Autistic Voices, Researchers and Clinicians Lead Autism Assessment

The Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ (CAHS) is pleased to announce the members of the CAHS Oversight Panel and Working Groups for the Autism Assessment.

The Autism Assessment will provide evidence and recommendations to inform the creation of a National Autism Strategy.  An essential cornerstone is significant engagement that will leverage participation of autistic individuals, families, stakeholders and key national, local and grassroots organizations to support consultation on a wide range of issues including economic inclusion (in particular employment and housing), social inclusion, and evidence-based intervention and therapies.

Autistic adults, parents, clinicians, and researchers from a variety of fields, will steer academic, scientific and knowledge-sharing within the Autism Assessment.

“I am excited to be working with such a diverse, knowledgeable and insightful group to define important priorities and needs from a comprehensive review of the current and emerging evidence and that all voices are heard throughout this assessment process,” said Dr. Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, Chair of the Oversight Panel.

“I am honoured to represent the voices of autistic people on the Oversight Panel.  Our input is crucial to the creation of any policy that deals with autistic people.  It is comforting to know that others will also be involved in representing the unique perspectives of autistic people and parents of autistic people,” added Aaron Bouma, Vice-Chair Oversight Panel

Members of the Oversight Panel and Working Groups were selected by CAHS’ Assessment and Scientific Affairs Committee, and their selection criteria was based on expertise and credibility.  All members have been asked to keep an open mind to all the evidence and information that will come in front of them as well as pay special attention to the input to be provided by stakeholders (especially autistic people) during the engagement process.  Below is a list of the selected members:

  • Lonnie Zwaigenbaum, Chair Oversight Panel
  • Aaron Bouma, Vice-Chair Oversight Panel
  • Mélanie Couture, Vice-Chair Oversight Panel
  • Tara Flanagan, Chair, Social Inclusion Working Group
  • Shirley Chua-Tan, Vice Chair, Social Inclusion Working Group
  • Keiko Shikako-Thomas, Chair, Interventions Working Group
  • Stelios Georgiades, Vice Chair, Interventions Working Group
  • David Nicholas, Chair, Economic Inclusion Working Group
  • Jackie Barrett, Vice Chair, Economic Inclusion Working Group
  • Laurent Mottron
  • Caroline Tait
  • Mark Chapeskie

For more information about the Panel members and the Assessment Process, click here.

The work of the Oversight Panel will be supported by three working groups that will focus on:

The selection of the Working Group members has also been completed. For more information about the appointments for the Working Group members click on the links above.

Diversity within the Oversight Panel and Working Groups was also a key consideration and is represented through a balance in gender, age, geography and more.

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For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

Serge Buy, CEO
(613) 720-1777