This week on Grad Chat:
Jeffrey MacCormack: PhD student in Education under the supervision of Dr John Freeman
Research Topic: Using evidence-based programming to develop play-based programming to support the social competence of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder.
Overview: This study extends the findings of previous research (e.g., LeGoff, 2004) demonstrating that, even when it is more effortful for them, adolescents with ASD can socialize successfully during Structured Play. When participating in Structured Play, the boys with ASD in the current study made more initiations and were more engaged than during unstructured play and conversation. Structured Play may improve social behaviours because participating in shared goals meant that the youth had to make, and respond to, social bids, a skill crucial to the development of social competence interventions (e.g., Barakova, Bairacharya, Willemsen, Lourens, & Huskens, 2014; MacCormack, Matheson, & Hutchinson, 2015). Also, Struc