After working directly with autistic people for a number of years, Dr. Kristen Gillespie-Lynch obtained a PhD in Developmental Psychology from UCLA. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center. She uses a multi-method participatory approach to investigate strengths and weaknesses associated with ASD across the lifespan, including relations between early attention and later linguistic and adaptive skills. In collaboration with an autistic colleague, she develops online surveys about autism that have revealed that autistic people recognize unique benefits associated with autism but desire adaptive supports. She developed and directs Building Bridges Project REACH (a mentorship program for autistic college students and students with other disabilities) and an associated online autism training. Participation in the training has been associated with decreases in autism stigma and increases in knowledge among students internationally. She and her collaborators continue to develop creative approaches to evaluating and reducing stigma, including theatre-based training and collaborative adaptations of the training for students, teachers and parents internationally. Students in Project REACH are guiding development of a computer game, Connecting through Kinect, that she is and her collaborators are designing to help autistic people develop collaboration and emotion recognition skills. Autistic researchers are also involved in an evaluation of an innovative program at NYU to help autistic youth develop authorial computer skills, Tech Kids Unlimited, that she is guiding. She is the Director of CSI’s Advanced Certificate Program in ASD and is helping develop a meaningful credential for CUNY students with intellectual disabilities (TPSID).
MA, Queens College CUNY
BA, Indiana University Bloomington
Please visit ResearchGate profile for a complete list of publications: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kristen_Gillespie-Lynch.
Here is a link to the website for Building Bridges Project REACH: http://www.autism-collegeeducation.com/. Please email (Kristen.firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to become involved in research and/or would like information about autism training.
Here is a link to information about the Project REACH mentorship program for neurodivergent students: https://www.cuny.edu/current-students/student-affairs/student-services/disability/asd-project-reach/