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Sandra (Sandy) Hodgetts, PhD, OT

Assistant Professor

Rehabilitation Medicine

Occupational Therapy

About Me


Post-Doctoral Fellowship (Pediatrics) - University of Alberta, 2010-2013 

PhD (Rehabilitation Science) - University of Alberta, 2009 

MClSc (Occupational Therapy) – University of Western Ontario, 2000

B.Sc (Kinesiology) – McMaster University, 1998

Professional Interests 

I am co-director (with Dr. Shanon Phelan) of the Supporting Kids Inclusion & Participation (S.K.I.P.) Lab in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta. My research program engages a multi-method approach (e.g., reviews, qualitative inquiry, stakeholder surveys, trials, etc.) to better understand facilitators and barriers to inclusion and participation for people with autism and related developmental disabilities and their families, including how disclosure (or concealment) of a diagnosis may influence outcomes. Rather than the "traditional" deficit-focused and remediation-based approaches most often used with persons with ASD and other DD, I am interested in contextual approaches, such as interventions at the peer, community, and societal level.  


I am a research affiliate with the CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University, and the Autism Research Centre, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital and Alberta Health Services. I am UofA co-site lead for the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP).


I was awarded a new investigator award from PolicyWise (formerly Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research) from 2015-2017. Previously, I was an awarded trainee in the CIHR Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program (CCHCSP; post-doctoral), the Autism Research Training Program (CIHR, doctoral-level), and the Sick Kids Foundation (doctoral-level). 


Current Research 

Disclosing their child’s diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder to others: Family processes and perceived outcomes (Funding Source: WCHRI/Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation)

Participation in Community Programs for Children with ASD: Facilitators, Barriers, and the Influence of Stigma (Funding Sources: SSHRC, Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation)

Building employer capacity to advance employment opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities (Funding Source: Ontario Ministry of Community & Social Services)

Current Trainees

Marghalara Rashid, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow. Marghalara started a post-doctoral fellowship in January 2016. She brings expertise in knowledge synthesis and qualitative research methods to a new area of research related to building employment capacity for people with developmental disabilities. 

Rinita Mazumder, MScRehab Science student. Rinita just joined us from Victoria, BC to pursue a Master's of Rehabilitation Science. She is interested in inclusion and stigma in ASD, and how knowledge of an ASD diagnosis may affect social inclusion in community contexts. 

Oliver Bild, BSc, MSc.SLP student. Oliver is completing a thesis focused on pragmatic language outcomes related to participation in the PEERS Program (co-supervied by Dr. Monique Charest, Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, UofA). 


I am the primary instructor for Enabling Occupation and Participation for Children and Youth (Occth555) and co-instructor for Theory, Evidence and Skills in Practice: Synthesis (Occth530).