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August 25, 2011
Lawton, who also is an assistant professor of special education at Ohio State, graduated with a doctorate in psychological studies in education from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a master’s degree in special education from Vanderbilt University. Most recently, Lawton worked as an interventionist and team leader at a Columbus-area preschool for children with autism, as well as a clinical researcher at UCLA.
The Nisonger Early Childhood Education program is an inclusive preschool program for children ages 1 to 6. Children who are typically developing and children with disabilities participate in child-directed, developmentally appropriate, play-based classroom activities. A team of teachers and therapists work with families and one another to develop individualized educational objectives to optimize each child’s development.
Lawton’s research interests include assessing the use of university evidence-based early childhood interventions at home and school; determining the effectiveness of early interventions implemented by parents, teachers and university clinicians; and identifying individual differences in the treatment effectiveness of parents, teachers and children participating in early intervention.
“Kathy will employ all these interests to set the research direction and lead a talented team of teachers and interdisciplinary therapists to reach our goals for the ECE program,” says Dr. Marc J. Tassé, a clinical psychologist and director of the Nisonger Center. “Kathy was a peer model at this preschool as a young child, and her older brother with Down syndrome also went here. She is the perfect person to lead this preschool program.”
The Nisonger Center, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, is part of The Ohio State University Medical Center and was founded in 1966 to provide assistance to people with disabilities, families, service providers and organizations by promoting inclusion of people with disabilities in education, health, employment and community settings.