Kendra Thomson and Louis Busch

Biography: Dr. Kendra Thomson, PhD, BCBA-D is as an Associate…



Dr. Kendra Thomson, PhD, BCBA-D is as an Associate Professor within the Department of Applied Disability Studies at Brock University. Kendra obtained her Ph.D. in Psychology, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis, from the University of Manitoba in 2011. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at York University’s Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health lab before she joined Brock University in 2014. Kendra holds a part-time Scientist position at the Azrieli Adult Neurodevelopmental Centre, in the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, ON. With over two decades of experience in diverse clinical and research environments, Kendra has dedicated her work to supporting individuals with neurodevelopmental differences across their lifespan. Kendra and her trainees collaborate on community-engaged research aimed at translating evidence-based behavioral training strategies. The goal is to empower individuals with lived experience, along with their families and support networks, to enhance independence and improve mental health and overall quality of life. Kendra previously served as the President of the Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis. In recognition of her significant contributions to the field, Kendra was honored with the “Jerry Shook Award” by the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts in 2021.

Louis Busch, MEd., BCBA, RP. Louis is a Bear Clan member of Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation, a registered psychotherapist, and a board certified behaviour analyst. Louis is a Vanier Scholar, a doctoral candidate at the University of Toronto, and a Visiting Doctoral Fellow at Harvard University. Louis has two decades of experience supporting the recovery journeys of people who find themselves in contact with the mental health, forensic mental health, and criminal justice systems. Louis hopes to contribute to positive social change through the advancement of culturally relevant wellness initiatives that promote the recovery and empowerment of marginalized peoples.


Presentation: Forming The Circle

Drawing upon the knowledge shared at the 2023 Gathering on Indigeneity, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, and Mental health, this presentation will explore Indigenous views on neurodevelopmental differences, emphasizing a unique perspective of neurodiverse individuals as bearers of unique gifts. Indigenous care for neurodevelopmental disability is rooted in holistic well-being, including spiritual, mental, physical, emotional and relational elements. We will discuss the impact of colonization and current inequities in social and healthcare systems, as well as potential short- and long-term actions which may lead to positive change.