Heather MacKenzie, Ph.D., is a speech-language pathologist and educator who has spent a large part of her career developing and implementing approaches for enhancing learning in children with special needs. Her focus is on translating current research into sound clinical practice. She has a special interest in understanding how children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) approach learning so that this knowledge can be used to optimize their development. Her Learning Preferences and Strengths model is designed to determine each child’s learning preferences and strengths and then ‘harness’ them to improve the child’s learning and development. That model was introduced in Heather’s first book, Reaching and Teaching the Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (2008). Her second book, One Story at a Time (2009), focuses on how to plan, implement and evaluate shared storybook-based intervention with children with special needs. Heather’s third book is the ground-breaking The Autistic Child’s Guide, Presenting spark* (Self-Regulation Program of Awareness and Resilience in Kids). spark* is an evidence-based approach to improving behavioral, cognitive and emotional self-regulation has been received very positively by teachers, clinicians and parents and is being used internationally.
individual learning preferences and strengths, coupled with personal passions/affinities
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Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Communication Disorders M.A. University of North Dakota, Speech-Language Pathology
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