Matt Carl Zajic

Mathew Zajic's primary research interests focus on understanding and supporting the writing development of autistic individuals, with specific attention to theory, measurement and assessment, and instruction. He adopts interdisciplinary approaches to examine the intersections between the linguistic, cognitive, and social demands of writing and the diverse profiles of individuals on the autism spectrum. He is interested in how writing develops across the lifespan, including through early childhood; primary, secondary, and postsecondary education; and adulthood. Much of his recent work has focused on psychoeducational assessments of writing skills and considerations for the role of engagement during writing assessment. 

Zajic's broader research interests include other areas of academic and related-skill development in autistic individuals (including reading and language development); writing development in children with other developmental disabilities or with learning disabilities; lifespan and longitudinal approaches to understanding the development of writing skills; systematic reviews; neurodiversity approaches to understanding and supporting autistic individuals; and assessment, measurement, and quantitative methodological issues in writing, autism, educational psychology, and special education research.

Current ongoing projects include a) assessing the writing skills and associated language and literacy domain skills of autistic children using teleassessment approaches; b) understanding the effects of COVID-19 on reading and writing development and instruction (with specific attention to autistic students and their families across primary and secondary educational contexts across the United States); and c) drawing on autistic, neurodiversity, and writing theory frameworks to understand the intersection of autistic identity and writing identity. Zajic commonly draws on both quantitative as well as qualitative approaches across research projects.