Dr. Tanya Paparella is a specialist in the field of autism with more than 20 years of intervention and research with children on the autism spectrum. She is currently a Clinical Professor in the Division of Child Psychiatry at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), a licensed clinical psychologist, and since 2001 Director of KidsConnect Child Autism Treatment Program (formerly the Early Childhood Partial Hospitalization Program) which is an internationally recognized treatment program for young children with autism.
Dr. Paparella holds separate masters degrees in Special Education and Counseling Psychology from Rutgers University, New Jersey, and a BA from the University of Cape Town where she majored in Psychology and French. She also holds a higher education teaching diploma from what is now the University of Johannesburg and prior to coming to the US was tenured faculty at the National School of the Arts, Johannesburg where she taught French. Other spoken languages include Italian and Afrikaans.
Dr. Paparellas formative years in autism intervention were at the Douglas Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University from 1990 to 1996, where she designed, implemented, and evaluated educational programs for children on the autism spectrum. Dr. Paparella received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from UCLA and completed a two-year National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellowship in the UCLA Division of Child Psychiatry.
Dr. Paparella oversees the daily activities of ECPHP staff and is actively involved in the comprehensive evaluation and treatment of children with autism from 18 months to four years of age. She works closely with parents to support and educate them in all aspects of their child's treatment. Dr. Paparella provides ongoing clinical instruction for students, interns, and M.D. fellows from different specialties. Her clinical and research interests relate to the effectiveness of early intervention, particularly with respect to predictors of best outcome for young children on the autism spectrum. She has authored many scientific publications as well as the book "More Than Hope".
Degrees and Licenses
Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Ph.D.(Educational Psychology), M.Ed. (Counseling), M.Ed. (Special Education), PGD.Ed.
Funding and Grants
Joint Engagement in Infants at Risk for ASD: Integrating Treatment with Biomarkers. ACE Program Project Grant.
Optimizing Social and Communication Outcomes for Toddlers with Autism.ACE Program Project Grant.
Longitudinal Follow-Up and Extension Of Joint Attention and Symbolic Play Intervention. CPEA Program Project Grant.
First Proposition 10 Initiative.Multimedia and technology for providing instruction, resources,and materials for young children with autism.
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