Sheri Klassen

Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Health Sciences

Vote for Sheri 

Masks That Hurt

Introduce yourself...

Hi! I am a master’s student in Rehabilitation Medicine. After nearly 20 years of practicing as a family physician, I decided to go back to school! I couldn’t ignore questions that arose during my efforts to support my neurodiverse family. I have a husband, 2 kids, a cat, and a dog. Besides striving to advocate for marginalized individuals, I am insatiably curious. I am always ready to learn more and do better.

What are you researching and what do you hope comes out of your research?

I want to know how interventions that teach social and behavioral skills based on dominant social norms effect the mental health and well-being of autistic youth. As I strive to ‘do no harm’ in my work and family life, I want to make sure other health professionals and families are armed with the knowledge needed to help these vulnerable individuals thrive as their authentic selves.

How did presenting a Three Minute Thesis (3MT) help explain your research to the public?

The 3MT is certainly a challenge! It is an opportunity to make my research accessible, engaging, and relatable. Not to mention, it’s a great way to explain to my family and friends why I went back to university when I already had a decent job.

What inspires you to do research?

My respect for the scientific process, the acquisition of knowledge, and evidence-based health-care. And to contribute to social change.

What are three keywords important to your 3MT?

Neurodiversity, intervention, acceptance

How does your research impact local, provincial, or global communities at large?

With 1/44 youth identified as having autism, embracing who they are and what they can offer, strengthens not only this valuable group of individuals, but our communities at all levels.

If you had to dedicate your research to anyone from the past, present, or future—who would it be and why?

Easy – my kids!

3MT Image Description - Black and white picture of a teenage boy’s face, staring into the camera. His face is partially covered by a white, plain theatre mask

Watch Sheri's Three Minute Thesis