Ilene Schwartz
Professor of Special Education


  • Child development
  • Early childhood and preschool
  • Early learning
  • Special education and learning disabilities

Ilene Schwartz is a professor of special education at the University of Washington and director of the Haring Center for Research and Training in Inclusive Education. Her research interests are in the area of applied behavior analysis and early childhood special education, specifically in understanding what instructional strategies and environmental arrangements are most effective in facilitating the learning of young children with autism and related disabilities. In her work, Schwartz has identified and validated instructional strategies for children with autism and other significant disabilities and explored how to teach teachers and others to implement these strategies with high fidelity. In 1997, Schwartz and her colleagues started Project DATA, a school-based early intervention program for children with autism. She is co-author of several books, including “The DATA Manual for Teaching Preschoolers With Autism,” which shares evidence-based practices derived from 20 years of testing and refinement, “The Exceptional Child: Inclusion in Early Childhood Settings,” and “Building Blocks for Teaching Preschoolers with Special Needs.”