Autistic adults, parents, clinicians, and researchers from a variety of fields, will steer academic, scientific and knowledge-sharing within the work of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ (CAHS) Autism Assessment. An Oversight Panel and three Working Groups provide leadership for this assessment.
Click here for more information on the selection process.
|Dr. Keiko Shikako-Thomas, Ph.D., OT
Chair, Evidence-Based Interventions
Dr. Keiko Shikako-Thomas is a Canada Research Chair in Childhood Disabilities: Participation and Knowledge Translation. She is an Associate Professor at the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy at McGill University. Her research focuses on the promotion of healthy living and the human rights of children with disabilities, and knowledge translation science and practice. Her research program adopts a participatory approach to engage different stakeholders, including policymakers, children and their families in finding solutions to change the environments, informing policy making and promoting the participation of children with disabilities in different life roles and activities.
|Dr. Stelios Georgiades, Ph.D.
Vice Chair, Evidence-Based Interventions
Dr. Stelios Georgiades is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and a Scientist at the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University. His research program investigates the factors influencing developmental trajectories of autistic children and youth. The overarching objective of this research is to generate new knowledge that will lead to more precise, evidence-based diagnostics and interventions for autism. Dr. Georgiades is the Founder and Co-Director of the McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART), an interdisciplinary collaborative aiming to advance autism care through meaningful research.
|Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, MD
Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, MD, is a Child Neurologist and Senior Clinician Scientist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto, Assistant Director of Holland Bloorview’s Research Institute, and co-lead of the Autism Research Centre (ARC). She holds a Canada Research Chair in translational therapeutics in autism and the Dr. Stuart D. Sims Chair in Autism at Holland Bloorview. She is the North American Lead, representing Canada, US and Mexico, on the Global Leaders Committee of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), and currently chairs the scientific program committee for the INSAR annual meeting. She is also associate editor for Autism Research and Molecular. Dr. Anagnostou has extensive international funding, leading several networks examining the neurobiology of autism and developing and testing novel treatments/interventions for autism and related conditions, across the lifespan. She also co-leads the Toronto site of the Autism Learning Health Network (AHLN), a large autism learning health network across the US and Canada.
|Dr. Mayada Elsabbagh, Ph.D.
Dr. Mayada Elsabbagh is an Associate Professor at McGill University. Her research focuses on understanding the root causes of autism and tracing its developmental pathways. Her contributions include the discovery of very early brain function markers for autism prior to onset of behavioural signs. Dr. Elsabbagh has supported the successful launch of several collaborative research and translational networks aimed at accelerating the pace of discovery in autism. She is active in global efforts to improve evidence-based practice in the community and capacity building in low- and middle-income countries and has received awards including the Neville Butler Memorial Prize and British Psychological Society Neil O’Connor Prize.
|Dr. Connor Kerns, Ph.D.
Dr. Kerns’ research focuses on the co-occurrence of autism, anxiety, and stress-related disorders in children and young adults. The ultimate goal of this work is to improve clinical practice by providing guidelines and measures for determining when someone with autism is experiencing anxiety or trauma and by effectively treating these conditions in community settings. Dr. Kerns has published and presented internationally on her findings and is primary editor of a textbook on the evidence-based practices for anxiety disorders in children on the spectrum. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Temple University and completed her predoctoral internship at A. I. DuPont Hospital for Children. She has expertise in the assessment and cognitive-behavioral treatment of anxiety and stress-related conditions in children with and without autism and conducts trainings internationally in these approaches.
|Ms. ShanEda Lumb
Diagnosed at age 40, Ms. ShanEda Lumb is an autistic adult and a mother of two grown autistic children. For 20 years, she has worked in child welfare and education as a certified Education Assistant, and is currently pursuing a degree in Disability Studies from Ryerson University. Ms. Lumb is interested in autism advocacy and runs several autism support groups online including a friendship network, a parenting resource/support group, and an autistic women’s group. Ms. Lumb believes that women and girls with autism are an underserved autistic population and that autistic participation in research and programming is especially important to building better services and programmes and a better future for autistic people.
|Ms. Michelle McCallum
Ms. Michelle McCallum is the mother of a 12-year-old autistic son. As Cree First Nations from the Lac La Ronge Indian Band in Saskatchewan, Ms. McCallum values family, culture, and community. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from the University of Regina. She is currently the Vice Principal at Senator Myles Venne School, which is part of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band Education Department. As a parent of an autistic son, and an educator to many children with special needs, Ms. McCallum has embraced her role as an advocate. She believes that autistic people have unique and special gifts to offer the world and that it is imperative their voices are central to the creation of policies involving them.
|Dr. Isabel Smith, Ph.D.
Dr. Isabel M. Smith is a Professor and Joan & Jack Craig Chair in Autism Research at Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. Beginning in 1984, her autism-related work includes epidemiology, basic processes such as attention and imitation, as well as longitudinal multi-site studies following the development of autistic children and their families. Dr. Smith’s research encompasses developing and evaluating interventions for autism and co-occurring conditions, including large-scale community-based early intervention studies. She has contributed autism expertise to web-based interventions aimed at parents, teachers, and healthcare providers and participates in advocacy and policy initiatives to promote evidence-based practices in autism assessment and intervention services.