Graduate Students

The graduate program in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education at UBC attracts many students with specific interests in developmental disabilities and autism. All M.A. and Ph.D. students are required to complete original research projects as part of their programs. M.Ed. students have the option of doing so as well. Research projects completed by students under Dr. Mirenda include the following:

Francesca Barth, 1998, “Treatment acceptability of choice-making interventions for adults with developmental disabilities” (M.A. thesis)

Louise Boulet, 1999, “Effectiveness of Picture Communication Symbols in the acquisition of specific American Sign Language vocabulary by deaf students with intellectual disabilities” (M.A. thesis)

Joanne Marshall, 1999, “Family-professional collaboration for positive behavior support: A participatory action research project” (M.A. thesis, published in Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities)

Diana Wilk, 1999, “A retrospective analysis of technology use patterns in students with autism over a five year period” (M.Ed. project, published in the Journal of Special Education Technology)

Christine Lupien, 2000, “Parental satisfaction with the use of picture symbols for communication with their children with autism spectrum disorders” (M.Ed. project)

Jennifer Katz, 2000, “Including students with developmental disabilities in schools: Instructional strategies and educational outcomes in typical and ‘multiple intelligences’ elementary school classrooms” (M.A. thesis, two manuscripts published in the International Journal of Special Education and one manuscript published in Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities)

Hoa Kuoch, 2000, “Social story interventions for young children with autism spectrum disorders” (M.A. thesis, published in Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities)

Miriam Elfert, 2003; Wilda Adams Memorial Scholarship, 2001 and Laurel Foundation award, 2002; “The experiences of behaviour interventionists who work with children with autism: Occupational stress, coping, and family and child variables” (M.A. thesis, published in Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice)

Brenda Fossett, 2003; Laurel Foundation award, 2002; “Sight word reading in children with developmental disabilities using Picture Communication Symbols” (M.A. thesis, published in Research in Developmental Disabilities)

Liana Maione, 2004; Laurel Foundation award, 2002; “Investigating the functional relationship between video feedback and peer interaction skills of a child with autism spectrum disorder” (M.A. thesis, published in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions)

Brian Trenholm, 2004, “Home and community literacy experiences of individuals with Down syndrome” (M.A. thesis, published in Down Syndrome Research and Practice)

Ken Brown, 2004, “Effectiveness of functional equivalence training plus contingency mapping with a child with autism” (M.A. thesis, published in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions)

Kirsten Turoldo, 2004, “The impact of word prediction software on the written output of students with physical disabilities” (M.Ed. project, published in the Journal of Special Education Technology)

Bruce Hamm, 2004, “Post-school quality of life for individuals with complex communication needs” (M.A. thesis, published in Augmentative and Alternative Communication)

Vickie Kleeberger 2008; “Teaching generalized imitation skills to children with autism using video modeling” (M.A. thesis, published in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions)

Stephanie Jull 2008; SSHRC Masters fellowship, 2005; “Teaching parents to facilitate play dates for children with autism spectrum disorders” (M.A. thesis, published in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions)

Karen Bopp 2006; Barry C. Munro Memorial Scholarship in Educational Psychology, 2001; partial SSHRC doctoral fellowship, 2002; partial UGF, 2003; “Behavior predictors of language development over two years in children with autism spectrum disorders ” (Ph.D. dissertation, published in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research; see http://breeze.setbc.org/p65709571/)

Joanne McCartney 2008; “Effectiveness of assistive technology for supporting the written output of students with Down syndrome” (M.A. thesis, published in the Journal of Special Education Technology and Down Syndrome Research and Practice, see http://breeze.setbc.org/taprr )

Karen Bopp, Ph.D., National Alliance for Autism Research/Autism Speaks post-doctoral fellow, 2006-2009; “Relationship between prelinguistic communicative behaviors and early intervention outcomes in children with autism”; see:

Brooke Myers 2009, “Formative evaluation of group self-advocacy training on adolescents with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome” (M.A. thesis)

Landa Mark 2010, SSHRC Masters fellowship, 2007, “Teaching children with autism to share using video modeling” (M.A thesis)

Nadine Trottier 2010, “Promoting social-communicative development in students with autism who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)” (M.A. thesis, published in Augmentative and Alternative Communication)

Kaori Ohashi 2011, “Comparing early language development in monolingual- and bilingual-exposed young children with autism spectrum disorders” (M.A. thesis, published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders)

Katie Rinald 2011, “Effectiveness of a modified rapid toilet training workshop for parents of children with developmental disabilities” (M.A. thesis, published in Research in Developmental Disabilities)

Stephanie Jull 2012; SSHRC doctoral fellowship, 2009-2012; Autism Research Training student scholar, 2008-2011; “Effects of a staff training program on community swim instructors’ ability to teach swimming skills to children with autism” (Ph.D. dissertation, published in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions)

Richard Stock 2012; SSHRC doctoral fellowship, 2008; Autism Research Training student scholar, 2007-2010; “Comparison of community-based verbal behavior and pivotal response treatment programs for young children with autism” (Ph.D. dissertation, published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders)

Sari van Delft 2012, “Relationships between parental self-efficacy and parent training instructional practices, and models of parent-professional interaction” (M.A. thesis)

Angela Montgomery 2013, “Teachers’ self-efficacy, attitudes, sentiments, and concerns about inclusion of students with developmental disabilities” (M.A. thesis, published in Exceptionality Education International)

Miriam Elfert 2014; SSHRC doctoral fellowship, 2008; Autism Research Training student scholar, 2008-2011; “Evaluation of a support group for fathers of children with autism spectrum disorder” (Ph.D. dissertation, published in the Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy)

Bernardus Larryant 2014, “The impact of a visual activity schedule for teaching swimming to children with disabilities” (M.A. thesis)

Yvonne Lam, 2015, “The effect of a differential observing response and an error correction procedure for teaching conditional discriminations to children with autism spectrum disorder” (M.A. Thesis)

Alexandra Voroshina, 2015, “A comparison of iPad-based and traditional instructional materials for teaching academic skills to children with autism spectrum disorder” (M.A. thesis)

Monika Howse, 2016, “Verbal outcomes at school entry of monolingual and bilingual children with ASD who were minimally verbal at the time of diagnosis” (M.A. thesis)

Katia Jitlina, 2017, “Psychometric properties of the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale-Parent Report in children with autism spectrum disorder” (Ph.D. thesis, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders)

Thea Brain, 2018, “Effectiveness of a low-intensity peer-mediated intervention for middle school students with autism spectrum disorder” (M.A. thesis, published in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders)

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