There are seven million exceptional children with special needs in our American school system, such as children with autism spectrum development. They have the right to appropriate and comparable educational opportunities. Truly meeting the needs of these children requires a commitment to integrating advances in educational science, neuroscience, and social policy.
Nicole Sparapani is an assistant professor in the School of Education and faculty member at the UC Davis MIND Institute. Her research interests center around the development and evaluation of effective educational practices for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (autism) and complex learning needs. Dr. Sparapani practiced as a certified speech-language pathologist on an interdisciplinary team serving preschool children with autism for several years before pursuing her Ph.D.