Michelle Viecili


PhD Candidate, Clinical Developmental Psychology

My Research

My research at York has focused on a range of areas related to the mental health of individuals with developmental disabilities and is being conducted under the supervision of Dr. Jonathan Weiss, Associate Professor (Department of Psychology). Recently my research has begun to focus on the interpersonal experiences of adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), specifically in the areas of sexuality and interpersonal violence. My dissertation research will be the first study to ask adults with ASD about a broad range of experiences of interpersonal violence (eg. childhood maltreatment, physical abuse, sexual abuse, peer/sibling victimization etc), and explore factors that may be leading to an increased risk of victimization.

This piece of research will provide important information to parents, clinicians, teachers, other professionals, and individuals with ASD about the factors that may be leading to increased risk for interpersonal violence. Knowing factors that lead to increased risk may assist in the development of preventative programming.

Please visit Interpersonal Violence in Adults with ASD for more information about my research project including how to get involved.

Graduate Studies at York

I decided during my undergraduate degree that I wanted to pursue a career as a psychologist working with children and young adults with developmental disabilities. York University’s Clinical Developmental graduate program appealed to me, as there was a strong research focus and several professors who specialized in the area of developmental disabilities and autism.

York University’s Psychology graduate program is one of the largest in Canada. In turn, there is a vast amount of training, scholarship and research opportunities, as well as the ability to work and collaborate with leading researchers in their respective fields.