Month: September 2015

Tracy Jane Raulston – Play Date

Tracy_Raulston1. Researchers’ names: Doctoral Students Tracy Raulston, PI (, Sarah Hansen & Angus Kittleman; Faculty Advisor Wendy Machalicek (

2. Study Title: Effects of Simulated Play Date on Parent Use of Strategies to Promote Social Skills in Children with Autism

3. Phase of study: Recruitment, follow-up, and data analysis as of Fall 2015.

4. Population or age group:Triads including children ages 3-7 with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), their parent, and a typically-developing peer.

5. Summary:This study employs a non-concurrent multiple baseline single case design to train parents of children with autism to uses strategies to promote social skills during a simulated play date. The intervention package consists of strategies to prevent challenging behavior (e.g., social story, visual supports), specific techniques (environmental arrangement and prompting) to increase turn taking and language during game play with a peer, and strategies to reinforce appropriate social skills. Generalization to the home setting is assessed to evaluate the efficacy of this clinic-based, simulated approach

6. Opportunity for Participation: Actively recruiting participants through the Pearl Duck Autism Center (PDAC). Email Tracy Raulston at for more information.

Rebecca Frantz: Father – Mediated Play Intervention

Rebecca Frantz

1. Researchers’ names: Doctoral Students Rebecca Frantz, PI (, Sarah Hansen & Jake Mahon; Faculty Advisor Wendy Machalicek (

2. Study Title: Father-Mediated Play Intervention

3. Phase of study: The IRB has been accepted, and they are currently recruiting participants as of Fall 2015.

4. Population or age group: Children with ASD ages 3-5 and limited play skills.

5. Summary:There is limited research about father involvement in interventions, despite research suggesting that fathers play a critical role in child development. This study will use a concurrent multiple baseline design across four father-child dyads to examine the effects of father-mediated play intervention on symbolic play skills and creativity of play in young children with ASD. Fathers will be taught to use naturalistic behavioral teaching strategies in the home environment to target child play skills. It is anticipated that fathers will be able to learn how to implement the naturalistic behavioral intervention with fidelity and there will be improvement in child play skills.

6. Opportunity for Participation: Assistance  with recruitment father-child dyads would be appreciated. Additionally, assistance with  coding parent and child behavior will be needed when the study begins.

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