Malena Argumedes

Assistant professor, Département de psychoéducation, Université de Sherbrooke

Regular member

  • (2017) Doctorate (Psychoeducation). Université de Montréal.
  • (2010) Master's (Psychoeducation). Université de Montréal.
  • (2008) Bachelor's (Bidisciplinary). Université de Montréal.

My abiding interest in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families, and with research, began somewhat by chance, when I started my graduate program in psycho-education (intervention profile). The original plan for my intervention internship changed at the last minute and I ended up interning at a rehabilitation centre for people with intellectual disabilities and ASD, with a partner who was doing his doctorate in applied behaviour analysis (ABA). I started working with him on his doctoral project and was then immersed in the fascinating and complex world of ABA. During those two years, I was exposed to extraordinary families who, despite their load of challenges, were willing to work with us to try to find solutions to the problematic behaviours their children were experiencing. Never suspecting that I was going to pursue a post-graduate degree in psychoeducation, I became interested in the best, most realistic and concrete ways to help the loved ones of children with ASD and severe challenging behaviours.

This research interest led me to explore positive behaviour support (PBS) intervention strategies during my doctoral studies and to develop an expertise in level three interventions to support parents and teachers of children with ASD whose behavioural difficulties were not being mitigated by the interventions they were receiving. My research also focuses on the prevention of problematic behaviours in preschool children in child care settings, for which I am working to validate a universal SCP-based intervention program.

My research work therefore comes under all three research axes of GRISE, since I aim, through the evaluation of successful programs in natural environments, to promote the adjustment capacities of children with ASD and toddlers, modify their developmental pathway by reducing their problematic behaviours, and support the parents, teachers, and educators who work with them on a daily basis.

My journey is the proof that life’s unexpected turns can open the door to a love affair with research!

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