Paul G. LaCava is an associate professor of special education at Rhode Island College (RIC). He teaches undergraduate courses in elementary/special education and graduate courses in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and research methods. Paul is the program director of RIC’s Certificate of Graduate Study in Autism Education program and Exceptional Learning Needs Master’s program. He is also the Research Coordinator at the Sherlock Center on Disabilities at RIC.
Paul has over 25 years of experience working in the field of autism/developmental disabilities as a special educator, social skills group leader, respite provider, consultant, and researcher. His expertise is in special education, inclusion, collaborative consultation, positive behavior supports, ASD historical perspectives, evidence-based practices, and social emotional skills.
Since the early 2000s Paul’s research focus has been on evaluating various methods to improve social/emotional outcomes for students with ASD. This includes studying practices such as Social Stories™, Power Cards, conflict resolution, and emotion recognition programs such as Mind Reading: The Interactive Guide to Emotions and the Transporters DVD. He has collaborated on a number of other projects with Sherlock Center and community partners including investigations of Family Employment Awareness Training, collaborative IEPs, early childhood educator’s (ECE) relationships with clinical diagnosticians, ECE use of behavioral management techniques and ECE use of evidence-based practices.
Paul’s has a B.A. in History from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). His initial training in teaching and disabilities was also at CCSU. Paul attended the University of Kansas where he earned his master's and doctorate degrees in special education.
Paul lives in Rhode Island with his wife Lynda and son.