Veronica Smith, PhD

Associate Chair, Faculty of Education - Educational Psychology Dept
Associate Chair, Faculty of Education - Educational Psychology Dept


Associate Chair, Faculty of Education - Educational Psychology Dept
(780) 492-7425
6-107A Education Centre - North
8730 - 112 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G5

Associate Chair, Faculty of Education - Educational Psychology Dept


My research interests focus on child development, the examination of interventions that support young children with developmental disabilities, and the deployment of evidence-based educational practices for children into the everyday home, school, and community contexts.

Prior to my doctoral work, I practiced as a clinical Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) in public school, preschool, and hospital settings in Alberta and British Columbia. As an SLP, I was extensively involved in the assessment, individual program planning, direct intervention, and team problem solving for students with special needs from preschool age to late adolescence. These early career experiences piqued my interest in intervention science, prompting questions about the gaps between the evidence-based practices and the realities of implementing these practices in community settings. Upon entering my doctoral program in 2004, it became clear to me that the gaps between science and practice are widely lamented, not only by the professional community but by developmental scientists and policymakers alike. Early on, it appeared to me that there are two main sources of translational disconnect: 1) in the professional community, there is uncertainty about which evidence-based developmentally appropriate practices are best, and 2) in the research community, there is uncertainty about how to go about implementing evidence-based practices in community settings.
Informed by these gaps, my program of research has proceeded along with a number of interrelated lines of inquiry. In general, I have turned my attention to developing methodological expertise in systematically reviewing the research of effective interventions and have published research aimed at synthesizing what is known about effective interventions for children with autism. On a parallel but more applied line of inquiry, I have undertaken research exploring the conditions that influence the delivery of effective programs/interventions in school and community settings. In this regard, I have been deliberate in acquiring a range of skills in program evaluation and community-based research. 

In all cases, my research is community-engaged and knowledge translation oriented. 



EDPY 472 - Introduction to Language Development

Provides an overview to the study of child language development and an introduction to educational considerations in teaching students with language or communication disorders. Students may not receive credit for both EDPY 472 and EDPSY 450.

Fall Term 2020

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Scholarly Activities

Research - Parent and Child Early (PACE) Coaching Project

2017 - 2020

I am co-investigator on a large research project that was funded by the British Columbia Ministry of Child and Family Development. The aim of the project is to develop, implement, and evaluate an evidence-based parent coaching intervention for children aged 15 to 30 months who are at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). To this end, we have partnered with early interventionists in 14 communities in BC to achieve the following aims: 

1. To establish an authentic community of practice for parent coaching in each and across the participating communities;

2. To identify best/promising practices that will optimize future implementation of the parent coaching model in diverse settings;

3. To train early interventionists to coach parents of at-risk children to use strategies that will facilitate optimal development with fidelity in home and community settings;

4. To examine the effectiveness of the parent coaching model by conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT); and

5. To conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis that compares parent coaching to services that are ordinarily available to toddlers at risk for ASD in BC.

As co-investigator, my primary role in the project is objective #2, to identify the promising practices that will optimize future implementation of the service across the province. 


Outcomes of Early Intervention Over 3 Years: Comparisons of Clinic-Based and Parent-Managed Programs
Author(s): Smith, V., & Bopp, K.
Publication Date: 2005

Reading Instruction in Kindergarten: Individual Effects of Implementation of a Phonological Awareness Program
Author(s): Smith, V., & Siegel, L.
Publication Date: 2005

Can an Infant be a Catalyst for Change? Considering Context and Process in the Evaluation of the “Roots of Empathy” Program
Author(s): Schonert-Reichl, K., Smith, V., & Zaidman-Zait, A.
Publication Date: 2005

Development of Language in Autism: A Longitudinal Look at Vocabulary Development Using the Communication Development Inventory (CDI)
Author(s): Smith, V., Zaidman-Zait, A., & Mirenda, P.
Publication Date: 2005

Peer, teacher, and self-judgments of social behaviors and relationships to social cognition
Author(s): Smith, V., & Zaidman-Zait, A.
Publication Date: 2004