Gillis is interested in developing behavioral assessment measures and procedures to assist in clinical practice applied to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) across the lifespan. She recently conducted research highlighting the stigmatization of young adults with ASD and has subsequently developed a new scale to better understand the nature of stigma towards these individuals for use in college populations. This work dovetails with her growing interest in the particular problems (e.g., health behaviors, sexuality, relationships, etc.) faced by individuals with ASD across their lifespan. For example, within the adolescent ASD population, she is involved in the assessment of ASD characteristics in the juvenile sex offender population. A proximal goal is to better understand ASD prevalence and ultimately guide the development of treatment plans for these individuals to reduce recidivism.
Another focus of her research is the development and evaluation of interventions for individuals with ASD. In this area, she is especially interested in the effectiveness of interventions delivered in naturalistic settings and addressing factors that might account for differences in delivery of treatment in the community as opposed to laboratory settings. Her lab has completed two group intervention studies that focus on improving social communication skills conducted in a community health setting. The goal of this research is to develop and/or adapt treatment manuals primarily for the improvement of social skills and health behaviors for individuals with ASD.
- PhD, MA, BA, Binghamton University
- Assessment and treatment issues for individuals with autism spectrum disorders across the lifespan
- service provider training and development
- Laboratory in Child Behavior
- Undergraduate Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Assessment and Treatment and Evaluation
- Excellence in Service & Leadership to Alabama Association for Behavior Analysis