Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Photo of Harriet Able

Able, Harriet

Associate Professor of Early Childhood Intervention and Family Support
Coordinator of M.Ed. Program for Experienced Teachers (ECIFS) and Applied Developmental Sciences and Special Education

T: 919.962.9371
301D Peabody Hall
CB 3500

“Research has informed us that the role of a child’s family and caregiving environment are critical variables in determining a child’s outcome. Thus, as educators, we must work with and for families to help them become informed advocates and consumers of services for their children.”


Prior to joining the faculty in 1993, Harriet Able was an assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Denver, taught preschool and elementary school and served as a state consultant for the Colorado Department of Education.

Able’s areas of expertise include early childhood, special education, interdisciplinary collaboration, teacher preparation with a focus on campus community collaborations, ethics and special education, post secondary transitions, and empowering families who have children and youth with disabilities. She has received many interdisciplinary personnel preparation grants from the U.S. Office of Education focused on collaborative teaming initiatives between special education and the allied health professions.

Her research focuses on innovative personnel development models as well as ethics and special education. She has published and presented papers regarding the preparation of interdisciplinary personnel, inclusion for children and youth with ASD, hospital-based early interventions and ethics and special education. Her primary research interests focus on young children and youth with autism spectrum disorders and family empowerment.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. 1986 - Vanderbilt University - Education and Human Development/Special Education
  • M.S. 1980 - Furman University - Special Education, Mental Retardation and Physical Disabilities
  • B.S. 1976 - Presbyterian College - Special Education, Mental Retardation

Doctoral Program Affiliation(s)

Ph.D. in Education

Research Interests

  • Children and Youth with Autism
  • Interdisciplinary Personnel Preparation in Early Childhood Intervention
  • Ethics and Public Policy for Children, Youth with Disabilites and Their Families
  • Family Centered Empowerment Strategies

Teaching Areas

  • Early Childhood, Families, Special Education


  • EDUC 403: Working with Socioculturally Diverse Families
  • EDUC 404: Infant/Toddler Assessment and Intervention
  • EDUC 664: Families and Teams in Early Childhood Intervention: Interdisciplinary Perspectives
  • EDUC 665: Early Childhood Assessment Strategies
  • EDUC 667: Infant/Toddler Curriculum and Learning Environments
  • EDUC 669: B-K Teacher as Researcher Internship
  • EDUC 761: Professional Development and Leadership in Early Childhood Intervention
  • EDUC 861: Translational Research and Implementation Science
  • EDUC 862: Teaching and Personnel Development

Honors & Awards

  • 2009-11, Faculty Engaged Scholar, Carolina Center for Public Engagement
  • 2006, Most Distinguished Article Award, Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education
  • 2003, Ethics Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Interdisciplinary Ethics Program
    The Institute for the Arts and Humanities
  • 2000, North Carolina Division for Early Childhood Award for Contributions to Early Intervention at the National Level
  • 1996, North Carolina Division for Early Childhood Award for Contributions to the State Organization

Funded Research

  • Preparation of Interdisciplinary Leaders: Focus on Meaningful Outcomes and Replicability Research, U.S. Department of Education (2018-2023)
  • Preparation of Inclusion Specialists in Early Childhood Intervention, U.S. Department of Education (2016-2021)
  • Post-Secondary Transition Supports for Adolescents with HFA and their Families , University Research Award, UNC-CH (2015-2017)
  • Bridging the Research to Practice Gap Interdisciplinary Leadership Preparation, U.S. Office of Education (2013-2018)
  • Preparing Early Intervention Teacher Leaders for Diversity and Disability in High Need Communities, U.S. Department of Education (2012-2018)
  • Interdisciplinary Leadership in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Optimizing Research and Practice Partnerships, U.S. Department of Education (2010- 2016)

Selected Professional Affiliations

  • American Education Research Association
  • The National Association for the Education of Young Children
  • The National Council for Exceptional Children, Divisions for Early Childhood, Research, Mental Retardation, and Teacher Education
  • The National Center for Clinical Infant Programs

Selected Publications

Able, H., Lim, C., and West, T.A. (2017). Ethics and early childhood intervention: Voices from the field. Infants and Young Children. 30 (3), 204-220. R*

Sreckovic, M.A., Hume, K., & Able, H. (2017). Examining the efficacy of peer network interventions on the social interactions of high school students with autism spectrum disorder, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 47: 2556-2574. R*#

Able, H., Amsbary, J., & Zheng, S. (in press). Application of DEC recommended family centered practices: Where the rubber meets the road. National Division for Early Childhood Monograph: Knowing families, tailoring practices, and building capacities Young Exceptional Children Family Centered Practice.

Schultz, T., Able, H., Sreckovic, M.A., & White, T. H. (2016). Parent-teacher collaboration: Teachers’ perceptions of what is needed to support students with ASD in inclusive classrooms. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 5 (14). *#

Glazier, J., Boyd, A., Able, H., Mallous, R., & Bell-Hughes, K. (2016). The elusive search for teacher collaboration. The New Educator, 12. *#

Able, H., Schultz, T., Sreckovic, M.A., & Garwood, J. (2014). Teacher support and professional development needs for inclusion of students with ASD: Views from the trenches. Teacher Education, Special Education, 38 (1), 44-57. *#

Glazier, J., Able, H., & Charpentier, A. (2014). The impact of service learning on pre-service professionals’ dispositions toward diversity. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 18 (4), 177-199. *#

Sreckovic, M. A., Brunsting, N., & Able, H. (2014). Victimization of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Review of Prevalence and Risk Factors. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(9), 1155-1172.

Able, H., Ghulamani, H., Mallous, R., & Glazier, J. (2014). Service learning: A promising strategy for connecting future teachers to the lives of diverse children and their families. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 35: 6-21. *

Glazier, J., Charpentier, A., & Able, H. (2011). Translational journey: A framework for preservice service learning about diversity. Journal of Civic Commitment, 17, 36- 49. R *

Hollingsworth, H., Able Boone, H., Crais, E. (2009). Individualized inclusion plans at work in early childhood classrooms. Young Exceptional Children, 13 (1), 19-35. *

Lim, C., Maxwell, K. L., Able Boone, H., & Zimmer, C. R. (2009). Cultural and linguistic diversity in early childhood teacher preparation: The impact of contextual characteristics on coursework and practica. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 24, 64-76. #

Lim, C., & Boone, H. A. (2006). Diversity competencies within early childhood teacher preparation: Innovative practices and future directions. Early Childhood Teacher Education, 26, 225-238. - Most Distinguished Article Award of 2006

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