I-Socialise study

Investigating Social Competence and Isolation in children with Autism taking part in LEGO-based therapy clubs In School Environments (I-SOCIALISE).

On
I-Socialise

Study overview

It is estimated that approximately 1.6% of people in the UK have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which causes difficulties with social interaction, communication, behaviour, and interests.

Such difficulties often cause problems in day to day life and often result in the child feeling socially isolated.

The most common approach for this is social skills training but while these children may learn to demonstrate appropriate social skills within the setting of the intervention, applying these new skills to their everyday life is often unsuccessful.


LEGO-based therapy

LEGO®-based therapy is a new approach to social skills training that is specifically designed to make social interactions interesting for children with ASD so that they will not only learn the relevant skills but adopt them in their daily lives.

The main aim of this research is to examine whether LEGO®-based therapy groups in schools have any impact on the social and emotional competence and perceived social isolation of children with ASD.

The research also aims to look at any changes in the mental and more general health of the child resulting from LEGO®-based therapy.

The trial is a randomised controlled trial (RCT) and has already recruited 260 children with ASD to the project, meeting it's recruitment target in April 2019. Across the study, 103 schools in York, Leeds, Sheffield and surrounding areas were involved, with 98 randomised to one of the two study arms. 50 schools were allocated to the intervention arm, and delivered LEGO®-based therapy groups to participating children. 

The LEGO®-based therapy groups were delivered weekly for 12 weeks, by an assigned teaching assistant within the child’s school who had received training in delivering the programme. 

We completed data collection in June 2020. Analyses and the results write up is to be completed over 6 months, with the aim to publish the research in early 2021. 


Contact us

If you would like further information regarding the I-SOCIALISE trial, please contact the research team on research.comic@nhs.net or the study manager, Ellen Kingsley on the contact details below:

For more information please visit the Comic Website.


Study staff

Name Study Role Affiliation
Prof. Barry Wright Chief Investigator University of York
Ellen Kingsley Trial Manager Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Prof.Cindy Cooper CTRU Director

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

Katie Biggs Co-applicant

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

Danielle Varley Co-applicant Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Dr David Marshall Consultant University of York
Prof. Ann Le Couteur Consultant Newcastle University
Prof. Simon Gilbody Consultant University of York
Ms Anne McKelvey Consultant York City Council
Dr Georgina Gomez de la Cuesta Consultant Bricks for Autism
Steve Parrot Health Economist University of York
Han-I Wang Health Economist University of York
Dr Marion Dawn Teare Statistician Newcastle University
Matthew Bursnall Statistician

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

Pavithra Kumar
 
Research Assistant

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

Kiera Solaiman Research Assistant

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

Dr Lizzie Coates Qualitative Researcher

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

Louise Turner Trial Support Officer

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

Tim Chater Data and Information Systems Manager

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

Emily Turton Data specialist

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

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