Assistant Professor of Counseling and Applied Behavioral StudiesJoined USJ: 2014
Disseminating Evidence-Based Approaches
For as long as she can remember, Laura Turner wanted to know “why people do what they do.” Always curious about the science behind behavior, her real interest sparked when working with children with autism spectrum disorder in their homes. It was there she saw firsthand the positive impact that behavioral interventions have on individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families. Turner’s goal is now to disseminate to parents, professionals, and students the science supporting behavior analytic and evidence-based assessment and intervention techniques. In particular, she strives to inspire scientific curiosity in her USJ students.
Taking a Multi-Disciplinary Approach
Turner is a Board Certified Behavior Analystwith a multi-disciplinary education in the field of autism spectrum disorders. She works with psychologists, behavior analysts, special educators, speech and language pathologists, and psychiatrists. She says it is common for a person with autism spectrum disorder to work with several therapists — all with different approaches. Turner aims to give her USJ students the skills they need to communicate and collaborate effectively with professionals in those varied backgrounds and environments in an effort to provide evidence-based interventions that address skills across multiple domains.
Ongoing Applied Research
Turner’s research interests encompass the emotional development of children with ASD, evidence-based practices for individuals with ASD, and effective strategies of behavior analytic supervision. Her current focus is on individuals on the autism spectrum who also have co-morbid anxiety disorders. She most recently studied the role parents play in teaching a variety of emotions, such as happiness, to their children with autism spectrum disorder. Turner will continue her applied research by developing specialty clinics for children and adolescents at the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain, Conn.
Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Binghamton University-SUNY
M.S., Clinical Psychology, Binghamton University-SUNY
B.A., Psychology, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee