Isabel SmithPhD

Division of Developmental Pediatrics, Professor

Dr. Isabel Smith

Related information

Phone: 902-470-7275
Fax: 902-470-7457
Mailing Address: 
Autism Research Centre
4th Floor Link, IWK Health Centre
PO Box 9700
Halifax, NS B3K 6R8


  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Psychology, Dalhousie University
  • Master of Science, Developmental Psychology, Brown University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Clinical Psychology, Dalhousie University

Administrative roles

  • Joan and Jack Craig Chair in Autism Research
  • Scientific Staff, IWK Health Centre

Research interests

Dr. Smith’s interests encompass the development, health and wellbeing of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families, especially children and youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Her research also includes longitudinal studies of ASD; development and evaluation of interventions for ASD and associated behavioural and mental health problems; and ASD-related health, education and community services systems and policies.

Selected publications

  • Smith, I.M., Flanagan, H. E., Garon, N., & Bryson, S. E. (2015). Effectiveness of community-based early intervention based on Pivotal Response Treatment. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, doi:10.1007/s10803-014- 2345-x
  • Allen, S.L.*, Smith, I.M., Duku, E., Vaillancourt, T.V., Szatmari, P., Fombonne, E., Georgiades, S. (2015). The Behavioural Pediatrics Feeding Assessment Scale in young children with autism spectrum disorder: Psychometrics and associations with child and parent variables. Journal of Pediatric Psychology
  • Garon, N., Smith, I.M., & Bryson, S.E. (2014). A novel executive function battery for preschoolers: Sensitivity to age differences. Child Neuropsychology: A Journal on Normal and Abnormal Development in Childhood and Adolescence, 20(6), 713- 736 doi:10.1080/09297049.2013.857650 [doi]
  • Reaven, J., Blakeley-Smith, A., Beattie, T. L., Sullivan, A., Moody, E. J., Stern, J. A., Smith, I.M. (2014). Improving transportability of a cognitive-behavioral treatment intervention for anxiety in youth with autism spectrum disorders: Results from a US-Canada collaboration. Autism, 2014, 1-12. doi: 10.1177/1362361313518124
  • Stock, R., Mirenda, P., & Smith, I.M. (2013). Comparison of community-based Verbal Behavior and Pivotal Response Treatment programs for young children with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 7, 1168- 1181. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2013.06.002

Awards and honours

  • IWK Research Award (co-recipient with Susan E. Bryson). Awarded by the IWK Health Centre Board of Directors to recognize researchers who distinguishthemselves by demonstrating innovation, creativity and outstanding achievement in research activities (2010)
  • Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine Clinical Research Scholar (five-year salary award, 2005-2010)
  • IWK Health Centre Research Investigator (four-year salary award, 2001-2005)
  • Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal - Nominated by Autism Society Canada and Autism Society Nova Scotia (2003)

Research collaborations and partnerships

  • Preschool Autism Treatment Impact (PATI) – Impact du traitement de l’autism préscolaire (ITAP) study (funder: CIHR-PHSI); Partners: Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness and New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Autism Research Training (ART) Program – 2004-2010; 2010-2015 (Funders: CIHR; NeuroDevNet)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders: Pathways to Better Outcomes longitudinal study – PI P. Szatmari; 2004-2009, 2009-2014; under review (funders: CIHR, Autism Speaks, Alberta Innovates Health Solutions, Government of British Columbia, Sinneave Family Foundation, NeuroDevNet)
  • Canadian Infant Sibling Study – Co-PIs L. Zwaigenbaum and S.E. Bryson; 2006- 2011; 2011-2015 (funders: CIHR, Autism Speaks, Sinneave Family Foundation)