I am a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research at the University of Pennsylvania and the Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I completed my doctorate degree in educational psychology at UCLA. My research interests are in developing and implementing interventions designed to address social ability in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in school settings as well as exploring the ways in which treatment gains in intervention programs are generalized and sustained over time. I have coordinated multiple randomized controlled treatment trials that examined the effects of targeted interventions on the social inclusion of elementary-aged children with autism spectrum disorder in public school settings. In 2011, I received an Autism Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship award to modify a proven-efficacious intervention designed to address socialization in children with ASD, so that it can be used by school personnel to facilitate engagement and play between children with ASD and their peers during recess periods. I piloted the newly-manualized program in the School District of Philadelphia with one-on-one autism instructional aides in hopes of providing schools with a built-in mechanism to continue to support children with autism after external support is withdrawn. This work has led to an early career award examining the implementation of an evidence-based, adult and peer-mediated social engagement intervention for elementary school children with autism through the Autism Science Foundation and the FARFund.
Sample of Significant Publications
Kasari C, Rotheram-Fuller E, Locke J, Gulsrud A. Making the connection: Randomized controlled trial of social skills at school for children with autism. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 2012. 53: 431-439.
Kasari, C., Locke, J., Gulsrud, A., & Rotheram-Fuller, E. . Social networks and friendships at school: Comparing children with and without autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. (in press).
Locke J, Kasari C, Rotheram-Fuller E, Kretzmann M, Jacobs J. Social network changes over the school year among elementary school-aged children with and without an autism spectrum disorder. School Mental Health. 2013. 5: 38-47.
Locke J, Kasari C, Wood J. Assessing social skills in early elementary-aged children with autism spectrum disorders: The Social Skills Q-Sort. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment. in press.
Locke J, Rotheram-Fuller E, Kasari C. Exploring the social impact of being a typical peer model for children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2012. 42: 1895-1905.
Locke J, Rotheram-Fuller E, Xie M, Harker C, Mandell D. Correlation of cognitive and social outcomes among children with autism spectrum disorder in a randomized trial of behavioral intervention. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice. in press.
Locke, J., Ishijima, E., Kasari, C., & London, N. . Loneliness, friendship quality, and the social networks of adolescents with high-functioning autism in an inclusive school setting. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs. 2010. (10): 74-81.
Rotheram-Fuller, E., Kasari, C., Chamberlain, B., & Locke, J. . Grade related changes in the social inclusion of children with autism in general education classrooms. . Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. (in press).