Sarah Hurwitz

Associate Professor

Curriculum and Instruction
Academic Programs:
Special Education
Research Areas:
Special Education, Intervention, Early Childhood Special Education, Autism, Students with Disabilities
ED 3216
(812) 856-8134
Equity in Action

About Me

As an Associate Professor in the Special Education program at IU, I investigate how educational programs and interventions can be used to improve academic and behavioral outcomes for students with disabilities. I have a particular interest in supporting students with autism and finding ways to help children with emotional and behavioral disorders succeed in the classroom.

At IU, I direct Equity in Action with Dr. Tina O'Neal. Equity in Action is a research to practice partnership that uses culturally responsive pedagogy and school-based research initiatives to support students with disabilities from racially minoritized and culturally diverse backgrounds.

I received my PhD in special education from the University of North Carolina (UNC) and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Before attending graduate school, I worked in the field as a special education teacher, the inclusion specialist for children with autism at FPG Child Development Institute at UNC, and I led social skills groups for autistic teens at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis.

I teach courses about autism, early childhood inclusive education, and individualized behavioral interventions and supports. One of my favorite courses covers how to identify the causes of interfering behavior through the use of evidence-based practices like functional behavior assessments (FBAs) in order to reduce incidents of school discipline.

Selected Recent Publications

Hurwitz, S., Garman-McClaine, B.*, & Carlock, K.* (2022). Special education for students with autism during the COVID-19 pandemic: “Each day brings new challenges.” Autism,

Hurwitz, S., Cohen, E.*, & Perry, B. (2021). Special Education is Associated with Reduced Odds of School Discipline among Students with Disabilities. Educational Researcher.

Hurwitz, S., Rodriguez, N.*, & Berry, A.* (2020). Who are Students with Exceptionalities? Identification, Non-Discriminatory Evaluation, and Eligibility. In J. Rodriguez & W. Murawski (Eds.), Special Education Law and Policy: From Foundation to Application. Plural Publishing (invited chapter).

Hurwitz, S., Perry, B., Cohen, E. D.*, & Skiba, R. (2020). Special education and individualized academic growth: A longitudinal assessment of outcomes for students with disabilities. American Educational Research Journal, 57(2), 576-611.

Hurwitz, S., Ryan, T.*, & Kennedy, D. (2020). Developing social communication skills using dual first-person video recording glasses: A novel intervention for adolescents with autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 50(3), 904-915.

Hurwitz, S., Decker, J., & Linder, I.* (2019). Will Endrew change special education services for students with autism? Implications for policy and practice. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disorders.

Hurwitz, S., & Watson, L. R. (2016). Joint attention revisited: Finding strengths among children with autism. Autism, 20, 538-550.

Minshawi, N., Hurwitz, S., et al. (2016). A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of D-cycloserine for the enhancement of social skills training in autism spectrum disorders. Molecular Autism.

Minshawi, N., Hurwitz, S., et al. (2014). The association between self-injurious behaviors and autism spectrum disorders. Psychology Research and Behavior Management, 7, 125-136.

*indicates student co-author

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