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 ASD Treatment and Care Research. Please contact Dr. Weiss if you are interested in volunteering with our lab or to ask about graduate student availability.

PhD Students 

Jennifer MacMullin

Jennifer MacMullin

My thesis investigated the experience of crisis in families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Since mothers of children with ASD experience a wide range of acute and chronic stressors, it is necessary to understand the processes that lead to distress if we are to mitigate the experience of crisis. My thesis specifically examined the impact of child behaviour problems on mothers’ subjective experiences of crisis, and the variables that influence the relationship between child behaviour problems and family crisis. By understanding the factors that lead to crisis, we are then able to target variables that are amenable to change through psychological intervention.

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.

Ami Tint

Ami Tint

My research interests focus on the service needs of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families. My MA thesis explored parents’ perceived ability to effectively access services for their children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Currently, my dissertation focuses on the service experiences of women with ASD and their families.

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 spectrum disorder (ASD) are involved in their child's therapy. For my dissertation, I am interested in coping and wellbeing in parents and caregivers of children with ASD.

MA Students

Carly Albaum

Carly Albaum

I am interested in emotion regulation processes in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and how these processes relate to their mental health and overall functioning. I am also interested in the role of parents in their child’s therapy, and understanding how parental involvement contributes to successful treatment outcomes.

Karen Black

Karen Black

My current research is focused on mindfulness training for children with autism. Specifically, I am using psychophysiological measurement to improve our understanding of the relationship between a child’s report of the helpfulness of mindfulness activities and actual benefit derived from their experience. I am also interested in the development of web and tech-based applications to help increase treatment accessibility for children with emotion regulation difficulties.

Undergraduate Students

Kayla Halberstadt
Julia Martini

Post-doctoral Fellows

Dr. Johanna Lake

Dr. Johanna Lake

My current postdoctoral research is broadly focused on the health and well-being of individuals with developmental disabilities. More specifically I am involved in the Secret Agent Society: Operation Regulation (SAS:OR) program, studying and delivering cognitive behavioural therapy to children with neurodevelopmental disorders. I am particularly interested in how this therapy affects change in child emotion regulation and parent co-regulation. I am also interested in supporting caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

Dr. Sandra Salem-Guirgis

Dr. Sandra Salem-Guirgis

My graduate research focused on the evaluation and development of behaviourally based interventions targeting skill deficits with the ASD and DD populations. More specifically, for my doctoral dissertation, I developed a method to teach children with Autism and adults with profound developmental disability to match sounds. Currently, I am involved in research, teaching, and clinical experience as a post-doctoral fellow at York University With Dr. Jonathan Weiss. My research at York University will focus on the effects of different types of interventions including mindfulness based therapies and cognitive behaviour therapies with children and teenagers with Autism and their parents. Generally, my research interests combine both my graduate and post-graduate research interests. I am interested in the evaluation of behavioural and clinically based interventions that target not only behaviour and performance but also socio-emotional functioning and family functioning with the ASD and DD populations.

Knowledge Translation

Dr. Jonathan Lai

I was a post-doctoral fellow in the lab for 2 years (July 2015-June 2017). My current work with Dr Weiss looks at how service use changes over time and what factors are related to patterns of use. Previously, in the lab, I worked on different projects related to knowledge mobilization. I examined the health and service needs of individuals with ASD across Canada and factors that influence service utilization, health, and community inclusion using the CASDA (Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance) National Needs Assessment Survey. My also promoted knowledge dissemination of ASD research through social media and various platforms to families, stakeholder organizations and policy makers.

Lab Coordinator

Paula Tablon

Paula Tablon

Research Assistant

Flora Roudbarani

Flora Roudbarani