Co-Chair of our new Autistic Researchers Committee

The International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) unanimously appointed its inaugural Autistic Researchers Committee.

While many Autistic persons and allies have been championing research informed by Autistic lives, this marks the first organized and recognized effort to directly involve Autistic researchers in contributing to the course autism research. in addressing and collaborating on autistic research and the implications for the community.  

The aims of the Autistic Researchers Committee is:

  • To better integrate autistic members into INSAR programs;
  • To foster scientific career development for autistic autism researchers;
  • To create opportunities for autistic scientists to offer their insights to allistic researchers and fellow colleagues;
  • To make INSAR conferences more accommodating and welcoming for autistic and other disabled members and participants;
  • To promote the inclusion of and consideration for issues important to autistic persons in INSAR meetings and in overall autism research across the sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, and other disciplines; and
  • To advise the INSAR Board on issues important to autistic people.

INSAR is a scientific and professional organization devoted to advancing knowledge about autism. INSAR was formed in 2001 and is governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors who oversee all functions of the Society. Various committees assist the Board in carrying out the mission of the Society. They are known internationally for the international conference that occurs annually, providing opportunities for researchers and stakeholders to examine the newest research, to foster connections and to network with professional from around the world.

The newly appointed members include:

BOARD LIAISON: Cheryl Dissanayake (she/her), Professor, Director & Chair, Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University (INSAR Board Liaison)

John Elder Robison (he/him), Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence, William and Mary College (Outgoing INSAR Board Liaison/Committee Advisor)

CO-CHAIR: Patrick Dwyer (he/him), PhD Student, UC Davis

CO-CHAIR: TC Waisman (she/her) EdD Student, University of Calgary

Dena L. Gassner (she/her), PhD Candidate, Adelphi University; Adjunct Faculty, Towson University; National Board Member for The Arc US

Jac den Houting (they/them), Postdoctoral Research Associate, Macquarie University

Steven Kapp (he/him), Lecturer, University of Portsmouth Brett Ranon Nachman (he/him), PhD Candidate, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dora M. Raymaker (they/them/any), Research Assistant Professor, Portland State University / Regional Research Institute for Human Services

Stephen Mark Shore (he/him), Clinical Assistant Professor of Special Education, Adelphi University; Adjunct Professor of Occupational Therapy, New York University

Kristen Gillespie-Lynch (she/her), Associate Professor, CUNY, (Committee Advisor)

Christina Nicolaidis (she/her), Professor, Portland State University (Committee Advisor)

Published by TC Waisman

Since 1998, TC has worked with leaders in large organizations to enhance their leadership capabilities and make consequential changes to their leadership practice. Coaching and training leaders for over 20 years, TC has learned to support her clients’ development using organizational best practices and evidence-based research. TC is an ICF certified coach, she holds a Master’s degree in Leadership & Training, and she is currently undertaking her doctoral degree in leadership in a post-secondary context. Inspired by her late autism diagnosis at 48 years old, her research focuses on how higher education leaders can enhance services and outcomes for autistic students in higher learning. Since beginning her research two years ago, TC has co-founded a not-for-profit society for neurodiverse individuals, spoken on autism related topics, published an academic literature review on autism and the implications for higher learning, and was appointed an editorial board member of the new scientific journal Autism in Adulthood. TC is of Indigenous Fijian and Nepalese origin. She moved to Vancouver in 1976 where she currently lives with Dean her partner of 30 years. TC is a proud mother to her fiercely funny 23-year-old daughter Sunshine and the author of the book 75 Traits of Great Leaders. TC is on target to complete her doctoral degree in 2020.

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