Zajic, Matthew C. (mcz2114)

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Zajic, Matthew
Assistant Professor of Intellectual Disability/Autism
Health & Behavior Studies

Educational Background

BA, Sociology (Minors in Education/Applied Psychology and Professional Writing), University of California, Santa Barbara

PhD, Education (Emphasis in Learning and Mind Sciences; Designated Emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies), University of California, Davis


Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (Predoctoral) Fellow (US Department of Education) in Psychometrics and Assessment of Special Populations, University of California, Davis

National Center for Special Education Research (Institute of Education Sciences) Postdoctoral Research Training Fellow in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Education, University of Virginia

Scholarly Interests

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

My broader research interests include other areas of academic and related-skill development in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (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; and assessment, measurement, and quantitative methodological issues in writing, autism, educational psychology, and special education research.

Please click here to access my CV via Google Drive.

Dr. Zajic is accepting new doctoral students for the 2022 Fall semester.

Selected Publications

Zajic, M. C., Solari, E. J., McIntyre, N., Lerro, L., & Mundy, P. C. (2021). Observing visual attention and writing behaviors during a writing assessment: Comparing children with autism spectrum disorder to peers with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and typically developing peers. Autism Research, 14(2), 356-368. https://doi.org/10.1002/aur.2383

Poch, A., Zajic, M. C., & Graham, S. (2020). Informing inquiry into writing across the lifespan from perspectives on children with learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorder. In R. Dippre & T. Phillips (Eds.), Approaches to Lifespan Writing Research: Steps Toward an Actionable Coherence. WAC Clearinghouse.

Zajic, M. C., & Poch, A. (2020). A conceptual overview of longitudinal quantitative methodological approaches to studying writing across the lifespan. In R. Dippre & T. Phillips (Eds.), Approaches to Lifespan Writing Research: Steps Toward an Actionable Coherence. WAC Clearinghouse.

Gillespie-Lynch, K., Hotez, E., Zajic, M. C., Bublitz, D., Riccio, A., Gaggi, N., DeNigris, D., Luca, K., & Kofner, B. (2020). Comparing the writing skills of autistic and nonautistic university students: A collaboration with autistic university students. Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice. Advance Online Publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361320929453

Zajic, M. C., Solari, E. J., McIntyre, N., Lerro, L. & Mundy, P. (2020). Task engagement during narrative writing in school-age children with autism spectrum disorder compared to peers with and without attentional difficulties. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 76, 101590. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2020.101590

Zajic, M. C., Solari, E. J., McIntyre, N., Lerro, L. & Mundy, P. (2020). Overt planning behaviors during narrative writing in school-age children with autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 100, 103631. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2020.103631

Zajic, M. C., Solari, E. J., Grimm, R., McIntyre, N., & Mundy, P. (2020). Relationships between reading profiles and narrative writing abilities in school-age children with autism spectrum disorder. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Advance Online Publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-020-10015-7

Zajic, M. C., & Wilson, S. E. (2020). Writing research involving children with autism spectrum disorder without a co-occurring intellectual disability: A systematic review using a language domains and mediational systems framework. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 70. Advance Online Publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2019.101471

Zajic, M. C., Dunn, M., & Berninger, V. W. (2019). Case studies comparing learning profiles and response to instruction in autism spectrum disorder and oral and written language learning disability at transition to high school. Topics in Language Disorders, 39(2), 128-154. https://doi.org/10.1097/TLD.0000000000000180 

Zajic, M. C., McIntyre, N., Swain-Lerro, L., Novotny, S., Oswald, T., & Mundy, P. (2018). Attention and written expression in school-age, high-functioning children with autism spectrum disorders. Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 22(3), 245-258. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361316675121 

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