Sandra Hodgetts, PhD, OT

Associate Professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation - Occupational Therapy

Pronouns: She/Her


Associate Professor, Faculty of Rehabilitation - Occupational Therapy
(780) 492-8416
3-78 Corbett Hall (Lab), 3-20 Corbett Hall (office) Corbett (E.A.) Hall
8205 - 114 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G4

By appointment


Area of Study / Keywords

Autism children and families social participation inclusion intervention goal-setting self-determination



Post-doctoral Fellowship, Paediatrics, University of Alberta (2010-2013)

PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Alberta (2004-2009)

MSc, Occupational Therapy, Western University (1998-2000)

BSc Kinesiology, McMaster University (1994-1998)


Director, Supporting Kids Inclusion and Participation (SKIP) Lab, University of Alberta

Associate Member, CanChild (School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University)

Co-Site Lead and Executive Member, Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP)

Academic Member, Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI), University of Alberta

Research Affiliate, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Alberta Health Services

Clinical Experience

I worked clinically as an occupational therapist in hospital and community-based contexts with youth and adults with developmental disabilities and co-occuring mental health issues (2000-2002), and with children with autism and their families in homes, schools and communities (2002-2017).


I am Director of the Supporting Kids Inclusion and Participation (S.K.I.P.) Lab, which is home to many trainees, staff and collaborators from a variety of professional and educational backgrounds who conduct research aimed at supporting inclusion and participation of children, youth and young adults with autism and other neurodevelopmental, intellectual and/or developmental conditions and their families in meaningful activities and life choices. This often means in homes, schools, communities, and workplaces. I strongly value collaborative, interdisciplinary research. My approach tends to focus on targeting the social environment (other people's knowledge, practices and policies), rather than 'fixing' or remediating impairment 'in' the person who experiences disability. I am also committed to improving occupational therapists' use of evidence-based approaches with children and families.

For more information about trainees, staff and collaborations of the S.K.I.P. Lab, and current and past research projects, please visit our website:

Current Projects:

Peer engagement and inclusion of children with autism in mainstream, community summer camps (funded by the generosity of the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation through the Women and Children's Health Research Institute)

Evaluating the effectiveness of child-oriented goal-setting in paediatric rehabilitation (the ENGAGE approach): A pragmatic randomized controlled trial and economic analysis (co-PI, Lesley Pritchard; funded by the Maternal Newborn Child and Youth Strategic Clinical Network, Health Outcomes Improvement Fund)

Building inclusive communities: A collective case study of inclusion in community recreation programs for children with autism (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; SSHRC)


I am the primary instructor for Occth555, Enabling Occupation and Participation for Children and Youth, co-instructor for Occth530 (Theory, evidence and skills in practice: Synthesis), and instructor for the elective module, Autism and OT (in conjunction with graduate trainee developers and instructors).


Helpful or harmful? A scoping review of perspectives on ASD diagnostic disclosure
Author(s): Thompson-Hodgetts, S., Labonte, C., Mazumder., R. Phelan, S.
Publication Date: 1/6/2020
Publication: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Page Numbers: online early

Preparing for the future: autonomous goal setting for adolescents with ASD
Author(s): Hodgetts, S., Richards, K., Park, E.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Disability and Rehabilitation
Volume: 40
Page Numbers: 2372-2379

Families’ and professionals’ perceptions of family-centered care for children with autism across service sectors
Author(s): Hodgetts, S., Nicholas, D., Zwaigenbaum, L. & McConnell, D.
Publication Date: 2013
Publication: Social Science & Medicine
Volume: 96