About 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.

Research underway

I am currently conducting doctoral research to explore the ways in which higher education leaders, faculty, and staff can enhance services and outcomes for autistic students in higher education. This study aims to map the effectiveness of current policies and practices available to autistic students in higher education and to identify the ways in which services and outcomes can be improved for autistic students through a better understanding of autistic students’ needs. The research has two components, a quantitative questionnaire and qualitative interview. There are three main groups taking part in this study. The groups are as follows:

1st Group: Autistic adults diagnosed or self-diagnosed, who have attended Canadian universities. This study is limited to Canadian universities only therefore attendance at colleges or trade schools even with university level courses, is not included in this study.

2nd group: Key informants who have experience with day-to-day practices that affect autistic students in roles such as faculty, student accessibility services staff, equity & inclusion services, human rights on campus, student advocacy etc. who work or have worked in universities in Canada. If you are diagnosed or self-identify as autistic, please let the researcher know.

3rd Group: Provosts, Assistant Provosts, Deans and higher education leaders in Canada because they have a unique perspective as leaders who influence and integrate policies that affect autistic students and their educational outcomes. If you are diagnosed of self-identify as autistic, please let the researcher know.

Research is set to close on October 20th, 2019.

Doctoral Candidate

It’s official! Candidacy has been accomplished and the research has officially begun. The purpose of the study is to explore the ways in which higher education leaders, faculty, and staff can enhance services and outcomes for autistic students in Canada. This study aims to map the effectiveness of current policies and practices available to autistic students in higher education and to identify the ways in which services and outcomes can be improved for autistic students in Canada through a better understanding of autistic students’ needs.

Participants are currently being interviewed and data collection continues. I am grateful to all my research participants for their time, wisdom, and courage in speaking up and allowing their voices to make a difference.

Story Collider & Spectrum News

Doing a mic and light check before the crowds arrive

Grateful to be one of five people from around the world invited to speak in Montreal for Story Collider…’the TED Talks of science’ & Spectrum News…news and analysis of advances in autism research. We comprised of autistic individuals, autistic researchers carrying out autism research (like myself), and non-autistic scientists who have been affected by autism.

Though I speak regularly about leadership, this was my first time speaking about my personal experiences as a late-diagnosed autistic woman who is also doing research on autism for a doctoral degree. I am grateful to Story Collider and Spectrum News for this opportunity. https://www.spectrumnews.org/features/story-collider-presents-stories-spectrum/

The Science of Improvement

As part a long-term commitment to my larger community, I am honoured to be chosen to take part in a series of credited certifications to assist in improving quality, safety, and value in healthcare in my community through an approached called the Science of Improvement. Though this program is rooted in the medical environment, its application crosses organizational and leadership boundaries.

The Science of Improvement is an applied science that emphasizes innovation, rapid-cycle testing in the field, and spread in order to generate learning about what changes, in which contexts, produce improvements. It is characterized by the combination of expert subject knowledge with improvement methods and tools. It is multidisciplinary — drawing on clinical science, systems theory, psychology, statistics, and other fields.As part a long-term commitment to my larger community, I am taking part in a series of accredited certifications to assist in improving quality, safety, and value in healthcare through an approached called the Science of Improvement.

Certifications include:

  • Improvement Capability – How to improve with the Model for Improvement, Testing and measuring change with PDSA cycles, Interpreting data, Leading quality improvement, Planning for spread: Local improvements to system-wide change, Building safer more reliable systems, Quality improvement practicum
  • Patient Safety – From error to harm, human factors and safety, teamwork and communication in a culture of safety, Responding to adverse events, Root cause and system analysis, Building a culture of safety, Partnering to heal (teaming up against healthcare-associated infections,
  • Leadership – An introduction to heath care leadership
  • Person and family-centred care – Introduction to patient-centred care, Key dimensions of patient and family-centred care, Incorporating mindfulness into clinical practice, A guide to shadowing (seeing care through the eyes of patients and families), Having the conversation (basic skills for conversation about end-of-life care)
  • Triple Aim of Populations – Introduction to the triple aims of populations, Improving health equity, Increasing value and reducing waste at the point of care
  • Graduate Medical Education – Why engage trainees in quality and service? A guide to the clinical learning environment review program (CLER), The faculty role: understanding and modelling the fundamentals of quality of safety, The role of didactic learning in quality improvement, Aligning graduate medical education with organizational quality and safety goals, Faculty advisor guide to the quality improvement practicum
  • Educator’s toolkit

Journal of Educational Thought

JET simple cover

I am pleased to announce the imminent publication of my co-authored literature review in the Journal of Educational Thought issue which is presently in press as Volume 51, No. 3. The manuscript was co-authored with the esteemed Dr. Marlon Simmons of the University of Calgary.

Title: Autism Spectrum Disorder and the Implications For Higher Education:  A Literature Review

Please note that while we normally use the term Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC), ASD is used in this literature review title in order to ensure easy location of the article in academic search engines. The term autism spectrum condition (ASC) is not yet in common use in academia.

ABSTRACT: This literature review focuses on the experiences of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) students in higher education. We pay particular attention to how ASD students transition from high school into post-secondary education and what supports are beneficial to their educational careers. Our purpose is to understand how autistic students can experience greater success in higher education. Guiding questions for our review are: 1) What factors might contribute to how autistic students learn in the context of higher education? 2) How do autistic students experience post-secondary education? Findings of the literature review point to transition plans; person-centred supports; and innovative leadership, policies, and actions as factors that contribute to ASD students’ learning in higher education.