Sophia D’Agostino, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Dr. Sophia D’Agostino is an Assistant Professor of Special Education. She earned her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from Michigan State University in 2019. Prior to entering graduate school, she was an early childhood special education teacher, coach, and consultant. Her research interests focus on naturalistic developmental behavioral intervention implementation within inclusive preschool settings. She is passionate about early childhood pre-service and in-service teacher training and coaching to enhance meaningful inclusion of children with disabilities. Teaching Interests Dr. Sophia D'Agostino primarily teaches courses within the early childhood special education (birth to five) undergraduate course sequence. Research Interests Dr. Sophia D'Agostino's scholarship aims to improve meaningful inclusion for young children (birth to five years) with disabilities through socially valid practices. Early childhood inclusive education is the inclusion of children with disabilities into high-quality early childhood education programs (e.g., public, or private preschool, community-based childcare, Head Start). Two primary strands of Dr. D'Agostino's research are (a) understanding and improving teacher preparation and training to increase the quality of services that children with disabilities receive within inclusive settings and (b) dissemination and use of naturalistic developmental and behavioral interventions (NDBI). NDBIs are evidence-based interventions informed by both developmental psychology and applied behavior analysis guided by an understanding of child development and implemented in the child’s natural environment. Dr. D'Agostino's intervention research focuses on the use of telehealth or training and coaching at a distance using technology. Further, social validity is central to Dr. D'Agostino's research. The use of NDBIs and telehealth for training + coaching emphasize social validity, which is integral to implementation fidelity, generalization, and maintenance of practices within early childhood inclusive education programs.
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