Sarah Hurwitz

Associate Professor

Curriculum and Instruction
Academic Programs:
School Psychology; 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

I am an Associate Professor in the Special Education program. In my research, I investigate interventions to improve academic, behavioral, and social outcomes for students with disabilities. Furthermore, I help school districts to evaluate their special education programs, by using the large quantity of student data that they collect over time, as well as via bespoke surveys and interviews. I have a particular interest in helping teams support students with autism via evidence-based inclusive practices and Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA), to find the cause of interfering behaviors and reduce incidents of school discipline.

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 spent many years working 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 and tweens at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis.

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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