ASD and Executive Functioning in the Workplace

ASD and Executive Functioning in the Workplace are a group of researchers based in Vancouver who work with adults with ASDs and their families on a day-to-day basis. We understand the kind of positive impact meaningful employment can have on these adults because we see the improvements in mental heath and well-being in the clinic. We also recognize that more and more employers are unlocking the added value their employees with ASDs bring to their businesses by capitalizing on their strengths. By developing a resource that makes unlocking that added value more easily, we can benefit both employees with ASD and their employers.

Our project leader, Dr. Tony Bailey is Chair of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UBC and Institute of Mental Health Chair. Dr. Bailey also has experience of establishing mentoring schemes for University students with ASDs, delivering group-based social skills training, and running support groups for befrienders.

Dr. Rashmeen Nirmal is a psychologist with expertise in assessment, and diagnosis of ASD with current positions at BC Children’s Hospital and the UBC Child and Youth, and Adult Assessment Clinic. Her PhD investigated the lived experiences of young adults with attending post-secondary education. Her work spawned the idea for this initiative.

Dr. Ivan Torres is a registered clinical neuropsychologist and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UBC. He has extensive experience in neuropsychological assessment of adults in both research and clinical settings, across a wide range of neuropsychiatric illnesses. He will be responsible for training of research personnel in administration and scoring of cognitive tests, and in interpretation and data analysis of neuropsychological findings.
Dr. David Worling is a Registered Psychologist in clinical practice and a sessional instructor with the UBC Psychology Department. He has designed and implemented manualized cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) treatments for children and adults with ASD and provided direct CBT-based clinical interventions to individuals and groups with ASD for over 25 years.

Dr. Liz Laugeson is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, specializing in the development and testing of evidence-based treatments for individuals with ASD across the lifespan. She developed, tested and published the evidence-based PEERS social skills programs for adolescents and young adults with ASD, now in use across Canada and internationally. She will be advising us as we develop our new program.

Dr. Candice Murray is a registered psychologist, Director of the Provincial ADHD Program at B.C. Children's Hospital and a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at UBC. She focuses on the assessment and non-pharmacological treatment of individuals with ADHD/ADD. Dr. Murray has developed a 10-week Executive Functioning treatment program for adults with ADHD which she has delivered and trained on for 10 years and which is now an established evidence-based treatment for adults with ADHD. She will be advising us in the development of the ASD intervention.

More information is available on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ASDandEFintheWorkplace
The group has also launched a modest appeal on the UBC Crowd Funding website: http://crowdfundraising.ubc.ca/projects