Priscilla Burnham Riosa

Associate Professor

Dr. Priscilla Burnham Riosa, Applied Disability Studies, Brock University


Burnham Riosa Lab

Dr. Burnham Riosa may be accepting an ABA or LDCC student in Fall 2024. Interested students should email her directly at

I am an associate professor in the Department of Applied Disability Studies. I am a Doctoral-level Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and I have been working in the disability field with children, youth, and adults with autism and their families for over 20 years. I earned my PhD in human development at the University of Guelph and MSc at Western University in developmental psychology. I also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at York University where I conducted clinical research in the area of mental health and autism.

My research focuses on understanding and improving the well-being and quality of life of people with disabilities and their families across the lifespan. Some topics of interest include: therapeutic rapport; parent-child relationships; mental health; understanding family experiences of disability; using behavioural methods to study mindfulness-based approaches; strengths-focused research; community-engaged participatory action research.

Ensor, R., Burnham Riosa, P., & Yu, K. H. X. (2023). Evaluation of a rapport-building intervention for early interventionists working with children on the autism spectrum. Behavioral Interventions.

Davy, B., Burnham Riosa, P., & Ghassemi, E. (2023). Understanding the mental health perspectives and experiences of migrants to Canada. International Journal of Social Determinants of Health and Health Services.

Burnham Riosa, P., Ensor, R., Jichici, B., & Davy, B. (2023). ­How my life is unique: Sibling perspectives of autism. Autism, 27(6), 1575–1587.

Burnham Riosa, P., Randhawa, A., & Muskat, B. (2022). Autism comes to the pediatric hospital: Perspectives of Child Life Specialists. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 10.1007/s10803-022-05776-9

Burnham Riosa, P., Khan, M., & Weiss, J. A. (2019). Measuring therapeutic alliance in children with autism during cognitive behaviour therapy. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 26(6), 761–767.

Salem-Guirgis, S., Albaum, C., Tablon, P., Burnham Riosa, P., Nicholas, D., Drmic, I., & Weiss, J. A. (2019). MYmind: A concurrent group-based mindfulness intervention for youth with autism and their parents. Mindfulness, 10(9), 1730–1743.

Fardella, M. A., Burnham Riosa, P., & Weiss, J. A. (2018). A qualitative investigation of risk and protective factors for violence in adults on the autism spectrum. Disability & Society, 33(9), 1460–148.

Weiss, J. A., Thomson, K., Burnham Riosa, P., Albaum, C., Chan, V., Maughan, A., Tablon, P., Black, K. (2018). A randomized waitlist controlled trial of cognitive behavior therapy to improve emotion regulation in children with autism. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 59(11), 1180–1191. 

Burnham Riosa, P., Greenblatt, A., Muskat, B. (2017). An online ASD learning module for pediatric health care professionals. Advances in Autism, 3(3), 154–162.

Burnham Riosa, P., Ting, V., Maughan, A., Stables, V., Albaum, C., & Weiss, J. A. (2017). Remediating deficits or increasing strengths in ASD research: A content analysis. Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 1(3), 113–121.

Hassan, M., Thomson, K. M., Khan, M., Burnham Riosa, P., & Weiss, J. A. (2017). Behavioral skills training for graduate students providing cognitive behavior therapy to children with autism spectrum disorder. Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice, 17(2), 155–165.

Weiss, J. A., Burnham Riosa, P., Robinson, S., Ryan, S., Tint, A., Viecili, M., MacMullin, J. A., & Shine, R. (2016). Understanding Special Olympics experiences from the athlete perspectives using photo-elicitation: A qualitative study. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 30(5), 936–945.

Thomson, K., Burnham Riosa, P., & Weiss, J. A. (2015). Brief report of preliminary outcomes of an emotion regulation intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 45(11), 3487–3495.

Weiss, J. A., & Burnham Riosa, P. (2015). Thriving in youth with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(8), 2474–2486.

Burnham Riosa, P., Preyde, M., & Porto, M. L. (2015). Transitioning to adult mental health services: Perceptions of adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems. Journal of Adolescent Research, 30(4), 446–476.

Muskat, B., Burnham Riosa, P., Nicholas, D., Roberts, W., Stoddart, K., & Zwaigenbaum, L. (2015). Autism comes to the hospital: The experiences of patients with autism spectrum disorder, their parents, and health care providers at two Canadian paediatric hospitals. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice, 19(4), 482–490.

Feldman, M. A., Bosett, J., Collet, C., & Burnham Riosa, P. (2014). Where are persons with intellectual disabilities in medical research? A survey of medical clinical trials. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. 58(9), 800–809.

McArthur, B., Burnham Riosa, P., & Preyde, M. (2012). Treatment fidelity in psychosocial intervention for children and adolescents with comorbid problems. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 17(3), 139–145.

Burnham Riosa, P., McArthur, B., & Preyde, M. (2011). Effectiveness of psychosocial intervention for children and adolescents with comorbid internalizing and externalizing problems: A systematic review. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 16(4), 177–185.

Preyde, M., & Burnham Riosa, P. (2011). Intervention fidelity in psychosocial oncology. Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 8(4), 379–396. 

Preyde, M., Frensch, K., Cameron, G., Hazineh, L., & Burnham Riosa, P. (2011). Mental health outcomes of children and youth accessing residential programs or a home-based alternative. Social Work in Mental Health, 9(1), 1–21. 

Burnham, P., Synnott, E., & Preyde, M. (2009). The association between childhood mental health and poverty: Unveiling a hidden reality. Child and Family Professional, 12(2), 14–20.


Book Chapter

Weiss, J. A., Burnham Riosa, P., Mazefsky, C. A., & Beaumont, R. (2017). Emotion regulation in autism spectrum disorder. In C. Essau and T. Ollendick (Eds.). Emotion Regulation and Psychopathology in Children and Adolescents (pp. 235-258). London: Oxford University Press.


Shona Mills, MA Student Kevin Yu, MA Student
Sara Tanasichuk, MA Student


Jean Phan, MA
Brittany Davy, MARebecca Ensor, MABrynn Jichici, MA