Elisa Cruz Torres
Elisa Cruz-Torres, Ed.D., BCBA-D earned her doctorate from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, FL. Her areas of expertise are in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Emotional/Behavioral Disorders (E/BD), and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). She is currently a Visiting Instructor at FAU where she prepares pre-service and in-service professionals to work with students on the autism spectrum and maintain effective classroom management. She is also the Verified Course Sequence (VCS) Coordinator for FAU’s ABA Program, serving as the liaison between the University and the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and advises students seeking certification as a behavior analyst. Dr. Cruz-Torres consults and coaches families and professionals working with children and adolescents with autism and related disabilities. She has given numerous national and local presentations on utilizing evidence-based practices to support students with special needs in homes, schools, and the community.
KEY WORDS: autism; applied behavior analysis; challenging behavior; classroom management; parent training; technology
EXPERTISE & SPECIAL INTERESTS
Dr. Elisa Cruz-Torres is a Visiting Instructor in the Department of Exceptional Student Education at Florida Atlantic University. Her areas of expertise are in supporting with challenging behaviors to reach their full potential. As a former middle school teacher of students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders, she utilizes her classroom and behavior analytic experiences to coach, mentor, and supervise students seeking their behavior analyst certification. Dr. Cruz-Torres also consults and coaches parents, educators, and other professionals working with students with challenging behaviors to promote academic, communication, social and daily living skills. Incorporating advanced technology, such as the iPad, in individual programs is a specialized area.
Chapters in Books Chapter:
Cruz-Torres, E. (2019). Working with behavior challenges. In Cunningham, A. (2020). Counseling adults with autism: A comprehensive toolkit (pp. 158-181). Abingdon, UK: Taylor & Francis/Routledge
Journal publications in progress:
Cruz-Torres, E., Duffy, M. L., Brady, M. P., Bennett, K. D., Goldstein, P. (accepted). Promoting daily living skills for adolescents with autism spectrum disorders via parent delivery of video prompting. Manuscript submitted to Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
January, 2013 – Autism Speaks $5,000 Community Service Grant for Project iCAN: Using the iPad to Communicate and Access Needs providing income eligible families with iPads and a communication app. Project focused on coaching parents in navigating, customizing, and using the iPad and app to promote effective communication skills in their children with ASD and included in-home follow-up support to maximize procedural fidelity.
July, 2016 – CS/SB 230 – Missing Persons with Special Needs Bill approved by the Governor addresses personal safety of persons with special needs who elope (wander) by providing personal safety devices to aid search-and-rescue efforts for such persons and $100,000 funding for each of three pilot study projects.
In collaboration with FAU College of Business and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, FAU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities tested the effectiveness of search-and-rescue technology, including unmanned aerial systems, when used in combination with personal safety devices to reduce search and rescue recovery time associated with wandering and elopement cases.
Elisa Cruz-Torres, Ed.D., BCBA-D
Department of Exceptional Student Education
Office Location: ED 47 - 477