To view an enlarged version of the Day 1 Summit Program and the Day 2 Summit Program, click on the corresponding links.


This presentation will provide an update on the “Pathways in ASD” study, the largest autism follow-up study in the world. The “Pathways in ASD” research team will discuss evidence on the individual, family, community, and services factors that influence the developmental pathways in autistic children/youth from across 5 Canadian provinces.

Lonnie Zwaigenbaum and Jessica Brian will be highlighting key points from the guidelines issued by the Canadian Pediatric Society related to detection of early signs of autism, approaches to diagnostic assessment, and medical follow-up. These statements were developed by an interdisciplinary group which included representation from CASDA. The presentation will highlight how theses guidelines can inform practice across diverse community contexts in Canada, and what the recommendations mean for families, clinicians and policy makers.

IGNITE Speakers and Panel

Below is a list of talks, ordered alphabetically, that will be presenting at the Summit. To view their biographies click on this link here.

  • Addressing Disparities in a National Autism Strategy: An Equity Lens (Panel) – Janet McLaughlin, Bonnie Brayton, Denise McKee, Neil Belanger, Shivajan Sivapalan, and Robert Gagnon
  • Autistic Adults on the National Autism Strategy – Elsbeth Dodman
  • Building Partners within Your Community – Terry Batley
  • Employable Me – What We Learned – Penny Wheelwright and Katie Lafferty
  • Exploring unique barriers that autistic women/non-binary individuals encounter when navigating employment – Autism Women & Non-Binary Network of Edmonton, Heather Brown, Jennifer Fehr, Krys Mahr, Danielle Thompson and Ewa Bochinski
  • Maintaining Momentum: Improving the Odds for Employment Success -Tanya McLeod
  • Moving Forward Together: Development of a Pan-Canadian Strategy for Disability and Work – Emile Tompa and Maureen Haan
  • Spectrum Freelance Creative Network Project – Dan Ten Veen
  • Parent Implemented Models of Autism Early Intervention: Implications for Public Policy and Practice in Canada – Cindy Harrison
  • Family Services Community Grants: Achieving More Together – Kathi Cosgrove
  • The Preschool Autism Treatment Impact Study: A tale of two provinces – Isabel Smith
  • The Transforming Autism Care Consortium: Advancing Discovery, Training, and Community Integration – Mayada Elsabbagh, Anna Katalifos, Mira Puri, & Fabienne Samson


  • Corey Walker
  • Jackie McMillan
  • Dr. Mackenzie Salt
  • Matthew Dever

Poster Presenters

  • Navigating the Misinformation Maze: Tools for the Autism Community to Deal with Science Denialists – Isabel Smith & Jennifer Fox
  • Caregiver Skills Training Program (CST): Scaling up to Underserved Communities – Alaa Ibrahim, Jinan Zeidan, Anita Kiafar, Afiqah Yusuf, Stephanie Shire, Pamela Dixon, Keiko Shikako-Thomas, Andy Shih, Chiara Servili & Mayada Elsabbagh
  • Investigating Imagination in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder with Art-Based Assessments – Olena Darewych
  • Development of a Chatbot to Improve Access to Information for Individuals with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities – Ritvik Khanna
  • Debunking Controversial Claims in Medical Literature – An Bui & Abhishek Dhankar
  • The Family Check-Up: Engaging Families in Child Mental Health Prevention and Care – Teresa Bennett
  • AIDE – Joanna Nefs
  • Mental Health Matters – Tobi McEvenue & Kaushi Nathan
  • The Legends Mentoring Program Adult Expansion (LMPAE) – Sonia Upadhya
  • The Sensory Experience – Dean Svoboda
  • Association Between Neighbourhood Socioeconomic Status and Development of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder – Ayesha Siddiqua
  • Peer Mentorship Programs for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A qualitative review – Linda Nguyen
  • From Rough Waters to Smoother Sailing: Outcomes of a Project Supporting the Transitions of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASDs) into College and University – Raymond Peart
  • Healthy Relationships, Sexuality and Autism Program – Yevonne Le Lacheur
  • Elopement: A critical safety concern for rural parents promoting recreational participation for their children with ASD – Crystal Shannon
  • Presenting the Results of Autism Speaks Canada COVID-19 Pandemic Needs Assessment Survey – Mackenzie Salt and Peter Soliman
  • Success in the Workplace: Strategies from Autistic Employees – Corey Walker
  • Evaluation of Autism Ontario’s Service Navigation Program – Irene O’Connor, Jean-Eric Tarride & Stelios Georgiades
  • Housing Through an Autism Lens: A Pathway from Crisis to Solution – Pari Johnston & Fiona Wright
  • Clarifying the Word “Information” in Autism Policy – Stephen Gentles