March 31, 2020
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Thursday, April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. Wilfrid Laurier University has a number of experts who can speak about autism spectrum disorder, support services for people with autism, the experiences of families and caregivers of people with autism, and related issues.
Pam Bryden, professor and chair in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, is an expert on motor development and developmental disabilities. Bryden’s areas of expertise include motor performance and perceptual abilities in children with autism; manual asymmetries; motor control, learning and development; skilled movement; and neuropsychology. Contact: email@example.com.
Kinesiology and Physical Education Professor Paula Fletcher is an expert in the area of chronic illness and disability and caregiving. Fletcher's research explores the “lived experiences” of individuals with chronic conditions and disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder. These experiences are examined from the views of the individual, family members and health care professionals. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janet McLaughlin, associate professor of Health Studies, is an expert on autism policy and services. Her current research explores the impact of autism and autism policies on family health and well-being, including how families’ socioeconomic status and other social determinants may influence their access to services and therapy outcomes, as well as issues within the education system for autistic students. She recently served on the Ontario Government’s Autism Advisory Panel, advising the government on autism policy reform. In 2019, with colleague Margaret Schneider, she founded the Laurier Autism Research Consortium.
As the mother of a child on the autism spectrum, she is also available to speak about how social distancing measures, including the closure of schools, therapy and services, are affecting families and caretakers. Read more about her work. Contact: email@example.com.
Margaret Schneider, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, focuses her research on the experience of having a disability, such as autism, from the perspective of the individual, their family and their support network. She also studies the ways in which areas of life may be improved for individuals and their families through effective programs. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Olena Darewych, adjunct faculty member at Martin Luther University College, is an expert in art therapy, particularly for adults with autism. A registered art therapist and psychotherapist, her research investigates imagination in adults with autism using arts-based assessments and digital technology. Contact: email@example.com or 647.889.7753 (cell).
Nicole Luymes, a PhD candidate in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, is exploring the benefits of recreational community programming for disabled individuals, including young people with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders. She is available to speak about her two primary research areas, the caregiving experience and inclusive physical activity programming, and can provide suggestions for caregivers of children on the autism spectrum who are practicing social distancing. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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