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Dr. Azad is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research and the Center for Autism Research. She received her BA in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to graduate school, she served as a behavioral therapist for children with autism at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. She completed her doctorate degree in School Psychology with a clinical focus on families of children with autism and a school focus on prevention and intervention for students with psychosocial risk. She conducted her pre-doctoral internship at Columbia University serving parents and teachers of children with and without developmental disabilities.

The goal of Dr. Azad’s research is to develop a comprehensive understanding of how to create effective family-school partnerships for culturally, linguistically, and socio-economically diverse children with psychiatric and developmental disabilities. To that end, she is developing and testing a triadic consultation model to improve parent-teacher communication about evidenced-based interventions for socio-culturally diverse children with autism in urban public schools. This understanding is the necessary first step for future research targeting family-school partnerships, which has a pervasive impact on the lives of children with autism, including substantial gains in cognitive, social, and behavioral development. Dr. Azad’s research is funded by the NIMH National Research Service Award (F32) and the Autism Science Foundation Research Enhancement Mini Grant.