Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Naomi Johnson, MA student at the Centre for Applied Disability Studies
Ontario Graduate Scholarship
Kathy Tweedy Memorial Award
Susan Tough Award
Naomi’s research story
The main focus of my research has been on the effectiveness of a group cognitive behavioural therapy for children with high functioning autism and obsessive compulsive behaviours, specifically looking at the strategies the children are able to learn which they will hopefully use to help them prevent future relapses of these behaviours.
Essentially, what we are doing is trying to provide these children with both cognitive and behavioural strategies to deal with both present anxiety and potential future anxiety related to their obsessions and compulsions. We are helping to improve the quality of life for these children and helping them to come up with ways to cope with and overcome the challenges that they are faced with.
Graduate awards and the Brock experience
Being involved with this research has given me many unique experiences that I did not think possible before I entered the program. I was able to work as a therapist in my third year of undergraduate university and provide a potentially life-changing therapy to these families and watch the impact that this program has on their lives. I have also had the opportunity to present a poster at a conference this past year, and have another poster that I am presenting at an international conference.
My research experience has been made possible and more enjoyable thanks to the various scholarships and awards I have received. Receiving awards means that I do not have to worry about finding work to support my schooling, and can focus on my research and school work. It allows me the opportunity to volunteer my time at different placements that provide me with invaluable experience which vastly expands my knowledge and expertise. Furthermore, and arguably most importantly, it serves as a boost to my confidence to know that the donors, faculty, and staff feel that my work is important enough to deserve these awards. The recognition shows me that I am on the right track and that all the time and effort put into writing reports, papers and applications is worthwhile and appreciated by someone other than myself and my supervisor.
It is the generous contributions from Brock donors that allow students like myself to continue to work at the research activities that we enjoy and find so rewarding.