Leann Smith DaWalt, PhD

Waisman Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison
1500 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705-2280
Phone: 608-890-1390
Email: [email protected]
Login to Update Your Profile
Last Updated: October 28, 2020


Leadership: UCEDD Director
Discipline(s): Interdisciplinary
Family Studies
AUCD Council Membership: Council on Research and Evaluation


Drawing from my training in lifespan developmental psychology, I have a strong record of work using multilevel modeling and other sophisticated statistical approaches to answer questions of behavioral change for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the life course, with a specific focus on adolescents and adults with disabilities and the contextual factors associated with positive outcomes. My work also focuses on developing and evaluating intervention programming for youth and young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). For example, I am currently a co-principal investigator for a national center on secondary education for students with ASD (CSESA) funded by the Institute of Education Sciences which aims to test a comprehensive treatment model for high school students with ASD. This study includes a sample of over 500 students with ASD from 60 high schools across the country, with 20 schools enrolled at the Wisconsin site. I also have a strong passion for applying research to practice and designing interventions with end users and contexts in mind. My lab has developed and evaluated three multi-family group psychoeducation interventions for youth and young adults with ASD and their family members: Transitioning Together for adolescents, Working Together for young adults, and Juntos en la Transición for Spanish-speaking families.