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Dr. Shirley Cohen

Title: Development of a Hunter College Focus on Intervention in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Shirley Cohen, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Special Education at Hunter College. Before arriving at the college she had a variety of experiences as a teacher, including three years at a research and treatment center for children with autism. She arrived at Hunter College in 1971 to serve as Director of the Special Education Development Center, a support center for a statewide network of special education training centers, a role she held for ten years.

Between 1978 and 2005 Shirley Cohen served in several administrative roles at Hunter College including Chairperson of the Department of Special Education, Associate Dean of Programs in Education, and Interim Dean of the School of Education. She has directed numerous grant projects with funding from city, state, federal, and private foundation sources. Dr. Cohen served as the first director of the Regional Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Hunter, and co-developed the ASD Nest/Intensive Kindergarten program for the NYC Department of Education. Dr. Cohen has been directing training programs for new staff of that program since 2005, and has served as a mentor to numerous teachers and young leaders in the field of autism spectrum disorders in New York City.  Shirley Cohen is the author of the book Targeting Autism, the third edition of which was published in 2006. She is also the author of numerous articles in the area of disability and special education.