Emma Plourde

Emma Plourde
Research Assistant

Emma Plourde is an undergraduate student at The George Washington University and is a Bachelor of Science Candidate in Psychology and Public Health. She is a research assistant at the GW Autism and Neurodevelopmental Institute (ANDI) and is currently working on a study that examines habituation in typically developing toddlers and toddlers with autism. She is also helping to develop an upcoming study that examines learning about non-social and social preferences in adolescents with and without autism.

In addition to being a research assistant at the GW Autism Institute, Emma is an advocacy and government affairs intern at Autism Speaks. In this capacity, Emma aids policy experts in advocating for autism adjacent policies through meetings with government representatives and other key stakeholders. She researches autism related legislative issues, in particular, health insurance reform and access to ABA services.

Prior to working at ANDI and Autism Speaks, Emma was a special education teacher for the Town of Andover in Massachusetts. She also spent three years at a doctoral Applied Behavior Analysis Lab at The New England Center for Children, and was the founder and director of a community service program that served the autism community.

Emma believes her research experiences have enabled her to evaluate the validity and efficacy of autism research and have demonstrated the critical need to translate evidence based practices into effective policy solutions for the community. Emma aims to pursue a career in autism advocacy to combat disparities in access to services including healthcare and community based services.