Dr. Tamar Heller, UIC

Dr. Tamar Heller is professor and head of the UIC Department of Disability and Human Development and directs its University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for the State of Illinois. She also directs the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health, the Institute’s Family Clinics, and the TAP autism training program. She has active projects on family support and health promotion interventions for individuals with disabilities.

Dr. Heller has written over 200 publications and presented numerous papers at major conferences on family support interventions and policies, self-determination, health promotion, and aging of people with disabilities. She has written or co-edited five books and has edited special issues of Technology and Disability, American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, and Family Relations. She is the past president of the board of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. In 2005 she was Senator Obama’s delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. She is co-founder of the national Sibling Leadership Network and a member of its executive board.

Her awards include the 2009 Autism Ally for Public Policy Award of The Arc/The Autism Program of Illinois; the 2008 Lifetime Research Achievement Award, International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, Special Interest Group on Aging and Intellectual Disabilities; the 2009 Community Partner Award of Community Support Services, the 2010 Outstanding Researcher Award in the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences, and the 2012 International Award of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

PRESENTATION: Technology Based Social Skills Training For Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This presentation will describe a technology based social skill intervention that use a new telehealth ASD therapy platform.  This intervention extends beyond the traditional communication-focus of social skill interventions by training social-cognitive abilities with which children with ASD often struggle (perspective-taking, theory of mind, and executive functioning).

 Participants will:

  • Learn about research on social skills training focused on  social cognitive abilities of children with ASD
  • Become aware of the role of technology in teaching children with ASD regarding social skills