The ultimate aim of my work is to inform the development of interventions, programs and policies designed to promote meaningful participation of children, youth and transition-age young adults in home, school and community activities. My research has focused primarily on the needs of children, youth and young adults with traumatic and other acquired brain injuries and their families but has relevance for individuals with other health conditions and their families.
I have developed and refined measurement tools to examine participation of children and youth with disabilities and the physical and social environmental factors that affect their participation. I am the primary author of the Child and Adolescent Scale of Participation (CASP) and Child and Adolescent Scale of Environment (CASE) and a co-author of the the Participation and Environment Measure for Children and Youth (PEM-CY) with Drs. Wendy Coster and Mary Law. I consult with colleagues worldwide related to these measures and on conceptual and methodological considerations for measuring participation using approaches that are consistent with the goals of the child and family and specific purposes of the research and intervention program.
I am co-developer with Dr. Shari Wade of Social Participation And Navigation (SPAN): An app-based virtual coaching intervention to promote social participation of teenagers with traumatic/acquired brain injuries (TBI/ABI). We continue to refine and assess SPAN and its use with adolescents and transition-age young adults with TBI/ABI and other health conditions (i.e., Autism Spectrum Disorders, social anxiety). The SPAN website is publicly available: spanprogram. The SPAN web app is currently being used (by permission) in research studies.
I am also on the advisory board of the Tufts Institute for Human-Animal-Interaction (TIHAI: hai.tufts.edu) and collaborating with TIHAI Co-Director, Dr. Megan Mueller, to develop an intervention that uses principles from SPAN (e.g., coaching, goal planning, strategy generation) and leverages Human-Animal-interaction (via a dog companion) to promote social connections and participation in adolescents with social anxiety.