Phillip S. Strain, professor of educational psychology and early childhood special education at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education and Human Development, received the Special Education Research Award from the Council for Exceptional Children at its 2010 Convention and Expo in Nashville on April 21.
This national award recognizes an individual or team whose research has significantly advanced the education of children and youth with exceptionalities.
"Many different investigators, including Dr. Strain, have studied the issue of inclusion over the last quarter decade, but few — if any — had the impact Dr. Strain has had," said Mark Wolery, professor of special education at Vanderbilt University who nominated him for the award.
For more than 35 years, Strain has translated groundbreaking research into useful educational assessments and interventions that have improved the quality of life for young children with behavioral and developmental disabilities and their families and are now considered best practices in special education.
Among his greatest achievements is the LEAP Program (Learning Experiences and Alternative Programs for Preschoolers), an evidence-based model for preschoolers with autism. Strain has written more than 250 scientific papers in his career. He also oversees ongoing research, development and clinical programs as director of UC Denver's Positive Early Learning Experiences (PELE) Center.