World Autism Awareness Day: From diagnosing autism to parenting, autism experts available


TORONTO, April 1, 2019 – Every day, thousands of Canadians living with autism and their families face challenges to increase awareness about their needs and experiences. World Autism Awareness Day, on April 2, 2019, provides an opportunity to improve understanding of the issues that surround the autism community.

Recent statistics show 1-2% of the Canadian population is affected by autism spectrum disorder, indicating that approximately 135,000 Ontarians are on the autism spectrum. Research can play a big role in understanding the causes and effects of autism and making sure that Canadians who are affected, and their families, receive the best possible support.

The following York University experts are available to speak about the role of their research in the autism community:

Jonathan Weiss is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health and Research Chair in Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disability Mental Health at York University

He can offer insight on the following:

  • The impact parents have and why parents who are partners in therapy with their children experience improvements in their own depression and emotion regulation
  • The role of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and how it can help children with autism manage not only anxiety but other emotional challenges, such as sadness and anger

Adrienne Perry is a professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health, at York University.  She is a clinical psychologist and board-certified behaviour analyst with over 30 years experience in autism diagnosis, treatment, and research.

She can offer insight on:

  • How is autism currently assessed and diagnosed?
  • Why is autism considered a "spectrum" and how does it relate to developmental disabilities?
  • How is the well-being of parents of children with autism affected?
  • What current research shows about the evidence-base for applied behaviour analysis (ABA) and intensive behavioural intervention (IBI)

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni.
York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contact:

Anjum Nayyar, York University Media Relations, 416-736-2100 ext. 44543,