Research Spotlight: Brian Reichow

Q & A with Brian Reichow, Associate Professor in the School of Special Education, School Psychology, and Early Childhood Studies, Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies

What basic questions does your research seek to answer?

Broadly speaking, my research is focused on discovering how young children with disabilities learn and the best ways to support them, their families, and individuals who support them and their families. To accomplish this, I have developed multiple lines of research. A primary line of research is examining ways to educate parents and caregivers of young children with disabilities to increase their ability to provide meaningful learning opportunities throughout their child’s day. I have conducted my research on parent education both in the United States, but also through a collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other non-governmental organizations throughout the world. A secondary line of research is developing methods to identify evidence-based practices for young children with disabilities and thinking of ways to help practitioners learn how to use these methods to improve the lives of young children and their families.

What makes your work interesting?

I have always found working with young children with disabilities to be very interesting, especially since each child has unique strengths and needs. While I find the differences in children to be one of the most interesting aspects of my work, these differences also create difficulties in that I often need to think outside of the box to solve the same problem in different ways. As my work has expanded internationally, I have had opportunities to meet and engage with people from different cultures and backgrounds, which has been fascinating. Finally, as a member of an interdisciplinary center, I find working with colleagues in different fields and disciplines to be interesting, especially learning varying approaches to similar research questions.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently an Investigator on two federally funded research grants from the US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (Goal 2 – Embedded Practices and Interventions for Caregivers, R324A120121, and Goal 3 – Impact of Professional Development on Preschool Teachers’ Use of Embedded Instruction Practices: An Efficacy Trial of Tools for Teachers, R324A150076). I was recently awarded an internal grant from the University of Florida, College of Education as PI to adapt and refine the WHO Parent Skills Training Programme in Zambia, where I will be visiting this month with a colleague to begin planning the adaptation and initial pilot testing of the program. I am currently Co-PI on a Doctoral Leadership Training Grant from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (Preparing Leaders in Early Childhood Special Education and Implementation Science, H325D150079).