissertation, I am interested in coping and wellbeing in parents and caregivers of children with autism.

Carly Albaum

Carly Albaum

My current research focuses on process factors in cognitive behaviour therapy for children with autism. I am specifically interested in the role of the therapeutic alliance, how child characteristics and therapist skills bolster or rupture this relationship, and how this contributes to treatment change.

Karen Black

Karen Black

My research is focused on understanding how pathways in the brain are involved in emotion regulation for children with neurodevelopmental conditions, and how these pathways are related to treatment response. I'm also investigating whether using advanced neuroimaging methods in addition to behavioural reports can help us to predict which children are most likely to respond to SAS:OR, and why. My Master’s thesis explored how school-age children with autism experience mindfulness activities during cognitive behavioural therapy, using mobile psychophysiological measurement, child-report, clinical characteristics and a comparison, computer- based therapeutic activity. I have also been working on a study examining the effects of classroom-delivered digital game pedagogy for children living in low-income communities.

MA Student 

Annie Mills

Annie Mills

I am interested in the role of emotion regulation processes in the mental health of individuals with developmental disabilities, and how these processes can inform treatment across the lifespan. My master’s thesis will investigate associations between child autism characteristics, parent co-regulation, and observed emotion dysregulation in youth with autism.

Flora Roudbarani

Flora Roudbarani

My current research interest includes investigating treatment interventions to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities. I am particularly interested in studying emotion regulation, mindfulness, and the role of therapeutic alliance in treatment success.

Undergraduate Students

Mandana Montazery
Yara Odeh

Post-doctoral Fellow

Dr. Diana Tajik-Parvinchi

My objective is to lead a line of research aimed at understanding the plastic nature of the human brain and the application of this knowledge to design and develop intervention programs for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. To this end, my prior work has involved different non-invasive methods of exploring the human brain and various intervention approaches for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. My PhD work focused on identifying cognitively driven eye movement patterns in Tourette Syndrome (TS) plus its comorbid conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). My post-doctoral research at SickKids and McMaster University focused on both neuroimaging research and development of software-based intervention programs for children with ADHD, autism, or cerebral palsy. My post-doctoral work at York University has been focused on understanding the relationship between cognition and emotion regulation (ER) as well as factors that impact treatment response in cognitive behavioural therapy focused on ER treatment in adolescents with autism.

Clinician Scientist

Dr. Johanna Lake, C.Psych

Dr. Johanna Lake, C.Psych

Lab Coordinator

Paula Tablon

Paula Tablon Modica

Research Assistants

Julia Martini

Julia Martini

Ava Pouyandeh

Ava Pouyandeh

Caroline Summers

Caroline Summers

Research Volunteers

Mishele Kaplan
Brenna McDermott