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.

Science Magazine

This article featuring giants Dr. Dora Raymaker and Dr. Christina Nicolaidis on the need for more meaningful autistic informed autism research. Phenomenal interviews and an excellent place to start if you’re considering autism research. My small input is included.

Autism Training

The following autism training was created by members of the International Society for Autism Research -INSAR’s- Autism Researchers Committee for use at INSAR international meetings and large conferences. This training is a brief introduction to autistic people, how we see ourselves, myths about autism, and how to work with us. Please cite accordingly.

Citation: Waisman, TC, Gassner, D., Gillespie-Lynch, K., Den Houting, J., Kapp, S., Nachman, B., Shore, S., Dwyer, P. (2020). Autism Training for INSAR 2020 developed by INSARs 2020 Autistic Researchers Committee.


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: John Elder Robison (he/him) Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence, William and Mary 

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

Story Collider podcast

Thank you Story Collider and Spectrum News for the opportunity to raise awareness about autism and late diagnosis. This podcast (also a video with a link below in a June post) allowed me to talk about my personal experience of being diagnosed at 48 years old and how that led to my doctoral research. https://www.storycollider.org/stories/2019/11/5/late-diagnosis-stories-about-being-diagnosed-as-an-adult

Research closed

Thank you to all who took part in my doctoral research. Your input has been invaluable to understanding how higher education leaders, faculty, and staff can enhance services and outcomes for autistic students in higher education in Canada. A total of 108 interviews and questionnaires were completed by autistic students, Deans, faculty, and accessibility staff across Canadian universities. The next stage is to analyze the data, categorize it, establish themes, and develop theories. Following that will be the writing of the last 3 chapters of my dissertation which will lead to the final defence of my research 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.