Nicole Neil, MA Applied Disability Studies

Faculty of Graduate Studies




Nicole Neil, MA Applied Disability Studies

Nicole is a recipient of funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) as well as funding through donor-based awards at Brock. Her research focuses on treatments to help children with autism deal with anxiety.

Nicole’s research story
“Over the past two years my master’s thesis has been systematically evaluating a treatment for anxiety in children with autism. Included in the treatment is a Canadian themed workbook that I have developed under supervision to help children to practice and learn skills to cope with anxiety.
“Within my master’s thesis, I am able to balance the research and practice that Brock University is so well known for. I collect and analyze treatment outcome data, while also working with the families and administering the treatment.
“Working in an applied program, I see the difference that graduate research makes immediately. Children receiving our treatment show changes in quality of life, not only in the scores on their questionnaires, but with the voices of their families. I also hope the research I have done here will continue to make a difference, as our treatment manual may be adopted by practitioners throughout Canada.”

The importance of graduate awards and scholarships
“I appreciate the recognition that funding awards bring to my work. The awards have allowed me to focus on my research, and given me the opportunity to present at international conferences such as the 2011 International Meeting for Autism Research in San Diego, held in May. The University deserves great credit for its efforts in raising the profile and importance of Brock’s graduate student research for the benefit of us all.”

About the graduate experience at Brock
“As I am nearing the end of my graduate experience at Brock University, I can see that Brock has given me so much more than what had initially lead to my decision to apply here. I was drawn to Brock because of a number of professors with shared research interests and the MA in Applied Disability Studies was the only program that could offer me experience in behaviour analysis in Ontario. What I received, however, was the opportunity to develop my skills as a researcher, apply my knowledge as a practitioner, and along the way be mentored wonderfully warm and knowledgeable faculty. I have gained the knowledge, perspectives, skills, and qualities that will help me to be an engaged and contributing citizen of my community.”

Nicole Neil