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"A wise person knows that there is something to be learned from everyone" 

~Matt Stevens



Dr Mary E. McDonald is an expert in autism and applied behavior analysis.  Dr. McDonald is a Professor in the Special Education Department at Hofstra University. She directs the MS Program in Applied Behavior Analysis and Advanced Certificate Programs in ABA, Gifted Education, Assessment and, Special Education.  Dr. McDonald serves as the Associate Executive Director of Long Island Programs for Eden II/Genesis Programs. She has over 30 years of experience directing programs for students with autism from early intervention through adulthood. She completed her Ph.D. in Learning Theory at the CUNY Graduate Center and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst - Doctoral Level and a licensed behavior analyst in NY and Connecticut. Dr. McDonald serves on a number of advisory boards and journal editorial boards. 

Dr. McDonald Radio Interview 103.9 FM Part I & II


Dr. McDonald has published book chapters related to autism and special education on topics such as science-based interventions, distinguishing science and pseudoscience, components of behavioral teaching, 21st century learners and a book about including students with autism.   


Peer Reviewed Publications

Pergament, B. & McDonald, M. E. (2022).  Using behavioral momentum to

increase the rate of compliance in preschoolers with disabilities.  Special Education Research, Policy & Practice

Didrichsen, S. & McDonald, M. E. (2022). Familiar vs. unfamiliar stimuli in multiple stimulus

preference assessments.  Special Education Research, Policy & Practice, 6, 71-77.

Lindeman, K, McDonald, M.E., Lee, R, Gehshan, S. & Hoch, H. (2017).  The effects of

visual cues, prompting and feedback within activity schedules on increasing cooperation between pairs of children with ASD.  Special Education Research, Policy & Practice, 1 (1) 5-27.


Battaglia, D., & McDonald, M.E.  (2016).  Promoting conversation in students with autism spectrum disorders; Scripts and semantic mapping. Good Autism Practice, 40(1), 40-47.


McDonald, M.E., Battaglia, D., & Keane, M. (2015) Using Fixed-Interval based prompting to

increase a student’s initiation of PECS. Behavior Development Bulletin, 20 (2), 1-11.


Battaglia, D., & McDonald, M.E. (2015).  Effects of the picture exchange communication

system (PECS) on maladaptive behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders

(ASD): A review of the literature. Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals,

10 (1), 8-20.


McDonald, M. E., Reeve, S. A. & Sparacio, E.  (2014).  Using a tactile prompt to increase delivery of behavior-specific praise and token reinforcement and their collateral effects on stereotypic behavior in students with autism spectrum disorders. Behavior Development Bulletin, 19 (1), 40-44.


McDonald, M. E., Pace, D., Blue, E., & Schwartz, D. (2012). Critical Issues in Causation and

Treatment of Autism: Why Fads Continue to Flourish. Child & Family Behavior Therapy, 34(4), 290-304.


Schwartz, D., Blue, E., McDonald, M. E., & Pace, D.  (2010).  From inclusion to access: Paradigm shifts in special education.  U.S.-China Education Review, 7 (8), 108-114.  


Schwartz, D., Blue, E, & McDonald, M.E. Giuliani, G., Weber, G., Seirup, H., Rose, S, Elkis-Albuhoff, D.   Rosenfeld, J. & Perkins, A. (2010).  Dispelling stereotypes:  Promoting disability awareness through film.  Disability and Society, 25 (7), 841-848.  


Schwartz, D., Blue, E., McDonald, M. E. & Pace, D.  (2009).  Teacher educators and response to intervention:  A survey of knowledge, knowledge base, and program changes to teacher preparation programs.  Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals (JAASEP).  5-18.


McDonald, M. E. & Hemmes, N. (2003).  Increases in social initiation toward an adolescent with autism: Reciprocity effects.  Research in Developmental Disabilities, 24, 453-465.


Newman, B., Buffington, D. M., O’Grady, M. A., McDonald, M. E., Poulson, C. L.,&  Hemmes,   N. S. (1995).Self-management of schedule-following in three teenagers with autism. Behavioral Disorders, 20(3), 195-201.


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  • Evidence-based Approaches to Autism  

  • Adulting: Effectively Preparing Individuals with ASD

  • Assessment to Intervention: Enhancing Transition-Related Behavior

  • Developing Play Skills in Young Learners with ASD

  • Joint attention and Related Skills

  • Beyond Discrete Trial Instruction 

  • Increasing Problem Solving, Creativity and Flexibility

  • Professional Behavior and Ethical Responsibility

  • Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Using Cognitive-Behavioral Strategies

  • Social Stories:  What Does the Research Say?

  • Using Video Modeling to Promote Social Skills

  • Careers in Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Becoming a Leader in the Field of ABA

  • Creativity as a Behavioral Construct

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Autism Spectrum Disorder and Applied Behavior Analysis

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Technology and Autism 
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Developing Innovative Teaching Methods for Individuals with ASD

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ADULTING:  Effectively preparing individuals with ASD

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