Michelle A. Fardella (nee Viecili)

Michelle A. Fardella


  • Doctor of Philosophy, York University (in progress)
  • Master of Arts, York University
  • Health Diploma, York University
  • Bachelor of Arts, York University

Research Interests

Michelle has extensive clinical and research experience working with youth with a variety of mental health concerns and youth with developmental and intellectual disabilities, specifically in the assessment and treatment of those with autism. Her research interests include a range of areas related to the mental health of caregivers and their children with developmental disabilities. Areas include school experiences of autistic children, including self-esteem and feelings of social competence and peer acceptance, and the efficacy of social skills groups and anxiety treatments for autistic children. She has also conducted research in the area of sexual knowledge and sexual victimization in the autistic population, and her doctoral research explored the interpersonal violence experiences of autistic adults in Ontario.

Michelle has experience conducting comprehensive psychoeducational and diagnostic assessments, and providing empirically validated interventions to children, youth, young adults, and their families. She completed her residency at Reach Out Centre for Kids, Halton’s lead agency for child and youth mental health. She has worked within school boards, community agencies, the York University Psychology Clinic, and in private practice.  She provides a client and family-centered approach to treatment and utilizes various therapy modalities (emotion-focused family therapy, narrative therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, and attachment-focused therapy).

Published Manuscripts

Fardella, M. A., & Weiss, J. A. (submitted). Victimization and perpetration experiences of adults with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Viecili, M. A., & Weiss, J.A. (2015). Reliability and validity of the Pediatric Quality of Life InventoryTM (PedsQLTM) Version 4.0 Generic Core scales in children, youth, and young adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 120(4), 289-301

Weiss, J. A., Viecili, M. A., & Bohr, Y. (2014). Parenting stress as a correlate of CBT responsiveness in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and anxiety. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. Published online August 2014.

Brown- Lavoie, S. M., Viecili, M. A., & Weiss, J. A. (2014). Sexual knowledge and victimization in adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(9), 2185-2196.

Weiss, J. A., Cappadocia, M. C., MacMullin, J. A., Viecili, M. A., & Lunsky, Y. (2012). Psychological acceptance and empowerment as mediators of the impact of problem behaviour in children with autism spectrum disorders on parent mental health. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 16(3), 261-274

Viecili, M. A., Weiss, J. A., Lunsky, Y., & Shupak, S. (2010). The relationship between social acceptance, problem behaviours, and social skills as perceived by youth with high functioning autism spectrum disorders. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 16(3), 72-75.

MacMullin, J. A., Viecili, M. A., Cappadocia, M. C., & Weiss, J. A. (2010). Parent empowerment and mental health: Understanding parent perceptions of the educational experience. Journal on Developmental Disabilities, 16(3), 68-71.

Viecili, M. A., MacMullin, J. A., Weiss, J. A., & Lunsky, Y. (2010). Predictors of psychology graduate student interest in the field of developmental disabilities. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 3(4), 190-201.

Viecili, M. A., Lunsky, Y., & Strike, C. (2009). Caregiver versus self reported views on what is important to clients with intellectual disability. Journal on Developmental Disabilities. 15(2), 99-102.

Selected Poster Presentations

Viecili, M. A., Brown-Lavoie, S., & Weiss, J. A. (2014, April). Sexual Knowledge and Victimization in ASD: Findings from a Self-Report Study. Poster presented at the Woodview Stages of Autism Conference, Hamilton, ON.

Viecili, M. A., & Weiss, J. A. (2013, November). Reliability and Validity of the Pediatric Quality of Life InventoryTM(PedsQLTM) Version 4.0 Generic Core Scales in Children, Youth, and Young Adults With Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities. Poster presented at the Health and Wellbeing in Developmental Disabilities Conference, Toronto, ON.

Brown, S., Viecili, M. A., & Weiss, J. A. (2013, May). Sexual knowledge, self-efficacy, and risky behaviours: Are young adults with ASD at risk? Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, San Sebastian, Spain.

Weiss, J. A., Tint, A., Fung, S. L., Robinson, S., MacMullin, J., Viecili, M. A., & Shine, R. (2013, April). More than words: Photo-elicitation study of Special Olympics participation. Poster presented at the Ontario Association for Developmental Disabilities – Research Special Interest Group, Niagara Falls, ON.

Viecili, M. A., Lunsky, Y., & Weiss, J. A. (2010, May). A Program Evaluation of a Social Interaction and Education Group for Youth with Asperger Syndrome. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Philadelphia, PA.

Weiss, J. A., Viecili, M. A., MacMullin, J. A., Summers, J., & Bohr, Y. (2010, May).  A Pilot Study of Group CBT Targeting Anxiety in Children with Asperger Syndrome. Poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research, Philadelphia, PA.

Viecili, M. A., MacMullin, J., Weiss, J., Lunsky, Y., & Morin, D. (2010, April). Predictors of Canadian graduate student interest in the field of developmental disability. Poster presented at the NADD International Congress & Exhibit Show for 2010: Innovations and Interventions (MH/IDD), Toronto, ON.


  • 2014 Council of Ontario Universities Doctoral Autism Scholars Award
  • 2013 Sammy Graduate Student Scholarship in Autism Research
  • 2011 CIHR Frederick Banding and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship- Doctoral Award Recipient
  • 2010 CIHR Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship- Master’s Award Recipient


Email: mviecili@yorku.ca