Connie Kasari, PhD
Professor, UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies and
Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Connie Kasari, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychological Studies in Education and Psychiatry at UCLA. She is the Principal Investigator for several multi-site research programs, and a founding member of the Center for Autism Research and Treatment at UCLA and has been actively involved in autism research for the past 25 years, leading projects under the CPEA, STAART, and Autism Centers of Excellence programs from NIH. Since 1990 she has been on the faculty at UCLA where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses and has been the primary advisor to more than 60 PhD students. Dr. Kasari is published widely on topics related to social, emotional, and communication development and intervention in autism. She is on the treatment advisory board of the Autism Speaks Foundation, and regularly presents to both academic and practitioner audiences locally, nationally and internationally.
The Kasari Lab (http://www.kasarilab.org/) was established in 1997 and is part of the Center for Autism Research and Treatment at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Connie Kasari, founder and director of the Kasari Lab, has been actively involved in autism research for over 25 years and is one of the world’s leading experts in autism research and treatment. The lab is currently involved in several randomized controlled trials, with the most recent work including multi-site studies. We offer diagnostic assessments, treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders, and opportunities to participate in our research studies. The Kasari Lab is devoted to creating interventions that are successful, backed by research, and able to be implemented in everyday settings.
- Oregon State University, B.S.
- Peabody College, M.A.
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Ph.D.
- UCLA, Post-Doctoral Fellow
Research & clinical interests
Dr. Kasari studies the social and communicative abilities of children. Her research aims to develop novel, targeted interventions to improve social and communicative development in children with autism, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Her current research focuses on infants and toddlers at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), minimally verbal and highly verbal children with ASD, and children with complex neurodevelopmental disorders (Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, Down syndrome). Dr. Kasari has developed interventions that are mediated through therapists, teachers, paraprofessionals and parents and in community contexts, such as schools and homes. Much of her work focuses on under-represented populations in research (low income and minority children, girls with ASD, minimally verbal children), and she uses sophisticated intervention methodologies, such as sequential multiple assignment randomized trials (SMART designs) and community partnered participatory research methods (CPPR). The goal of this work is to determine the most effective interventions that can be deployed and sustained in the community.
Roles within the division/Fellowship
- Faculty, Center for Autism Research & Treatment (CART)
- Lectures on such topics as autism spectrum disorders and psychosocial interventions for children with ASD