I Socialise


Welcome to the I-SOCIALISE study page

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

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 is a new approach that is specifically designed to make social interactions interesting to the child with ASD so that they will not only learn the necessary skills but adopt them in their daily lives. The main aim of this research is to examine whether LEGO-based therapy groups in schools has 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.

We want to investigate how effective LEGO-based therapy is for improving social and emotional competence in children with ASD. In order to do this we want to recruit 240 children with ASD aged between 7 and 15 years old, their parent and a teacher at their school. We will randomly allocate (this is similar to tossing a coin) the children to either attend a LEGO-based therapy group or to access usual care which includes support from their GPs, mental health and education professionals.

The LEGO-based therapy will be delivered by an assigned school teaching assistant within the child’s school who has received training in delivering the programme.

Children allocated to receive the LEGO-based therapy will be invited to attend a weekly LEGO-based therapy group once a week for 12 weeks.

We are running the study in mainstream schools across York, Leeds, Sheffield and surrounding areas.

If you would like further information regarding the I-SOCIALISE trial, or are interested in your child or school taking part in the study, please contact the research team on research.comic@nhs.net or you could also contact the study managers, Ellen Kingsley or Kirsty McKendrick on the contact details below

Ellen Kingsley, Trial Manager, COMIC.

E. e.kingsley@nhs.net T: 01904 294824.

Kirsty McKendrick, Trial Manager, ScHARR University of Sheffield.

E: kirstymckendrick@sheffield.ac.uk  T : 0114 2225200.

Update: Recruitment to this study has commenced from September 2017

For more information go to the Comic Website - www.comic.org.uk/research/lego

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
Kirsty McKendrick Trial Manager

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

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

Dr David Marshall Consultant University of York
Prof. Ann Le Couteur Consultant Newcastle University
Dr Shehzad Ali Health Economist University of York
Prof. Simon Gilbody Consultant University of York
Dr Marion Dawn Teare Statistician The University of Sheffield
Henry Nanji Statistician The University of Sheffield
Ms Anne McKelvey Consultant York City Council
Dr Georgina Gomez de la Cuesta Consultant Bricks for Autism
Dr Lizzie Coates Qualitative Researcher

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

TBC 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 management Officer

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

Anna Packham Research Assistant

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

Katie Sutherland Research Assistant

Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU)

The University of Sheffield

Danielle Varley Co-applicant Leeds & York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust