Dr. Paparella is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of Child Psychiatry at UCLA and a licensed clinical psychologist. As Co-director of ECPHP, she is a specialist in the field of autism, having spent more than 15 years in intervention and research. Her current clinical and research interests relate to the effectiveness of early intervention, particularly with respect to predictors of outcomes for toddlers on the autism spectrum.
Dr. Paparella received her master’s degrees in Special Education and Counseling Psychology from Rutgers University in New Jersey. Her formative years in applied autism intervention were spent at the Douglas Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University where she designed, implemented, and evaluated educational programs. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from UCLA and completed a two-year National Institute of Mental Health postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Child Psychiatry.
Dr. Paparella oversees the daily activities of ECPHP staff. She is actively involved in all aspects of the comprehensive evaluation and treatment of children with autism from 18 months to four years of age. She works closely with parents to support and educate them in all aspects of their child’s treatment. Dr. Paparella provides ongoing clinical instruction for students, interns, and fellows from different specialties, and her research has focused on the development of core deficits in young children with autism.