Alison McInnes

Alison McInnes

Assistant Professor

Educational Pscyhology
6-119 L, Education North
780-492-1318 (fax)

Research Interests

My research focuses on three main areas: 

1) discourse level oral and written language comprehension and production, and their cognitive correlates, in school-age children with behaviour/attention, language, and literacy challenges

2) factors supporting academic functioning and success of post-secondary students with ADHD in university coursework

3) approaches to professional development and building teacher capacity in support of adolescents with language and literacy difficulties

Key words: Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, speech/language disorders, reading disorder, selective mutism, learning disability, listening and reading comprehension, working memory, executive functions, strategy-based learning; differentiated assessment and instruction, knowledge transfer for practitioners in education and health, pre-service education.

Selected Presentations & Publications

McInnes, A. Higher level language skills in children with ADHD: Getting the message across. 2nd Annual ADHD Research Day, Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance, Annual Conference. Vancouver, B.C.  October 16, 2015.

Sulla, E., & McInnes, A. Examining internal and external assets supporting academic success in post-secondary students with ADHD. 2nd Annual ADHD Research Day, Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance, Annual Conference. Vancouver, B.C.  October 16, 2015.

McInnes, A., Expressive language difficulties in children with ADHD but no Language Impairment: Where should we be looking? Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders (SRCLD), Annual Conference, Madison, Wisconsin, June 14, 2014.

McInnes, A., McQuarrie, L., & Nocente, N. (2013).  Enhancing metalinguistic skills in adolescents during word study activities. Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists, Annual Conference, Victoria, B.C. April 25, 2013. 

Tobin, R., & McInnes, A. (2008). Accommodating differences: Variations in differentiated literacy instruction in Grade 2/3 classrooms. Literacy, 42(1), 3-9.

McInnes, A., Bedard, A.C., Hogg-Johnson, S., & Tannock, R. (2007). Preliminary evidence of beneficial effects of  Methylphenidate on listening comprehension in children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 17(1), 35-49.

McInnes, A., & Manassis, K. (2005). When silence is not golden: An integrated approach to selective mutism. Seminars in Speech and Language, 26, 201-210.

McInnes, A., Fung, D. Manassis, K., Fiksenbaum, L., Tannock, R. (2004). Narrative abilities in children with selective mutism: An exploratory study. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 13, 304-313.

McInnes, A., Humphries, T., Hogg-Johnson, S., & Tannock, R. (2003). Listening comprehension and working memory are impaired in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder irrespective of language impairment. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31(4), 427-443.

Other publications for educators:

McInnes, A. Task analysis for differentiated instruction: An old concept in a new context. The Inclusive Educator. Alberta Teachers Association (in press).

Martinussen, R., Tannock., R., Chaban, P., McInnes, A., & Ferguson, B. (2006).  Increasing awareness and understanding of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in education to promote better outcomes for students with ADHD. Education Exceptionality Canada, 16(3), 1-22.

Martinussen, R., Tannock., R., with McInnes, A., & Chaban, P. (2005). Teach for Success: TeachADHD: Teacher Resource Manual. The Hospital for Sick Children. website:

Courses Taught


  • EDPY 454 Teaching Students with Challenging Behaviour
  • EDPY 468  Assessment and Instruction for Adolescents with Special Needs*

                        (* now incorporated into EDPY 401)


  • EDPY 597  Reading Comprehension: From Assessment to Intervention
  • EDPY 597  Complex Cases: From Assessment to Intervention
  • EDPY 903  Directed Study (capping project in course-based M.Ed. in Special Education)


Special Projects

On-line professional learning series for teachers:

(Advancing Adolescent Reading Initiative, J.P. Das Centre, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta 

Developer: Module 1 (pilot version): Oral language foundations of reading (2011-12). 

Academic Background and Professional Affiliations

B.A. (University of Manitoba), M.Cl.Sc. (Western  University - Communication Disorders and Sciences), Ph.D. (University of Toronto – Human Development and Applied Psychology). Post-doctoral Fellowship: Brain and Behaviour Research Program, Hospital for Sick Children (University of Toronto).

Current Affiliations

  • Alberta Association of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (ACSLPA)
  • Speech and Audiology Canada (SAC
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) – International Affiliate
  • Council for Exceptional Children
  • Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance (CADDRA) – Allied Health Member