Jenna L. Lequia, PhD

Education and Training Researcher, Westchester Institute for Human Development

Assistant Professor, Center on Disability and Health, School of Health Science and Practice, New York Medical College

914-493-8109

jlequia@wihd.org

EDUCATION

University of Connecticut

Post-Doctoral, 2016

N/A

University of Wisconsin-Madison

PhD, 2015

Special Education; Minor in Prevention & Intervention Science: Research Methodology Special Education

University of Wisconsin-Madison

MS, 2010

Special Education; Concentration in Cognitive Disabilities

University of Wisconsin-Madison

BS, 2009

Human Development and Family Studies; Concentration in Child Development

BRIEF BIO / PROFESSIONAL INTERESTS

Dr. Jenna Lequia is a special educator with expertise in the areas of autism, behavior management, implementation science, and research methodology.  Her professional experiences consist of providing instruction to young children with autism spectrum disorders in the home, teaching in an inclusive preschool setting, consulting with and coaching parents to develop and implement behavior intervention plans for their children with autism and other developmental disabilities, and consulting with educational teams to improve the inclusion of students with severe disabilities across the school day. As the Education and Training Researcher at the Westchester Institute for Human Development and Assistant Professor at New York Medical College (School of Health Sciences and Practice), Dr. Lequia leads and assists with various Social/Behavioral and Educational research projects. She also serve as core faculty in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program where she teaches the Special Education Module addressing topics such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), inclusive education, social skills interventions, and strategies to promote self-determination. In addition, Dr. Lequia provides consultation to WIHD faculty on teaching, program evaluation, and research design. Currently, she serves on the executive board of the New York State Council for Exceptional Children (NYS CEC) as the President-Elect.  She is also the Associate Editor of the International Journal of Disability, Development and Education and serves regularly as a peer reviewer for various journals, such as the Journal for Autism and Developmental Disorders (JADD).

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH INTERESTS/ACTIVITIES

Dr. Lequia’s scholarship falls into three main areas – self-determination, inclusion and family-professional partnerships, in particular for children with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families. Some of her current projects include a systematic review of the literature evaluating education professionals’ perceptions and beliefs about inclusive educational programming for students with disabilities, focus groups with education professionals to evaluate their experiences with and beliefs about inclusive education, evaluation of a statewide learning collaborative for early intervention teams on family outcomes, and increasing capacity of early intervention providers to use a family centered approach to service delivery.

  • Inclusive Education: Lequia hopes to contribute to the field’s understanding of the factors that influence the quality of inclusion that students with autism and other developmental disabilities experience – specifically evaluating social inclusion, education professionals’ attitudes and participation of students in the school community.  In addition, she hopes to identify drivers that lead to increased placement of these students in inclusive placements. Furthermore, technology has been shown to increase access to academic and social opportunities across the school day. As such, Dr. Lequia aims to evaluate the impact of technology on fidelity of intervention implementation by education professionals, the impact of technology on the frequency of learning opportunities for students with autism and other developmental disabilities.
  • Self Determination: Involving students with disabilities in their education at all levels is one way to address self-determination in education. In this research area, Dr. Lequia plans to evaluate how connected students with disabilities feel in various educational contexts and evaluate innovative strategies to promote self-determination in elementary school students with autism.
  • Family-Professional Partnerships:  Students with severe disabilities receive services from a variety of professionals with different backgrounds. It is important to consider the perspectives of everyone involved in the education of this population. In this research area, Dr. Lequia hopes to examine innovative strategies to improve teacher awareness of and implementation of student IEPs, as well as strategies to improve communication between home and school.

RESEARCH INTERESTS/ACTIVITIES CATEGORIES

SOCIAL/BEHAVIORAL AND EDUCATION

  • Behavioral Interventions for Individuals with I/DD
  • Improving Access and Participation for Individuals with I/DD across the Lifespan
  • Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination in Individuals I/DD across the Lifespan
  • Special Education and Inclusion
  • Family & Professional Partnerships

SELECTED PRESENTATIONS

  1. Lequia, J., Siegenthaler, K., & Smith, V. Improving Family Centeredness Together (IFaCT): A Learning Collaborative in New York State. New York State Council for Exceptional Children Annual Conference. Albany, NY. (October 2018)
  2. Patrick, P., Mislow, S., & Lequia, J. Library accessibility for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. 2017 AUCD Conference. (November 2017).
  3. Acharya, K., Stuart, S., Peebles, S., Barrows, M., Toppers, K., & Lequia, J. Nothing about us, without us: Opportunities for self-advocates as co-teachers, leaders, and trainees in LEND programs. 2017 AUCD Conference. Washington, D.C. (November 2017).
  4. Lequia, J. & Kim, S. A meta-synthesis of attitudes towards inclusive education. 2017 NYS CEC Annual Conference. Binghamton, NY. (October 2017).
  5. Brickel, N. & Lequia, J. Supporting student participation in the IEP Process: The student “draft IEP” tool. 2017 NYS CEC Annual Conference. Binghamton, NY. (October 2017).
  6. Lequia, J. Social acceptance of elementary school students with severe disabilities. TASH 2016 Annual Conference. St. Louis, MO. (December 2016).
  7. Born, T., Asmus, J., Lyons, G., Vincent, L., & Lequia, J. Social skills instructions for students with autism spectrum disorders delivered through a peer network. 41st Annual ABAI Convention. San Antonio, TX. (May 2015).
  8. Carter, E., Asmus, J., Moss, C., Cooney, M., Lyons, G., Vincent, L., & Lequia, J. Fostering social connections and learning in high schools through peer-mediated interventions. TASH 2013 Annual Conference. Chicago, IL. (December 2013).
  9. Lequia, J., Vincent, L., & Lyons, G. Inclusive experiences for secondary students with significant disabilities. TASH 2013 Annual Conference. Chicago, IL. (December 2013).
  10. Lequia, J., Born, T., Cooney, M., & Moss, C. Peer-mediated strategies to improve social outcomes of students with disabilities in high school and beyond. College & Career Readiness Conference. Wisconsin Dells, WI. (November 2013).
  11. Lyons, G., Dietmeier, J., Lequia, J., & Cooney, M. Improving relationships and learning of students with disabilities in general education contexts through peer supports and peer networks. 2013 Wisconsin’s 20th Annual Inclusion Institute. Wausau, WI. (July 2013).
  12. Lequia, J. & Heim, J. Behavioral health clinic for Waisman Center. UCEDD LEND Poster Session. Madison, WI. (May 2013).
  13. Lequia, J. Improving transitions in students with autism: An evaluation of interventions in educational settings. AERA Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA. (April/May 2013).
  14. Lequia, J. Teacher preparation on evidence-based practices for students with autism spectrum disorders. Panelist at the WI DPI PST/Autism COP ASD/DD. Pewaukee, WI. (February 2013).
  15. Kim, S., Lyons, G., Lequia, J., Kulkarni, S., & Trainor, A. Unstructured to structured setting generalization of peer-mediated pivotal response treatment in an inclusive school. 38th Annual ABAI Conference. Seattle, WA. (May 2012).
  16. Lyons, G., Machalicek, W., Lequia, J., & Kim, S. A Meta-Analysis of Classroom-Based Interventions to Address Challenging Behaviors in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. 38th Annual ABAI Conference. Seattle, WA. (May 2012).
  17. Lequia, J., Machalicek, W., & Rispoli, M. Effects of activity schedules on challenging behavior in children with ASD. 38th Annual ABAI Conference. Seattle, WA. (May 2012).
  18. Lequia, J., Machalicek, W., & Lyons, G. Making positive changes together: Educational intervention for parents of children with autism and developmental disabilities. Poster session at Mid-American Association for Behavior Analysis Annual Conference. Bloomingdale, IL. (October 2011).
  19. Lequia, J., Machalicek, W., & Rispoli, M. Effects of activity schedules on challenging behavior in children with ASD. WisABA Roadshow, Spring 2011. Eau Claire, WI (April 2011).
  20. Machalicek, W., Lequia, J., Marsh, T., Pickett, K., & Kang, H. Assessment and treatment of challenging behavior by parents of children with autism via videoconferencing. Poster session at Mid-American Association for Behavior Analysis Annual Conference. Lake Geneva, WI. (October 2010).

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Book Chapters

  1. Wilkerson, K. & Lequia, J. (2015). Maximizing the benefits of small group instruction. In K. R. Harris & L. Meltzer (Eds.). The Power of Peers: Enhancing Learning, Development and Relationships. New York: Guilford Press.
  2. Machalicek, W., Didden, R., Lang, R., Green, V., Lequia, J., Sigafoos, J., Lancioni, G., & O’Reilly, M.F. (2013). Parent and sibling interventions. To appear in P. Sturmey, J. Tarbox, D. Dixon, & J. L. Matson (Eds.). Handbook of Early Intervention and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Journal Articles

  1. Lequia, J., Kim, S., & Burlazzi, S. Perspectives from the front line: A meta-synthesis of education professionals’ beliefs and perceptions of inclusive education. (Manuscript in preparation)
  2. Lequia, J. Social acceptance of elementary school students with severe disabilities. (Manuscript under review)
  3. Bruder, M., Dunst, C., & Lequia, J. Predictors of paraeducators self-efficacy towards working with students with special needs. (Manuscript under review)
  4. Kim, S., Lyons, G., Lequia, J., & Kulkarni, S. (2017). Preliminary study of social skills generalization with Pivotal Response Treatment. International Journal of Special Education, 32, 55-87.
  5. Asmus, J., Carter, E., …Lequia, J., et al. (2017). Efficacy and social validity of peer network interventions for high school students with severe disabilities. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 122, 118-137.
  6. Wilkerson, K., Afcan, K., Justin, W., Perzigian, A., & Lequia, J. (2016) Behavior-focused alternative schools: Impact on student outcomes. Behavioral Disorders, 41, 81-94.
  7. Carter, E., Asmus, J., …Lequia, J., et al. (2016). Randomized evaluation of peer support arrangements to support the inclusion of high school students with severe disabilities. Exceptional Children, 82, 209-233.
  8. Machalicek, W., Lequia, J., Pinkelman, S., Knowles, C., Raulston, T., Davis, T., & Alresheed, F. (2016). Behavioral telehealth consultation in family homes: An evaluation with families of children with autism spectrum disorders. Behavioral Interventions, 31, 223-250.
  9. Lequia, J., Wilkerson, K., Kim, S., & Lyons, G. (2014). Improving transition behaviors in students with autism spectrum disorders: A comprehensive evaluation of interventions in educational settings. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 17, 146-158.
  10. Lequia, J., Machalicek, W., & Lyons, G. (2013). Parent implemented homework intervention to decrease challenging behavior and improve task engagement for children with developmental disabilities. Behavioral Interventions, 28, 322-343.
  11. Lequia, J. (2011). Motivation, interest, and attention: Re-defining learning in the autism spectrum? International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education, 58, 405-408.
  12. Lequia, J., Machalicek, W., & Rispoli, M. (2011). Effects of activity schedules on challenging behavior exhibited in children with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6, 480-492.
  13. Lequia, J. (2011). Motivation, interest, and attention: Re-defining learning in the autism spectrum? International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education, 58, 405-408.
  14. Lequia, J., Machalicek, W., & Rispoli, M. (2011). Effects of activity schedules on challenging behavior exhibited in children with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6, 480-492.