Dr. Heather MacKenzie

Reaching and Teaching Children with Autism and other Special Needs



Here are some summaries of research related to my work:

Evaluation of Executive Function and Autism Characteristics in Children with Autism Participating in spark*

spark* was implemented with children, 7 to 11 years of age, and after 10 sessions, we found improvement in a number of areas in comparison to a control group. The children showed significant improvement in their affect recognition and behavioral rigidity as well as a reduction in ‘unusual’ behavior. Parents reported that the children were using self-calming procedures taught in spark* to help themselves stay calm and stop escalation of ‘meltdowns’. Have a look at the IMFAR_2013_spark poster 

spark*: Improving Self-Regulation, Executive Functions and Social Competence in Children with Autism

spark* was implemented with children, 6 to 10 years of age,  and after just 10 sessions, we found significant improvement in their self-regulation skills. Their social skills showed some improvement as well. Parents reported that the children were using self-talk and other strategies they learned in spark* in their everyday lives. See the spark* results presentation – IMFAR 2012.

Learning preferences and strengths of people in the lives of children with autism.

At my workshop in Dubai in February, parents, therapists and teachers who attended discovered their own learning preferences and strengths. Have a look at what we found and how it relates to children with autism. Just follow this link.

Relationship to other measures of autistic characteristics

A summary of the relationship between Learning Preferences and the Autism Quotient (AQ) questionnaire is here: AQ study summary.

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