Faculty

Dr. Farah El Zein, Ph.D

Dr. Farah El Zein

Dr. Farah El Zein, Ph.D

Assistant Professor in the Counseling, Special Education, and Neuroscience Division

Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Special Education, The University of Texas at Austin, USA.
  • M.Ed. in Special Education, Texas State University, USA.
  • B.A. in Early Childhood Education, The Lebanese University, UNESCO, Lebanon.

Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations

  • Council for Exceptional Children (ECE)
  • Division of International Special Education and Services (DISES)
  • The National Association of Special Education Teachers (NASET)
  • Texas Association for Behavior Analysis (TXABA)

Profile

Dr. El Zein is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling, Special Education, and Neuroscience Division and brings with her over ten years of experience as a Special Education teacher in the United States serving students with a wide range of disabilities in special and inclusive classrooms. She also delivered ABA services for children with autism spectrum disorder in clinical and home-based settings for almost three years and has held professional positions with renowned academic instutions in Cleveland, London and Beirut.

Prior to joining ECAE in August 2020, Dr. El Zein was an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Haigazian University in Beirut. She was previously an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Cleveland State University and a Lecturer in the Psychology Department at Brescia University College, London Ontario.

Dr. El Zein’s research interests focus on developing behavioral interventions to improve reading performance and reduce challenging behaviors in children with ASD. Dr. El Zein was involved in multiple federally funded research projects in the United States that aimed to identify evidence-based practices for educating students with ASD in the inclusive setting. She is currently conducting a synthesis of research to analyze existing randomized control trials that examined the effectiveness of behavioral and academic interventions for children with ASD.

Dr. El Zein serves as a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Exceptional Children, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Journal of Behavioral Education, and Behavior Modification. She also served as a reviewer for the NPDC 2015 report on evidence-based practices for educating students with ASD.

Dr. El Zein holds Texas State Certificates in Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (EBD)/ Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), Learning Disabilities (LD)/ Inclusion, and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/ Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). She was granted the 2011 Researcher of the Year Award from Texas State University- San Marcos.

Dr. Farah El Zein completed her Ph.D. in Secial Education in 2014 from The University of Texas at Austin with two emphases: Autism and Developmental Disabilities, and Learning Disabilities and Inclusion. Her dissertation entitled “An Examination of Collaborative Strategic Reading-High School (CSR-HS) Intervention for Students with ASD” investigated the effects of a modified version of CSR intervention on reading comprehension and challenging behaviors in high school students with ASD. She earned her M.Ed. in Special Education in 2011 from Texas State University and her B.A. in Early Childhood Education in 2005 from the Lebanese University in Beirut.

Publications in Peer-Reviewed Research Journals

  • Solis, M., El Zein, F., Black, M., Therrien, W., & Invernizzi, M. (2019). Word study intervention for students with ASD: A multiple baseline study of data-based individualization. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
  • El Zein, F., Solis, M., Lang, R., & Kim, M. K. (2016). Embedding perseverative interest of a child with autism in text may result in improved reading comprehension: A pilot study. Developmental neurorehabilitation, 1-5.
  • El Zein, F., Gevarter, C., Bryant, B., Son, S. H., Bryant, D., Kim, M., & Solis, M. (2015). A Comparison between iPad-assisted and teacher-directed reading instruction for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 1-21.
  • Reutebuch, C. K., El Zein, F., & Roberts, G. J. (2015). A systematic review of the effects of choice on academic outcomes for students with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 20, 1-16.
  • Solis, M., El Zein, F., Vaughn, S., McCulley, L., & Falcomata, T. (2015). Reading Comprehension interventions for students with autism spectrum disorders: An alternating treatments comparison. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.
  • Reutebuch, C. K., El Zein, F., Kim, M. K., Weinberg, A. N., & Vaughn, S. (2015). Investigating a reading comprehension intervention for high school students with autism spectrum disorder: a pilot study. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 9, 96-111.
  • Kucharczyk, S., Reutebuch, C. K., Carter, E. W., Hedges, S., El Zein, F., Fan, H., & Gustafson, J. R. (2015). Addressing the Needs of Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder Considerations and Complexities for High School Interventions. Exceptional Children, 81(3), 329-349.
  • Fleury, V., Hedges, S., Hume, K., Browder, D., Thompson, J., Fallin, K., El Zein., F., Reutebuch, K., Vaughn, S. (2014). Addressing the academic needs of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder in secondary education. Journal of Remedial and Special Education, 35(2), 68-79.
  • El Zein, F., Solis, M., Vaughn, S., & McCulley, L. (2013). Reading Comprehension Interventions for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Synthesis of Research. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 1-20.
  • Ramdoss, S., Mulloy, A., Lang, R., O’Reilly, M., Sigafoos, J., Lancioni, G., Didden, R., & El Zein, F. (2011). Use of computer-based interventions to improve literacy skills in students with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • Lang, R., Mahoney, R, El Zein, F., Delaune, E., & Amidon, M. (2011). Evidence to practice: Anxiety in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment.

Books, Chapters in Books and Other

  • O'Reilly, M., Green, V., Sigafoos, J, Lancioni, G., Lang, R., Fragale, T., El Zein, F., Cannella, H., & Edrisinha, C. (2012). Working with students with intellectual disabilities who engage in severe challenging behavior. In C. Franklin, M. Harris, & P. Allen-Meares (Eds.), The school services sourcebook (2nd ed). Oxford: University Press.
  • Lang, R., El Zein, F., & Pfeiffer, B. (2014). Autism. In C. Reynolds, K. Vannest & E. Fletcher-Jensen (Ed), Encyclopedia of Special Education: A reference for the education of children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and other exceptional individuals (4thrd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.