I was an Early Childhood Special Education teacher and Early Interventionist for 11 years before returning to school to pursue my Doctoral Degree at the University of California Santa Barbara. I am also the parent of a son with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and feel that having a child with a disability made me a better teacher. I value the experience and expertise of parents and have worked diligently to foster collaboration between families and schools. I also have experience as a member of a Developmental Diagnostic team at Northwestern University as part of my work on two Federally-Funded Autism research grants.
I am interested in teaching students about evidence-based interventions for young children with disabilities, supporting and collaborating with families, assessment and the importance of communication for students with disabilities.
My primary research interests focus on supporting families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related Developmental Disabilities in two ways; through Parent to Parent social support and through parent-mediated interventions for social communication. Additionally, it is imperative to bring evidence-based interventions to underserved communities. Over the next several years, I will be involved in research projects that encompass these interests. These projects involve; a) adapting Parent to Parent, an evidence-based social support program, for culturally and linguistically diverse parents of children with ASD and other developmental disorders, b) developing and assessing an online parent training in Pivotal Response Teaching for toddlers with ASD in low-resource communities and, c) comparing the effects of online and traditional social support mechanisms for parents of children with disabilities. Please visit my research project page.
Dodds, R. L., & Walch, T. J. (2022). The glue that keeps everybody together: Peer support in mothers of young children with special health care needs. Child: Care, Health & Development. On-line advance publication. https://www.doi.org/10.1111/cch.12986
Dodds, R. L., *Maurer, K.J., Spivey-Montgomery, L., *Cutting, S., & *Jilek, C. (in press). Self-advocate perspectives on COVID-19 in urban Los Angeles: Impacts on autonomy and access to supports. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. https://doi.org/10.3109/13668250.2022.2028379
Dodds, R. L. (2021). An exploratory review of the associations between adverse experiences and autism. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma 30(8), 1093-1112. https://www.doi.org/10.1080/10926771.2020.1783736
Dodds, R. L. (2020). Helping optimize language acquisition (HOLA) Online parent training modules for latinx parents of toddlers at risk for ASD: Protocol for a pilot funded by the Organization for Autism Research. JMIR Research Protocols, 9(12), e18004. https://www.doi.org/10.2196/18004
Dodds, R. L. (2021). Meeting families where they are: Text-based support in Parent to Parent programs. Child: Care, Health & Development, 47(2), 290-296. https://www.doi.org/10.1111/cch.12833
Dodds, R. L., Yarbrough, D. V., & Quick, N. (2018). Lessons learned: Providing peer support to culturally diverse families of children with disabilities or special health care needs. Social Work, 63(3), 261-264. https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/swy019
Dodds, R. L., & Singer, G. H. (2018). Parent‐to‐Parent support providers: How recruits are identified. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 31(3), 435-444. https://doi.org/10.1111/jar.12422
Wang, M., Lam, Y. W., Kim, J., Singer, G. H., & Dodds, R. (2016). Behavioral parent training as evidence-based practices for families of children with developmental disabilities. In Supporting Families of Children with Developmental Disabilities: Evidence-based and Emerging Practices, 73.
Dodds, R. L. (2015). The Development of a Measure of Readiness to Volunteer as a Peer Support Provider for an Organization Serving Parents of Children with Special Needs. University of California, Santa Barbara.
Postdoctoral Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities 2016-2018
- University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Ph.D. Special Education 2015
- University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
Teaching Credential ECSE. 2004
- California State University, Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA
M.F.A. Writing, Literature and Publishing 1999
- Emerson College, Boston, MA
B.A. Creative Writing 1997
- Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY