Karen Riley, PhD
Dr. Riley is the Dean of the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver. Her education includes a B.S. in Psychology; an M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Child and Family Studies. She completed a two year post-doctoral fellowship at The Children’s Hospital in Denver in the Fragile X Treatment and Research Center and subsequently worked at the Child Development Unit within The Children’s Hospital. She is a Professor in Child, Family, and School Psychology.
Dr. Riley currently serves on the Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board for the National Fragile X Foundation. She has over 15 years of experience in teaching and administration of early childhood special education programs. She has an additional 10 years of experience working with children who have neurodevelopmental disorders and their families. Particular areas of interest and expertise include assessment and intervention of infants and preschoolers, curriculum development, school consultation, behavioral interventions and low incidence disabilities. She lectures extensively throughout the US as well as internationally, on behavioral and educational interventions for children with neurodevelopmental disorders primarily those with fragile X syndrome.
Karen Riley. PhD | Dean & Professor
Received and Administered Research Grants
2018-present The Daniels Fund: CO ECE CO-OP: Micro-credentialing Initiative for Early Childhood Educators $100,000 Co-PI with Dr. Rebecca Kantor.
The goal of this grant is to develop a micro-credentialing system for the state in the area of early childhood.
2017-present Institute of Education Sciences: Quality counts: Building capacity to research quality in Colorado's residency preparation programs $400,000 (Co-PI with Dr. Rebecca Kantor, University of Colorado Denver)
The goal over time of this research partnership is to determine the components of residency programs that serve as quality indicators of teacher effectivenes.
2015-2017 Global Down Syndrome Foundation: Adult Educational Programming: An exploration of courses designed to meet the unique needs of individuals with Down syndrome $136,847 PI (with Co-PI Dr. Deborah Fiddler, Colorado State University)
The purpose of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of a series of education courses for adults with Down syndrome. The proposal was co-written with Dr. Fiddler. The work is very important, as post-secondary options are limited for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. This project is also important to the College as it funds several graduate assistants and is implemented by a junior faculty member Dr. Devadrita Talapatra which has allowed her to engage with the Down syndrome community and she already has a presentation on this project accepted to a state level conference.
2014-2019 National Institute of Health: Outcome Measure for Use in Treatment Trials for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities $2,499,996 ($588,692 for DU) Co- PI (with Drs. David Hessel, University of California Davis MIND Institute and Elizabeth Berry-Kravis, Rush University)
The overarching goal of this project is to develop and validate an assessment battery to measure cognitive outcomes in clinical trials of individuals with intellectual disabilities. This project is very important to the evaluation of intervention approached for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. This project is also very important to the College as it funds five graduate research assistants and is implemented by a junior faculty member Dr. Jeanine Coleman which has allowed her to engage with the Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome communities. The students have already presented a poster on this project at an international conference and Dr. Coleman and I have already had one publication from the preliminary data (Hessel et al, 2016)
2013 Piton Foundation: Z Place & Jamaica Street Evaluation Planning Project $17, 170 PI
The goal of this research project is to begin to evaluate the effectiveness of the preschool programs being initiated in the Children’s Corridor. This was designed to serve as the foundation for the longitudinal study. This project was accepted as I felt it could serve as a potential project for a doctoral student. I also thought it might lead to greater involvement of the College with the local community.
(Self in bold; student colleagues underlined; *junior faculty)
Adlof, S.M., Klusek, J., Hoffman, A*., Chitwood, K.*,Brazendale, A., Riley, K., Abbeduto, L.J. & Roberts, J.A. (2018). Reading skills in children with fragile X syndrome: Correlations with phonological awareness and feasibility of intervention. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities,123:3, 193-211. doi.org/10.1352/1944-7558-123.3.193
Thompson, T., Coleman, J., Riley, K., Hessl, D., Snider, L.A., Howard, L.J. & Stephanie M. Sansone. (2018). Standardized Assessment Accommodations for Individuals with Intellectual Disability. Contemporary School Psychology Special Issue. https://doi.org/10.1007/s4068
Tomaszewski, B., Fidler, D., Talapatra, D., & Riley, K. (2018) Adaptive behaviour, executive function and employment in adults with Down syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 62: 41–52. doi: 10.1111/jir.12450.
Hessl D., Sansone S.M., Berry-Kravis, E., Riley, K., Widaman, K., Abbeduto L., & Gershon, R.C. (2016). The NIH toolbox cognitive battery for intellectual disabilities: Preliminary studies and future directions. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 8(1), 35. Impact Factor: 2.787, cited by 2, doi: 10.1186/s11689-016-9167-4, [OA].
Coleman, J.,* & Riley, K. (2014). The expressed emotion of mothers of children with fragile x syndrome. Life Span and Disabilities: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 17(1) 59-88. Impact Factor: 0.61, cited by 2, [OA Version].
Kubicek, L., Riley, K., Coleman, J., Miller, G., & Linder, T. (2013). Assessing the emotional quality of parent-child relationships involving young children with special needs: applying the constructs of emotional availability and expressed emotion. Infant Mental Health Journal, 34(3), 242–256. Impact Factor: 1.131, cited by 7, doi: 10.1002/imhj.21384, [OA Version].
Braden, M., Riley, K., & Berry-Kravis, E. (2012). Fragile X School Services Guidelines.
Practice Guidelines for Fragile X-associated Disorders, Fragile X Research and Clinic Consortium, http://www.fxcrc.org/index.php/document-library.
(Self in bold; student colleagues underlined; *junior faculty)
Braden, M., & Riley, K. (July, 2018). Developmental approaches to behavior. Presented at the 16th International Fragile X Conference, Cincinnati, OH.
Epstein, J., & Riley, K. (July, 2018). Toilet training. Presented at the 16th International Fragile X Conference, Cincinnati, OH.
Shields,R., Berry-Kravis,E., Riley,K., Erickson,C., Abbeduto,L., Tartaglia,N., Shaffer,R., Hoffmann,A.*Thurman,A., Coleman,J., Thompson,T., Widaman,K. & Hessl,D. (April, 2018). An Improved Descriptive Profile of IQ in fragile X syndrome using deviation scoring on the Stanford Binet 5 across multiple study sites. Poster presented at the Gatlinburg Conference, Davis, CA.
Talapatra, D.*, Gladstone, P. Riley, P., Riley K. & Fiddler, D. (2018). Practical Curricular Modifications: Promoting Inclusion of Individuals with Down Syndrome. Paper presented at the National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention, Chicago, IL.
Coleman. J.*, Thompson, T., & Riley, K. (2017, August). The expressed emotion of parents with intellectual disabilities. Poster Presentation at the American Psychological Association Conference, Washington D.C.
Snider, L., Talapatra, D*., Thompson, T., Coleman, J*., Howard, L., and Riley, K. (2017, August). A cyclic approach to accommodations in standardized assessment. Skill building session presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.
Talapatra, D.*, Gerlach-McDonald, B., Riley, P., Gladstone, P. Z., Delap, S., Riley, K., & Fidler, D. J. (August, 2017). Curricular modifications to promote inclusion of individuals with Down Syndrome: A pilot study. Poster proposal for the American Psychological Association Annual Convention: Washington, DC
Snider, L., Thompson, T., Talapatra, D.*, Coleman, J.*, Howard, L., Baer, L. A., Woods, J., & Riley, K. (2017, March). A model of best practices in standardized assessment accommodations. Poster session presented at the Annual Conference for the Trainers of School Psychologists, San Antonio, TX.
DeMoss, K.,Lacelle-Peterson, M., Levin, H., Shambaug, L., Robinson, J., Riley, K. (March, 2017). Exploring resource availability in teacher preparation pipelines. Panel discussion at the Association for Education Finance and Policy: Washington, D.C.
Gerlach-McDonald, B.,Fidler, D., Talapatra,D.*, & Riley, K. (March, 2017). Executive function and adaptive behavior in young adults with Down syndrome. Poster presented at the 50th Annual Gatlinburg Conference On Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: San Antonio, TX.
Snider, L., Coleman, J., & Riley, K. (November, 2016). Cognitive test accommodations for students with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Skills and information session presented at the Colorado Society of School Psychologists Fall Conference: Vail, CO.
Riley, K., & Keene, C. (July, 2014). Stress debriefing strategies. Colloquium presented at the 15th International Fragile X Conference, San Antonio, TX.
Epstein, J., & Riley, K. (July, 2016). Toilet training. Presented at the 15th International Fragile X Conference, San Antonio, TX.
Berry-Kravis, E., McBrien, D., Lachiewicz, A., Riley, K., Sudholter, V., Aguirre-Kolb, C., … Kidd, S., (July, 2016). Toilet Training Milestones in Fragile X Syndrome. Presented at the 15th International Fragile X Conference, San Antonio, TX.
Thompson, T., Coleman, J.*, Riley, K., Baer, L.A., Woods, J., Howard, L., & Snider, L (July, 2014). Psychoeducational assessment with individuals with Fragile X syndrome; strategies to enhance engagement and decrease hyperarousal and anxiety. Poster presented at the 14th International Fragile X Conference, Orange County, CA.
Riley, K., & Braden, M. (July, 2014). Best practices in behavior. Presented at the 14th International Fragile X Conference, Orange County, CA.
Hessl D., Sansone S.M., Berry-Kravis, E., Gershon, R., Riley, K., Schneider, A., … Oaklander D. (March, 2016). Novel outcome measures for intellectual disability clinical trials. Presented at the 49th Annual Gaitlinburg Conference, San Diego, CA.
Epstein, J., & Riley, K. (July, 2014). Toilet training. Presented at the 14th International Fragile X Conference, Orange County, CA.
Braden, M., & Riley, K. (July, 2014). How to change behavior. Presented at the 14th International Fragile X Conference, Orange County, CA.
Hoffmann, A., Lemons-Chitwood, K., & Riley, K. (July, 2014). Enhancing literacy skills in individuals with FXS. Presented at the 14th International Fragile X Conference, Orange County, CA.
Riley, K., Lopez Lopez, C., Hammond, K., Judith, J., Alhas, S., Merrien, F., … Apostol, G. (July, 2014). A unique educational iPad application and assessment tool for evaluating reading skills in adolescents and young adults with fragile X syndrome. Poster presented at the 14th International Fragile X Conference, Orange County, CA.
Agans, L.*, & Riley, K. (June, 2014). Inclusive Adaptation: Toward a Model of Responsive Game Interaction for Early STEM Learning. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on the Future of Education, Florence, Italy.