At Foothills Academy Society we recognize the importance of research which helps to identify and promote best practices for individuals with Learning Disabilities and associated disorders, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  If you would like further information about the research projects below or, if you are interested in the possibility of a research partnership, please contact Dr. Karen MacMillan (Co-Executive Director) at 403.270.9400 (ext. 238) or ATTN: Dr. Karen MacMillan re: Research on the contact form.

Recent research projects being conducted by Foothills Academy staff:

  • In the 2014-2015 school year, we examined the executive functioning and social resilience of our grade 6, 9, and 12 students. In the 2015-2016 school year, we did a follow-up study on these students to get a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and
  • We examined the impact of the ‘Mindful Schools’ curriculum on our grade 7 students over the course of the 2014-2015 school year.  This program has shown promise in helping to reduce anxiety and increase social resilience in children and adolescents.  Our hope is to identify similar positive changes in students with Learning Disabilities.

We would like to extend a very special thank you to the Kettenbach family for their generous support of our on-going research efforts.

Past research:

References for Foothills Academy Research (Chronological Order)  (To see research list with abstracts (where available), click here.

Gallucci, A. T., McCoy, L. K., & Nicholson, A. T. (2015). Let’s Be Social Study (Executive-Summary) Unpublished manuscript, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Lester, C., Premji, F., Kovitz, B. & Balsden, K. (2014). GLOW Program Evaluation Unpublished manuscript, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Toll, K. (2014). The role of speech recognition technology in fostering cognitive engagement in students (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from

Colp, S. M. (2012). Examining the Effectiveness of an Orthographic-Based Intervention for Children with Reading Disabilities. (Unpublished thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Kooistra, L., & Crawford, S. (2010). An efficacy evaluation of the Read/Write reading remediation program at the Foothills Academy Community Services. Unpublished manuscript, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Kooistra, L., Crawford, S., Gibbard, B., Ramage, B., & Kaplan, B. J. (2010). Differentiating attention deficits in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder or attention‐deficit–hyperactivity disorder. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 52(2), 205-211

Kooistra, L., van der Meere, J. J., Edwards, J. D., Kaplan, B. J., Crawford, S., & Goodyear, B. G.(2010). Preliminary fMRI findings on the effects of event rate in adults with ADHD. Journal of Neural Transmission,

Feurer, D. P., & Andrews, J. J. W. (2009). School-related stress and depression in adolescents with and without learning disabilities: an exploratory study. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 55(1) 92-108.

Coombs, C. (2006). Mood, physical illness, and gender differences in dyslexic adolescents (Unpublished honours thesis). Mount Allison University, Sackville, Canada.

Gallagher, B. A. (2004). Transitional skills programs and conceptual framework for a new program at Foothills Academy. Unpublished manuscript.

Kaplan, B. J., Fisher, J. E., Crawford, S. G., Field, C. J., & Kolb, B. (2004). Improved mood and behaviour during treatment with a mineral-vitamin supplement: an open-label case series of children. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 14(1), 115-122.

McNichol, K. (1999). Social skill production, emotional intensity and anxiety in attention deficit disordered and learning disabled children (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from

Waldie, K. (1998). Hemispheric specialization for reading in subtypes of children with developmental dyslexia (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Rumpel, B.J., (1996). Teaching self-esteem and classroom competence: An ethnomethodological perspective (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from

Ogden, N. A. (1994). Overt and covert visual orienting in the learning disabled child (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Alston, C. Y. (1990). Depression, attributional style and self-esteem in attention-deficit hyperactivity disordered male (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Crawford, S. G. (1990). The relationships among non-right handedness, immune disorders and developmental learning difficulties (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Alexander, D. W. (1986). Learning disabled adolescents and their families: Reciprocal relationships between self-concept and family functioning (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Conte, R., Kinsbourne, M., Swanson, J., Zirk, H., & Samuels, M. (1986). Presentation rate effects on paired associate learning by attention deficit disordered children. Child Development, 57(3) 681-687.

Malloy-Miller, T. (1985). An examination of handwriting problem subtypes (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.

Paul, M. (1981). A comparison of reading achievement among four types of dyslexic adolescents (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.