Research Team

Autism Spectrum Disorder Lab
Elizabeth Kelley

Elizabeth Kelley

Associate Professor, Lab Director

I received my BAH in Psychology from York University in 2000 and my PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2006. I am interested in the development of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and how all aspects of development (social, perceptual, cognitive, and linguistic) interact in individuals with ASD, intellectual disabilities, and typically developing individuals across the life span.

In my spare time (what spare time?) I enjoy spending time with friends (especially eating good food or activities near or on water), watching movies with my cats, shoe- shopping, traveling, and reading. And last but certainly not least, my favourite ice cream flavour is Edy’s low-fat French Silk (one of the only things I miss about living in the States).

Laura de la Roche

Laura de la Roche, PhD Student

I am currently a third year PhD student in the Developmental Psychology Program working in the ASD Lab under the supervision of Dr. Kelley. I completed by BAH in Psychology at Saint Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia in 2018 and an MSc in Psychology at Trent University in 2020. I am interested in available intervention and supports systems for families with an autistic child, as well as parent integration within these supports. I am currently expanding my focus to investigate the high rates of attrition in research on available support resources for families with an autistic child, using a qualitative approach. Outside of academia I love to be outdoors. I have 4 dogs and 2 horses – so I spend any spare minute either at the barn or up at my cottage going on hikes with the dogs.

Melissa Susko

Melissa Susko, MSc. Student

I am a first-year master’s student in the developmental psychology program. I am interested in exploring predictors and the presentation of mental health problems in autistic youth, particularly in relation to depression and suicidal thoughts and behaviours. My thesis will be looking at predictors of anxiety and depressive symptoms among autistic youth, neurotypical youth and youth with ADHD in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In my spare time, I like cooking, cycling, and trying out new restaurants with friends.

Kayla Gordon

Kayla Gordon, Honour Thesis Student

I am a fourth year student completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. I have been volunteering in the ASD lab since my third year and I am completing my honours thesis this year. I enjoy all areas of psychology, but I am particularly interested in neurodivergent children and parents’ experiences. My thesis is looking at the impact that stigma has on caregivers of autistic children and how we may be able to use social support to reduce negative psychological effects often seen from experiences of stigma. When I have free time, I love to get outdoors and find new coffee shops in Kingston. I also am an avid reader and am on the Queen’s Curling team!

Emily Masson

Emily Masson, Directed Lab Student

I am a third-year undergraduate student majoring in psychology with a minor in French studies. I joined the ASD studies lab as a research assistant in the fall of 2023 and will be continuing as a directed lab student in winter of 2024. I am interested in the development of individuals with autism spectrum disorder, specifically the role of parents and caregivers in the development of an autistic child. I currently volunteer with Queen's Friday Friends club, a mentorship program which pairs students with young adults with intellectual disabilities. When I'm not studying you can find me knitting, listening to Taylor Swift, or watching reality television.

Samantha Fisher

Samantha Fisher, Directed Lab Student

I am a 4th year student in the Concurrent Education program, majoring in psychology. My directed lab project will investigate whether experiences with bullying predict hostile attribution bias in autistic individuals. Outside of school, I love travelling (I recently did a semester abroad in Melbourne, Australia!) and hanging out with my friends and family. I also enjoy being outdoors, which is why I love to spend my summers working at overnight camp.

Shira Greenstein

Shira Greenstein, Directed Lab Student

I am a fourth-year undergraduate Psychology student and will be a directed lab student under Dr. Kelley in the Winter 2024 semester. My directed lab research will involve examining the difference in depressive symptom reporting between neurotypical and autistic adolescents. In my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends, listening to music, and hiking.

Sabrina Lutchmeah

Sabrina Lutchmeah, Research Coordinator

I am currently the research coordinator for ASD studies. My main contribution is with setting up and running the Opt-in study. The Opt-In study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention using behavioural teaching techniques for children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and who are waiting for treatment. I graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in psychology (research-intensive) and French studies. Overall, I am interested in emotion regulation in autistic children and youth. In my free time, I am usually reading books, writing, discovering new coffee shops in Kingston or experimenting with different dishes in the kitchen. Recently, I have also been watching videos of people playing horror video games, so safe to say that I will be fixating on this for the upcoming weeks or months!