Professor Sylvia Rodger

Professor in OT

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Honorary Professor

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
s.rodger@uq.edu.au
+61 7 3377 0600

Overview

Children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental difficulties, autism spectrum disorders; family and occupation centred practice, impact of disability on families; pedagogy, occupational therapy curriculum, practice education.

Dr Rodger is an occupational therapist with 30 years experience in occupational therapy with chldren and their families as a clinician, academic, and researcher. She has worked with children with developmental, motor, learning difficulties and children on the autistic spectrum. She teaches occupational therapy with children and families and supervises postgraduate students in research higher degree projects such as practice placements, the occupations of parents with children with disabilities, burns distraction interventions, ASD school trajectories, decision making, cultural impacts, educational issues of children with ASD, diet and sensory issues of children with AS.

Her research interests are primarily in the areas of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), top down interventions, Cognitive Orientation for daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP), early intervention, family centred practice and parent education. She has attracted over $2.5 million in competitive research grant funding. She has over 160 national and international refereed journal publications, four edited books, 22 book chapters, and has given over 200 conference presentations, including numerous invited presentations. She recently co chaired the bid to establish the Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autism CRC) and is currently CEO of the Autism CRC (www.autismcrc.com.au).

Dr Rodger is on the editorial boards of Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, OTEIPS, Journal of Research in Interprofessional Education.. She is a reviewer for numerous journals including: Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, International Journal of Development, Disability and Education, Focus on Health Professional Education, Disability and Rehabilitation, Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, Autism, JADD, and Child Care Health and Development.

She is also has an interest in professional education, IPE, teaching and learning in occupational therapy and allied health education. She has completed an Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) Fellowship 2010-2011 and is an OLT Fellow. She has an interest in curriculum reform, quality in practice education within occupational therapy,, capacity building and curriculum leadership. .

Research Interests

  • Autism CRC
    The Cooperative Research Centre for Living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Autism CRC) focuses on diagnosis of ASD, teaching and learning, and adult employment, transitions, social interactions and community access. Dr Rodger's interests and involvement are in the adult research program.
  • Practice Education, SPEF-R, Reliabililty
    Funded by Health Workforce Australia (2012-2013) a recent project has developed the SPEF-R Online evaluation tool enabling practice educators to assess students on fieldwork electronically. Reliability studies have been undertaken related to this tool and many features have been developed to enhance use of the tool.
  • Family Occupations and Goal Setting
    This interest is in understanding family occupations, routines and rituals and their meaning for families with children with and without disabilities such as ASD. By understanding family occupations better we can provide more appropriate and sensitive family centred practice. This interest has also led to work with clinicians to establish clinically useful goal setting tools that involve families with the prioritisation and setting of goals for themselves and their children.
  • CO-OP with Children with Asperger's Syndrome, ASD and DCD
    This study looks at the use of CO-OP with children with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) who are working on motor and social goals. We are investigating if CO-OP works with children with AS and secondly what cognitive strategies they use during intervention for social and motor based goals. Differences between strategy use by children with AS, ASD and DCD have been identified.
  • Growing Stronger: Families of Children with ASD
    Growing Stronger project funded by Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services will investigate the utility and efficacy of a DVD which enables parents to work through materials on interacting with their child with ASD at home versus home based early intervention and a parent workshop.roject provided home based early intervention servcies to children with ASD using a social pragmatic approach. A DVD was developed as part of the project. It is being researched as part of the second stage of the project. Funded by Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services.

Research Impacts

My research has impacted occupational therapy practice nationally and internationally with practice focussing more on child, family and occupation centred practice through the publication of two text books about occupation centred practice which are used internationally, evidenced by invitations to provide key note addresses and teach workshops on occupation centred practice in the UK, Europe, US and Australia.

My ASD research on families at the time of diagnosis led to the commissioning of a book by Jessica Kingsley on ASD for professionals helping parents at the time of diagnosis. Many workshops and lectures have resulted from this research and book.

My research on capacity building among OT curriculum leaders and OT competencies has led to both an Emerging Leaders and OT Academic Learning Network, which have led to the development of a cadre of emerging leaders, changes in curriculum throughout OT programs nationally, a widely used listserve, and a mentoring scheme for emerging leaders. This has been acknowledged by key note address invitations and the Sylvia Docker Award 2011 and Lectureship.

In 2013 I was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Research (OT Research Foundation) acknowledging the impact of my research both clinically and in the scholarship of teaching and learning internationally.

My research higher degree graduates have taken up key positions in Australian, British and Eurpoean Universities, postdoctoral fellowships and senior positions in Singapore and Asia.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Educational Studies, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Occuational Therapy, The University of Queensland

Publications

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Grants

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Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Graham, Fiona, Rodger, Sylvia and Ziviani, Jenny (2015). Coaching caregivers to enable children's participation: whose goals are they anyway?. In Anne A. Poulsen, Jenny Ziviani and Monica Cuskelly (Ed.), Goal setting and motivation in therapy: engaging children and parents (pp. 100-110) London, United Kingdom: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

  • Ziviani, Jenny, Polatajko, Helene and Rodger, Sylvia (2015). Embedding goal setting in practice: the co-op approach. In Anne A. Poulsen, Jenny Ziviani and Monica Cuskelly (Ed.), Goal setting and motivation in therapy: engaging children and parents (pp. 80-88) London, United Kingdom: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

  • Rodger, Sylvia, Ziviani, Jenny and Lim, Sok Mui (2015). Occupations of childhood and adolescence. In Charles H. Christiansen, Carolyn M. Baum and Julie D. Bass (Ed.), Occupational therapy: performance, participation, and well-being 4th ed. (pp. 129-155) Thorofare, NJ United States: Slack Incorporated.

  • Rodger, Sylvia and Ziviani, Jenny (2012). Autism spectrum disorders: Isn’t a “spectrum” like a rainbow?. In Shelley J. Lane and Anita C. Bundy (Ed.), Kids can be kids: A childhood occupations approach (pp. 483-506) Philadelphia, PA, United States: F. A. Davis Company.

  • Thomas, Yvonne and Rodger, Sylvia (2011). Successful role emerging placements:It is all in the preperation. In Miranda Thew, Mary Edwards, Sue Baptiste and Matthew Molineux (Ed.), Role emerging occupational therapy: Maximising occupation-focused practice (pp. 39-53) Chichester, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Rodger, Sylvia and Banks, Rebecca (2010). Acute hospitals: A challenging context for occupation-centred practice with children. In Sylvia Rodger (Ed.), Occupation-centred practice with children: A practical guide for occupational therapists (pp. 274-297) Chichester, U.K. ; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781444319699.ch13

  • Rodger, Sylvia A. (2010). Becoming more Occupation-centred When Working with Children. In Sylvia A. Rodger (Ed.), Occupation-centred practice with children: A practical guide for occupational therapists (pp. 21-44) Chichester, U.K. ; Malden, MA: Wiley - Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781444319699.ch2

  • Rodger, Sylvia Anne and Keen, Deb (2010). Child -and family-centred service provision. In Sylvia Rodger (Ed.), Occupation-centred practice with children. A practical guide for occupational therapists (pp. 45-74) Chichester, U.K. ; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781444319699.ch3

  • Rodger, Sylvia and Polatajko, Helene (2010). Cognitive orientation for daily occupational performance (CO-OP): A uniquely occupation-centred intervention created for children. In Sylvia Rodger (Ed.), Occupation-centred practice with children: A practical guide for occupational therapists (pp. 160-182) Oxford, U.K., Malden, MA. U.S.A.: Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781444319699.ch8

  • Rodger, Sylvia A. (2010). Introduction to occupation-centred practice with children. In Rodger, Sylvia A. (Ed.), Occupation centred practice with children: A practical guide for occupational therapists (pp. 1-20) Chichester, U.K. ; Malden, MA, U.S.A.: Blackwell Publishing. doi:10.1002/9781444319699.ch1

  • Pollock, Nancy, Missiuna, Cheryl and Rodger, Sylvia (2010). Occupational goal setting with children and families. In Sylvia Rodger (Ed.), Occupation-centred practice with children: A practical guide for occupational therapists (pp. 114-134) Oxford, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781444319699.ch6

  • Graham, Fiona and Rodger, Sylvia (2010). Occupational performance coaching: Enabling parents’ and children’s occupational performance. In Sylvia Rodger (Ed.), Occupation centred practice with children: A practical guide for occupational therapists (pp. 203-226) Chichester, U.K. ; Malden, MA, U.S.A.: Blackwell Publishing. doi:10.1002/9781444319699.ch10

  • Rodger, Sylvia (2006). Children and families: Partners in education. In K. McKenna and L. Tooth (Ed.), Client Education: A Partnership Approach for Health Practitioners (pp. 88-111) San Diege, CA: Plural Publishing.

  • Ziviani, Jenny, Desha, Laura and Rodger, Sylvia (2006). Children's occupational time use. In Sylvia Rodger and Jenny Ziviani (Ed.), Occupational Therapy with Children: Understanding Children's Occupations and Enabling Participation (pp. 91-112) Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

  • Rodger, S. A. and Ziviani, J. M. (2006). Children, their environments, roles and occupations in contemporary society. In S. Rodger and J. Ziviani (Ed.), Occupational Therapy with Children: Understanding Children's Occupations and Enabling Participation (pp. 3-21) Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  • Woodyatt, G. C. and Rodger, S. A. (2006). Communication and social skills for occupational engagement. In S. Rodger and J. Ziviani (Ed.), Occupational Therapy with Children: Understanding Children's Occupations and Enabling Participation (pp. 158-176) Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Rigby, P. and Rodger, S. A. (2006). Developing as a player. In S. Rodger and J. Ziviani (Ed.), Occupational Therapy with Children: Understanding Children's Occupations and Enabling Participation (pp. 177-199) Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Mandich, A. and Rodger, S. A. (2006). Doing, being and becoming: Their importance to children. In S. Rodger and J. Ziviani (Ed.), Occupational Therapy with Children: Understanding Children's Occupations and Enabling Participation (pp. 115-135) Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publisher Ltd.

  • Ziviani, J. M. and Rodger, S. A. (2006). Environmental influences on children's participation. In S. Rodger and J. Ziviani (Ed.), Occupational Therapy with Children: Understanding Children's Occupations and Enabling Participation (pp. 41-66) Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Darlington, Y. M. and Rodger, S. A. (2006). Families and children's occupational performance. In S. Rodger and J. Ziviani (Ed.), Occupational Therapy with Children: Understanding Children's Occupations and Enabling Participation (pp. 22-40) Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Rodger, S. A. and Brown, G.T. (2006). I can do it: Developing, promoting and managing children's self-care needs. In S. Rodger and J. Ziviani (Ed.), Occupational Therapy with Children: Understanding Children's Occupations and Enabling Participation (pp. 200-221) Oxford: Blackwell.

  • Polatajko, H. J., Rodger, S. A., Dhillon, A. and Hirji, F. (2004). Approaches to the management of children with motor problems. In D. Dewey and D. Tupper (Ed.), Developmental Motor Disorders: A Neuropsychological Perspective (pp. 461-486) NY: The Guilford Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision