Yun-Ju Chen 陳韻如

Yun-Ju Chen 陳韻如

Postdoctoral Fellow

McMaster University

Hello! I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Offord Centre for Child Studies at McMaster University and a member of the McMaster Autism Research Team (MacART).

With a background in occupational therapy, I have gained valuable experience working with individuals with special needs across different developmental stages and settings. Through my involvement in longitudinal projects with clinical and general populations, I have developed a strong interest in understanding the diverse behavioral manifestations observed throughout the lifespan within and beyond the autism spectrum.

I am passionate about utilizing methodology and concepts rooted in developmental science, such as developmental variability and cascades, as well as principles from occupational science, such as person-environment fit and transactions. Through these approaches, my aim is to contribute to the advancement of early detection and intervention strategies while striving to improve the overall life outcomes of individuals on the autism spectrum.

My primary research topics:

  1. Early sensory differences and development in transdiagnostic community samples of infants and children
  2. Development and validation of parent-report screeners for early identification of autism
  3. Developmental variability of functional outcomes from early childhood to adolescence in autism
  4. Developmental dynamics of core symptoms, co-occurring health conditions, and functional impacts in autism
  • Autism
  • Sensory
  • Behavioral Phenotying
  • Developmental Trajectories
  • PhD in Occupational Science, 2021

    University of Southern California

  • MS in Medical Sciences (Neuropsychology), 2012

    Keio University

  • BS in Occupational Therapy, 2009

    National Taiwan University

Research Projects

Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth (CHSCY)
A transdiagnostic investigation of co-occurring health conditions in autism among the Canadian general population (PI: Yun-Ju Chen): Age-varying patterns and functional impact
Pathways in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Multi-site Canadian prospective study from autism diagnosis to adulthood (PI: Peter Szatmari)
Pediatric Autism Research Cohort (PARC)
Multi-site prospective study from autism diagnosis in autism (PI: Stelios Georgiades): Tracking developmental trajectories of stakeholder-informed outcomes with protocols that aim for bridging research-to-practice gap
Southern California Child Development Survey (SoCal)
Population-based prospective study in California (PI: Grace T. Baranek): Early detection and intervention for autism among culturally diverse populations in Los Angeles
North Carolina Child Development Survey (NCCDS)
Population-based prospective study from Infancy to school-age in North Carolina (PI: Grace T. Baranek): 1) Validation of First Years Inventory (FYI) as a level-1 autism screener; 2) Tracking early trajectories of sensory features


Peer-Reviewed Articles

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(2023). Variable patterns of daily activity participation across settings in autistic youth: A latent profile transition analysis. Autism, 1-15.


(2023). Early developmental profiles of sensory features and links to school-age adaptive and maladaptive outcomes: A birth cohort investigation. Development and Psychopathology, 1-11.


(2022). Sensory reactivity of infants at elevated likelihood of autism and associations with caregiver responsiveness. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-10.


(2022). Brief report: Attention patterns to non-social stimuli and associations with sensory features in autistic children. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 98, 102035.


(2022). Developmental trajectories of sensory patterns from infancy to school age in a community sample and associations with autistic traits. Child Development, 93, e446-e459.


(2022). Sensory features of young children from a large community sample: Latent factor structures of Sensory Experiences Questionnaire (Version 2.1, Short Form). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76, 7603205140.


(2022). Early measurement of autism risk constructs in the general population: A new factor structure of the First Years Inventory (FYIv3.1) for ages 6-16 months. Autism Research, 15, 915-928.


(2022). Rethinking autism intervention science: A dynamic perspective. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13, 827406.