Claudia Rinaldi, assistant professor, education
Ph.D., University of Miami
Specialization: Language development in children identified with behavior disabilities
Representative publication: “Language Competence and Social Behavior of Children with Emotional and Behavior Disorders,” Behavioral Disorders
I was working with special education students and found that most children with behavior disorders also had language disabilities. They either communicated inappropriately, very little, or unsuccessfully. It was always a concern of mine as to why these kids behave differently and why their communication exchanges were different. Usually their cycles of communication are negative: they're always in trouble, their peers are rejecting them, or their teachers are upset with them. I also found that children with behavioral disorders who are from Hispanic and African American backgrounds tend to have even lower scores when assessed in language competency than do Anglo children.
What I’d like to see in the next few years is the development of language interventions that are specific to minority students in special education programs at the elementary school age. That keeps me going.