The Waterloo Record with Janet McLaughlin 30 May 2019
Waterloo’s Janet McLaughlin has been named to the province’s new expert panel on autism.
The 20-member panel announced Thursday includes parents of children with autism, clinicians, autism self-advocates, service providers, former public servants and others knowledgeable and experienced with autism.
McLaughlin is an associate professor in health studies at Wilfrid Laurier University and autism policy researcher. She’s also the mother of a son who is on the autism spectrum.
“I plan to bring my perspective as an affected parent, as well as my policy research background, to advocate for a needs-based therapy model,” McLaughlin said in an email.
“My views on this have always been quite clear, and my own child has benefited significantly from a needs-based therapy program.”
McLaughlin recently wrapped up a major study of autism policy and impacts on Ontario families with her Laurier colleague Margaret Schneider.
Her family waited years for her son to receive provincially funded services, prompting her to study the impact of autism on families.
“My hope is that all committee members will strive to be as objective and open-minded as possible in examining the input of parents, advocates, experts, and other stakeholders, and will be guided by evidence-based best practices,” she said.