Autism Spectrum Department of Special Education & Communicative Disorders

Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus
Image: Photos of SF State students and scenes from around campus

Research and Innovations

We are committed to training, research, program development and policy efforts that contribute to our field, the growth of our students, and and the well being of people affected by autism in our community. Highlights of relevant activities include:

Project Common Ground: Preparing Highly Qualified Speech-Language Pathologists to Meet the Communication Needs of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Diverse Settings.

(2011 - 2016) Personnel Preparation in Special Education, Early Intervention and Related Services (CFDA 84.325K) US Department of Education, OSERS.
Project Director, Betty Yu, Ph.D., Communicatiion Disorders Program; Co-Director, Pamela Wolfberg, PhD., Autism Spectrum Program, SFSU, click here for an Abstract

Project Mosaic: Preparing Highly Qualified Educators to Meet the Unique Needs of Learners on the Autism Spectrum in Diverse Settings

(2006-2011) Personnel Preparation in Special Education, US Department of Education, OSERS (#H325K060211)

Project Director, Pamela Wolfberg, Ph.D. Autism Spectrum Program, SFSU.

Collaborative Partnerships for the Advanced Preparation of Teachers to Serve Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

(2009 - 2013) Personnel Preparation in Special Education, US Department of Education, OSERS. Expanding credential candidates’ preparation to teach students who experience autism.

Project Director, Pam Hunt Ph.D., Moderate-Severe Disabilities Program, SFSU.

Integrated Play Groups: Promoting Symbolic Play, Social Engagement and Communication in Children with Autism Across Settings with Typical Peers

(2008-2012) Autism Speaks Treatment Award Grant (clinical research)
PI, Pamela Wolfberg, SFSU; Co-PI, Elliot Turiel, UC Berkeley; Research Coordinator, Mila DeWitt, Trumpet Bahavioral Services with researchers Kristen Bottema, Boston College, Gregory S. Young, MIND Institute, UC, Davis, Thanh Nguyen, University of Massachusetts,, Boston and research assistance from many wonderful students and colleagues. click here view our study in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2015)

Integrated Play and Drama Groups for Children and Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum

(2008-2013) Transcooperative Research, University of Rostock, Germany, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation with Matching Funds from the Flora Family and Mendelson Family Foundations.
Co-Principal Investigators: Henri Julius, University of Rostock, GERMANY and Pamela Wolfberg, SFSU with researchers Ina Losch, David Neufeld and Thanh Nguyen with research assistance from other wonderful graduate here for a summary of our research

Wolfberg, P.J. (2009) Play and Imagination in Children with Autism (second edition) Teachers College Press, Columbia University


The second edition of this now classic text remains a cornerstone of continuing efforts to develop inclusive peer play programs for children on the autism spectrum. Read more about this book on the publisher's website.

Learners on the Autism Spectrum book cover

Learners 2nd Edition Book Cover









Dunn Buron, K. & Wolfberg, P.J. (Ed.) (2014) Learners on the Autism Spectrum: Preparing Highly Qualified Educators and Related Practitioners (2nd Edition). Shawnee Mission: KS, Autism Asperger Publishing Company.


This award-winning text features chapters from leading experts representing diverse disciplines and perspectives (i.e., researchers, therapists, educators, parents, and adults on the autism spectrum) for a comprehensive look at the core issues related to individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Read more about this book on the publisher's website.


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