Connie Anderson, Ph.D.

Health Sciences Department Chair, Associate Professor, Autism Studies Director


Contact Info

Health Professions, Rm. 3120 P
Monday 10:00am - 1:00pm


PhD, Sociology and Marriage & Family Therapy, University of Southern California, 2000
Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies, University of Southern California, 2000
Master of International Business Administration, Monterey Institute of International Studies, 1985
BA, Political Science and Slavic Languages & Literature, University of California – Santa Barbara, 1981

Areas of Expertise

Autism and bullying
Outcomes for young adults on the autism spectrum (e.g., postsecondary education, adult services, employment)
Autism and education


Dr. Connie Anderson is Assistant Chair of the Health Sciences Department and Director of the Graduate Certificate program in Autism Studies. Prior to that, she was a Research Coordinator with Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Interactive Autism Network (IAN), a national online autism research project. She prepares educators, mental health professionals, occupational therapists, child life specialists, and advocates with in-depth knowledge about autism while conducting research on young adult outcomes.

Selected Publications

  • Anderson, C., Iampieri, A., Franklin, L., Daniels, A., Diehl, K., & Law, J. K. (2022). Re-consenting pediatric research participants as legal adulthood approaches: Lessons from the SPARK autism study. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Advance online publication.
  • Anderson, C., Butt, C., & Sarsony, C. (2021). Young adults on the autism spectrum and early employment-related experiences: Aspirations and obstacles. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 51(1), 88-105.
  • Anderson, C., & Butt, C. (2018). Young adults on the autism spectrum: The struggle for appropriate services. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48(11), 3912-3925.
  • Anderson, C., Lupfer, A., & Shattuck, P. T. (2018). Barriers to receipt of services for young adults with autism. Pediatrics, 141(4), S300-S305.
  • Hillman, J. L., & Anderson, C. (2018). It’s a battle and a blessing: The experience and needs of custodial grandparents of children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49(1), 260-269.
  • Anderson, C., & Butt, C. (2017). Young adults on the autism spectrum at college: Successes and stumbling blocks. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(10), 3029-3039. 


Dr. Anderson uses in-depth interviews to explore how individuals with autism and their families are faring after high school ends. She has studied how things go for autistic young adults in terms of going to college, finding employment, and obtaining adult services. She is currently researching what went right and wrong for students on the autism spectrum during the school years, and with what consequences.

Professional Memberships/ Affiliations 

  • International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) – member since 2006.

Grants and Contracts 

  • 2020  “Parent and Youth Transition Hopes and Fears: Implications for Continued Engagement in SPARK,” Kennedy Krieger Institute/Simons Foundation: $112,800
    Principal Investigator
  • 2018  “The Role of Schools in Adult Outcomes for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Perspectives of Young Adults, Families, and Educators,” Organization for Autism Research: $18,650
    Co-Principal Investigator with Caroline Wood
  • 2016  “Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder after High School: Key Challenges and Targets for Institutional Change,” Organization for Autism Research: $25,000
    Principal Investigator
  • 2015  “Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder after High School: Successes and Challenges,”
    A. J. Drexel Autism Institute: $35,000
    Principal Investigator


  • AADS 370: Special Topics in Disability Studies (Program Planning/Evaluation)
  • IDHP 621: Contemporary Issues for Infants and Children on the Autism Spectrum
  • IDHP 642: Program Design and Implementation in Autism
  • IDHP 681: Seminar in Autism Spectrum Issues