Research and Initiatives

Towards Early, Differential Intervention

With generous funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the Center is undertaking a study with partner schools across Los Angeles to demonstrate that the earlier we can provide literacy assessment and the more we can target intervention to students’ specific needs, the more likely we are to help children reach their potential. Specifically, we are screening students in kindergarten and first grade and providing interventions to students who may be at risk of dyslexia. As part of this project, we are collaborating with teachers, parents, and school administrators.

For more information about the work, please contact Laura Rhinehart.

California Collaborative for Neurodiversity and Learning

Bringing together California’s leading experts in a variety of fields to explore how emerging brain research can transform and improve educational outcomes for all types of learners.

About 20 percent of kids in every classroom across America have some type of learning difference that isn’t being supported. New brain research tells us that the diversity of learning types represents natural brain wiring variations and that each person’s brain is wired uniquely. All kinds of brains are needed in California’s innovation economy. Therefore, we have an inherent need to work together toward improving the way we support neurodiversity in the K-12 classroom.

The goal of the California Collaborative for Neurodiversity and Learning is to support the coming together of education experts from across California – UCLA, the UCSF Dyslexia Center, the CSU system, Chapman University, and others – to collaboratively pool our areas of expertise and intellectual resources as we work together to meaningfully address the needs of neurodiverse learners in our K-12 classrooms.

HIGH 5 Intervention

Many children come to school still needing to develop the regulation skills necessary to be successful in their classroom. This is especially true for the approximately 10% of children that have attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Students with ADHD, for instance, are more likely to struggle to develop positive relationships with their teachers and peers, and they are more likely drop out of school before graduating. However, with the right support, including support from their teachers, students with ADHD-like behaviors can reach their potential.

The Helping to Increase Genuine connection & Harmony: Five strategies (HIGH 5) intervention, aims to support students with ADHD and their teachers. As part of the HIGH 5 intervention, students and teachers meet briefly one-on-one multiple times over the course of several weeks. Each meeting provides an opportunity for students to learn a self-regulation skill. Additionally, each session is loosely scripted and provides an opportunity for the teacher and student to learn about each other, gives the student a chance to be genuinely praised, and allows the student to learn a new strategy to deal with a difficult situation through flexible thinking, emotion labeling and/or emotion coaching.

Through teaching effective emotional regulation strategies and providing opportunities for empathy building conversations, the HIGH 5 intervention supports teachers and their higher-need students. The HIGH 5 intervention aims to increase attendance, reduce disciplinary incidents, and improve the overall social emotional well-being of children with behavioral challenges, like ADHD. The intervention also aims to help teachers who may struggle with higher-need students in their classroom.

For more information about the work, please contact Laura Rhinehart.


The California Collaborative for Neurodiversity and Learning is a state-wide collaboration of educational institutions and agencies.