Commencement 18 Profile: Kelsey Oliver develops practices to support and educate families of children with autism

Friday, June 8, 2018
Kelsey Oliver

Kelsey Oliver is a doctoral student in the Department of Education with an emphasis in Special Education, Disabilities, and Developmental Risk Studies with Dr. Robert Koegel as her faculty advisor. Her research interests include the dissemination of evidence-based treatments for autism spectrum disorder to families, school personnel, and other professionals. She is also interested in social skills interventions in inclusive school environments, particularly in elementary schools. Her current research focuses on outcomes of education programs and support strategies for parents of children who have recently received a diagnosis of autism.

GGSE: Do you have a favorite GGSE memory?

Oliver: Some of my favorite memories in GGSE involve planning and hosting the UC Special Education, Disabilities, and Developmental Risk (SPEDDR) Conference. I had the opportunity to collaborate and share research with SPEDDR faculty and graduate students from across the UC system and made many friends.

GGSE: What are your plans after graduation?

Oliver: I will be starting a postdoctoral fellowship at UC Davis working with the MIND Institute, an international center conducting research on neurodevelopmental disorders. As part of this fellowship, I will be working with Dr. Aubyn Stahmer on a large-scale, school-based research project looking at classroom-based interventions for students with autism.

GGSE: Tell us a little about your current research topic.

Oliver: One of my main research interests involves developing practices to support and educate families of children with autism. I am also very passionate about working with teachers and school staff to facilitate social and academic inclusion of students with autism.

GGSE: Why are you interested in that?

Oliver: Individuals with autism possess so many unique strengths and talents that often go unrecognized. My goal is to provide others in society with the knowledge and training they need to best support individuals with autism in living to their fullest potential.

[Kelsey Oliver is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805.893.5789]