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Patricia Oliver

Professional Research Assistant, PELE Center

My story:

I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. In 1996, I moved to the USA to pursue my educational goals. I attended Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton - Florida, and completed my undergraduate degree in Exceptional Student Education. Through my undergraduate studies, I worked with children with autism and their families as a home-therapist. The passion I felt for understanding autism lead me to the completion of my Master's degree in Psychology at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami - FL. Of course it was just hard to stop there, and I knew that if I wanted to make a difference in the field of intervention for children with autism I had to continue my studies, and decided to join the doctoral program at FAU to complete a Doctor of Education degree in the Department of Exceptional Student Education.

In 2005, my husband and I moved to Colorado and I had the opportunity to join the Positive Early Learning Experiences team lead by Dr. Phil Strain here at the University of Colorado Denver.
We love living in Colorado. For me working at CU Denver has been an incredibly positive experience. Here I have been able to expand my experience on behavior analysis while working with various school districts and their personnel. Also, I have had the opportunity to work with many families with children with autism and apply the knowledge and experience that I have built over the past 12 years. I enjoy educational research very much and continue to be part of a fantastic team whose members prioritize on spreading best practices both in school and home based interventions.

My students at University of Colorado Denver:

I have had wonderful cohorts of students at CU Denver through the last couple of years. Dedicated individuals who want to understand their students' behaviors and decide to enroll in my classes to enhance their teaching expertise. I hope that all my students leave my courses with a solid understanding of the function of problem behavior and the capacity to identify and teach appropriate replacement behaviors to their students.

Classes I teach at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education & Human Development:

  • Positive Behavior Support. Online Course - SPED 5151
  • Effective Practices for Elementary Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (hybrid course) - SPED 5260

My research interests:

  • Best practices in autism intervention
  • Teacher training in behavior analysis
  • Early intervention
  • Severe problem behaviors

My hobbies:

Here in Colorado I discovered the mountain world. I love to ski on a beautiful sunny day and take my 14 months-old baby for strides in the mountains. I really enjoy scuba diving (not so much in the cold lakes), and spending time with my friends and my dear husband and son. I have a very loyal (but kind of super-hyper) German Shorthaired Pointer who reminds me everyday that life is simple and we all should wag our tails every time we see the people we care for.

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