Autism children and families social participation inclusion intervention goal-setting self-determination
Post-doctoral Fellowship, Paediatrics, University of Alberta (2010-2013)
PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Alberta (2004-2009)
MSc, Occupational Therapy, Western University (1998-2000)
BSc Kinesiology, McMaster University (1994-1998)
Director, Supporting Kids Inclusion and Participation (SKIP) Lab, University of Alberta
Associate Member, CanChild (School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University)
Co-Site Lead and Executive Member, Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP)
Academic Member, Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI), University of Alberta
Research Affiliate, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Alberta Health Services
I worked clinically as an occupational therapist with children with autism and their families in homes, schools and communities (2002-2017), and in hospital and community-based contexts with youth and adults with developmental disabilities and co-occuring mental health issues (2000-2002). Although I have stopped direct clinical practice (for now), much of my research, teaching and graduate student supervision continues to involve direct collaboration and partnership with clinicians and service providers.
I am Director of the Supporting Kids Inclusion and Participation (S.K.I.P.) Lab, which is home to many trainees, staff and collaborators from a variety of professional and educational backgrounds who conduct research aimed at supporting inclusion and participation of children, youth and young adults with autism and other neurodevelopmental, intellectual and/or developmental conditions and their families in meaningful activities and life choices. This often means in homes, schools, communities, and workplaces. I strongly value collaborative, interdisciplinary research. My approach tends to focus on targeting the social environment (other people's knowledge, practices and policies), rather than 'fixing' or remediating impairment 'in' the person who experiences disability. I am also committed to improving occupational therapists' use of evidence-based approaches with children and families.
For more information about trainees, staff and collaborations of the S.K.I.P. Lab, and current and past research projects, please visit our website:
Amplifying autistic "voices": Learning from and with autistic adults to enhance self-determination [funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)], 2021-2024
Peer engagement and inclusion of children with autism in mainstream, community summer camps (funded by the generosity of the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation through the Women and Children's Health Research Institute), 2018-2022 (with extensions due to COVID 19 restrictions and research pause)
Evaluating the effectiveness of child-oriented goal-setting in paediatric rehabilitation (the ENGAGE approach): A pragmatic randomized controlled trial and economic analysis (co-PI, Lesley Pritchard; funded by the Maternal Newborn Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network, Health Outcomes Improvement Fund), 2019-2022
I am the primary instructor for Occth555, Enabling Occupation and Participation for Children and Youth, co-instructor for Occth530 (Theory, evidence and skills in practice: Synthesis), and instructor for the elective module, Autism and OT (in conjunction with graduate trainee developers and instructors).
Application of occupational therapy principles with an emphasis on children, youth and families, supported by evidence-based practice, and the incorporation of current theories, complex integrated case studies, and experiential learning.Fall Term 2021