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In 2007, five professors from St. Lawrence College (Kingston) representing the behavioural science programs, pooled their resources and initiated a research project to establish the feasibility of creating a centre to address the need for quality placements and to meet the needs of children and families experiencing developmental delays, speech and language difficulties and/or a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder in our community.

The initial team of researchers included: Sheelagh Jamieson, Ph.D.; Andrew McNamara, Ph.D.; Robin Hicks, MSc.; Kim Trudeau-Craig, MSc.; and, Lynne Gardiner.  The findings of the study indicated that:

  • Kingston region would welcome a centre to perform and promote Applied Behavioural Analysis interventions;
  • several target groups are under-serviced in the community, namely children with autism spectrum disorders, acquired brain injury, speech and language problems, learning disabilities and behavioural problems;
  • St. Lawrence College is seen as a leader and innovator in programming in the behavioural sciences;
  • St Lawrence College can offer a timely and effective solution with will serve the community outstandingly while it strengthens college programming; and,
  • St. Lawrence and Kingston can become a centre of excellence in ABA teaching, service and research.

This initial research study laid the ground work for the creation of the Centre for Behavioural Studies as a College wide strategic initiative.  Many of the research projects and programs that have been conducted through the Centre to date address the issues, service gaps and questions identified in the study.