Dr. Edlyn Pena

Making a difference in national and scholarly conversations about autism and inclusion

Check out the #1 bestselling book on Amazon, Anatomy of Autism, written by 9 year old self-advocate, Diego Peña!   

 Dr. Edlyn Peña is an Associate Professor of Higher Education Leadership and Co-Director of the Autism and Communication Center at California Lutheran University (CLU). As an award-winning researcher, public speaker, and appointed member of the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee since 2015, Dr. Peña is highly active in autism and disability discussions at a national level.  She engages in research that contributes knowledge about preparing students with autism for higher education. She is also passionate about providing access to alternative forms of communication and inclusion to students with autism.   

Visit Dr. Edlyn Peña's Autism Research Facebook Page for updates!

Photo by Laura Goutcher

Recent Initiatives

April 2017:  Diego, Dr. Peña's 9 year old son, published a #1 bestselling book on Amazon, Anatomy of Autism.  The book is a pocket guide for educators, parents, and students who want to learn more about what it's like to have autism from a non-speaking child's perspective.

December 2016: Ventura County Reporter featured Dr. Peña's son in the article, "Local Youth Dream Big, Achieve Great Results," highlighting what it means to be a person with autism and twice exceptional. 

December 2016: Bright.com published, "Breakthrough Communication Apps Give Hope to Autistic Students," about Dr. Peña's new research project that studies a brain-computer computer as a mode of communication for people with disabilities. 

November 2016:  The Disability Communication Fund awarded Dr. Peña a $67,000 research grant to study a brain-computer interface as method of communication for people with disabilities.

November 2016: Center 4 Special Needs organization awarded Dr. Peña with the Spotlight Award for her advocacy and service to the disability community in southern California. 

October 2016: Autism and Communication Center hosted the 2nd Spectrum of Opportunity Conference 

July 2016: The new Autism and Communication Center at California Lutheran University is featured in a podcast

July 2016: Dr. Peña delivered a research presentation to the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee about supporting the transition of college students with autism. The IACC is a federal committee mandated by Congress to coordinate strategic plans for autism-related activities and research.

May 2016: Drs. Beth Brennan and Edlyn Peña co-founded the Autism and Communication Center at CLU.  Visit and like our Facebook page!

Recent Videos

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