Heather Mackenzie


Heather MacKenzie, Ph.D., is a Canadian speech-language pathologist and educator who has spent a large part of her career developing and implementing approaches for enhancing learning in children with special needs. Her focus is on translating current research into sound clinical practice. She has a special interest in understanding how children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) approach learning in order to optimize their development. Her Learning Preferences and Strengths model is designed to determine each child’s learning preferences and strengths and then “harness” them to improve the child’s learning and development. That model was introduced in Heather’s first book, Reaching and Teaching the Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (2008). Her second book, One Story at a Time (2009), focuses on how to plan, implement and evaluate shared storybook-based intervention with children with special needs. Heather’s most recent book, The Autistic Child’s Guide, introduces spark* (Self-Regulation Program of Awareness and Resilience in Kids). spark* is an evidence-based program that has been received very positively by teachers, clinicians and parents and is being used internationally. Heather presents workshops all over North America and the UK, as well as in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
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