Education Sciences Research Core (ESRC) Lab

This lab works to develop educational strategies that promote inclusive classroom environments and active engagement for students with autism.

The ESRC, co-directed by Michael Siller, PhD, and Lindee Morgan, PhD, CCC-SLP, is dedicated to changing the landscape of education for children with autism in Georgia and beyond. Our efforts emphasize educational strategies that promote students’ active engagement in the classroom. For many students with autism, active engagement is hampered by limited social attention, difficulties with emotional self-regulation and the presence of restricted interests. We strive to develop inclusive classroom environments aimed at fostering social-emotional engagement in students with autism and their typically developing peers alike.

Our goals are to develop, test and disseminate

  1. Inclusive classroom-based programs to support toddlers and preschoolers with autism.
  2. Inclusive classroom-based programs to support elementary, middle and high school students with autism and related learning differences and their typically developing peers.
  3. Neuroscience and technology-based solutions to improve classroom teaching and education science.
  4. Interventions to support parent-school collaboration across a broad age span.

Associated studies

In 2018, we launched the Preschool Program, an inclusive lab and school where children with and without autism learn together and from each other. Serving up to 46 children between 2 and 5 years of age, we operate as a school and a place of research on inclusive preschool education. As of 2019, we are funded as a Georgia Pre-K program and were awarded two stars by Georgia’s Quality Rated program. We strive to create community-viable model classrooms at Marcus Autism Center and partner with early childhood education programs in the community to study implementation at scale.

Recent accomplishments

  • In 2018, Drs. Siller and Morgan published the “Handbook of Parent-Implemented Interventions for Very Young Children with Autism,” which includes 28 chapters authored by leading intervention researchers, including Sally Rogers, Rebecca Landa, Linda Watson, Jonathan Green, Lynn Koegel, Samuel Odom, Brooke Ingersoll and Aubyn C. Stahmer. This edited volume is part of Springer’s “Autism and Child Psychopathology” series and presents the emerging consensus among researchers about the essential components of effective parent-mediated interventions for young children with autism.
  • In 2018, Dr. Morgan was the lead author of a publication titled “Cluster Randomized Trial of the Classroom SCERTS Intervention for Elementary Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” This article was published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychiatry and was selected by Autism Speaks as one of the top 10 autism studies of 2018. According to Autism Speaks, this research “evaluated a behavioral intervention designed for classrooms, rather than individual students. The Social, Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support (SCERTS) intervention produced significant improvement in multiple measures of the students’ social communication. This type of work is important for extending the reach of autism interventions beyond one-on-one therapy sessions to groups.”


Contact information

Lindee Morgan, PhD, CCC-SLP

Michael Siller, PhD

Faculty members

Laura Edwards, PhD
Lindee Morgan, PhD, CCC-SLP
Michael Siller, PhD