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 Eleni Glarou

Eleni Glarou

Research student,


I am a PhD student based in Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University. My study focuses on dyadic and triadic interactions in therapeutic encounters for children with autism spectrum disorder. The PhD is competition awarded and fully funded by the School of Medicine, Cardiff University.

I am also member of the Wales Autism Research Centre as well as the Qualitative Research Group and Mind, Brain and Neuroscience Strategy Group in Centre for Trials Reseach collaborating with other researchers within these groups.



Understanding multi-party communication in occupational therapy sessions for autistic children

My study explores the communication and relationship evolution between the autistic child, Occupational Therapist (OT) and carer(s). It samples from the Sensory Integration Therapy in Autism Randomised Controlled Trial (ISRCTN: 14716440) dataset of video-recorded Sensory Integration Therapy sessions, following two autistic children throughout their therapeutic journey over 26 weeks (=50 videos). I am utilising theme-oriented discourse analysis of full annotated Jefferson Transcription System extracts from the therapy sessions aiming to reveal what is or is not said and how it is said. Specifically, my analysis focuses on how the OTs achieve and maintain rapport with the children and their carers over time as well as the development of power asymmetries between participants throughout the therapeutic journey. The results of my project will be used to (1) identify ways in which rapport can be established, optimised, and maintained during child interventions, (2) encourage effective communication with autistic children in healthcare encounters and (3) explore the potential impact of findings for different play-based therapy sessions (e.g., physiotherapy).

Funding source

School of Medicine, Cardiff University


Lucy Brookes-Howell

Dr Lucy Brookes-Howell

Senior Research Fellow - Qualitative


Dr Catherine Jones

Reader and Director of WARC


Professor Monica Busse

Director of Mind, Brain and Neuroscience Trials