Sarah Howorth

Sarah HoworthAssociate Professor of Special Education
Program Coordinator for Special Education Graduate Programs

303 Shibles Hall
University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469

Bio: Sarah K. Howorth is an associate professor of special education and program coordinator for the special education graduate programs in the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development’s School of Learning and Teaching. Her research interests include social skills and social coaching of neurodivergent individuals and the use of emerging technology, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, to support behavioral, academic and transition skills instruction for individuals with disabilities. She also has expertise in the following areas: assistive technology, reading comprehension, positive behavior interventions and supports, and improving employment and transition outcomes for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. Sarah is a board-certified behavior analyst with more than 20 years of experience in special education. She has taught as a classroom teacher in Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Shanghai (China). Her leadership positions in professional organizations include serving as Past-President of Council for Exceptional Children’s Innovations in Special Education Technology Division (CEC-ISET); Past-President and Treasurer for the Maine State Division of the Council for Exceptional Children. She is also the faculty advisor for UMaine Best Buddies and a former Scout Master for the first BSA Girls Troop (478-G) in Orono.

Dr. Howorth is also the director of Maine Access to Inclusive Education Resources and the PEERS® Lab at UMaine.

She is currently principal investigator on several research projects, including:

  • Implementation of the UCLA PEERS® intervention as part of pre-employment transition services
  • The effects of social skills groups with virtual video modeling on the social skills of children and adults with developmental disabilities and autism
  • Explorations of the ways communities of practice supported by multiple agencies and organizations afford and/or constrain teacher learning opportunities regarding building classroom inclusion
  • Seeking to identify best practices for using AI to support students with disabilities, as well as both the practicing and preservice teachers who instruct them in inclusive settings

Ph.D. in Special Education and Digital Leadership, 2015, State University of New York at Buffalo

Courses taught at UMaine

  • SED 536: Educational Strategies for Students with Severe Disabilities
  • SED 553: Assessment in Special Education I
  • SED 556: Assessment for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Severe Disabilities
  • SED 587: Collaboration and Transition
  • SED 585: Social Communication for Students with Autism
  • SED 528: Evidence-Based Instruction for Students with Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities

Scholarship and Research
(* Denotes peer-reviewed; ** Denotes student co-author)

  • **Howorth, S. K., Rooks-Ellis, D. L. , Sulinski, E., Jones, B. (2023). Effect of PEERS® class on conversational skills of adults with autism in college. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability 35(4)
  • *Howorth, S. K., & Kennedy, M. J. (2021). High-Leverage Practice 19: Use Assistive and Instructional Technology. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 53(4), 320-322.
  • **Rooks-Ellis, D., Howorth, S. K., Kunze, M., Boulette, S., & Sulinski, E. (2020). Effects of a parent training using telehealth: Equity and access to early intervention for rural families. Journal of Childhood, Education, & Society, 1(2), 141-166.
  • **Rooks-Ellis, D. L., Jones, B., Sulinksi, E., Howorth, S., & Achey, N. (2020). The effectiveness of a brief sexuality education intervention for parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. American Journal of Sexuality Education,15(4), 444-464.
  • **Singh, B. D., Moore, D. W., Furlonger, B. E., Anderson, A., Fall, R., & Howorth, S. (2020). Reading comprehension and autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review of interventions involving single-case experimental designs. Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 1-19.
  • *Ok, M. W., & Howorth, S. K. (2020). Use of video modeling for reading instruction for students with disabilities or at risk: A research synthesis. Exceptionality, 1-14.
  • McMahon, D., Howorth, S., & Farrell, E. (2019). Using technology to support concepts and principles of applied behavior analysis practices. Invited editorial in Closing the Gap e-magazine.
  • *Howorth, S. K., Rooks-Ellis, D., Flanagan, S., & Ok, M. W. (2019). Augmented reality supporting reading skills of students with autism spectrum disorder. Intervention in School and Clinic, 55(2), 71-77.
  • Howorth, S. K., Temple, C. L., Evemenova, A.S., Ault, M. J. & Innovations in Special Education Publications Committee (2019). ISET tools: Technology tools menu for special educators (UDL edition). Innovations in Special Education Technology.
  • *Howorth, S. K., & Raimondi, S. (2019). Effects of TWA-supported digitally on comprehension of students with autism spectrum disorder, level 1. Journal of Special Education Technology, 34(3), 162-175.
  • *Howorth, S. K., Cihak, D. F., & McMahon, D. (2018). Effects of explicit instruction on the fidelity of teacher candidates’ creation of trigger-based video models. Journal of Evidence-Based Practices for Schools Vol 16-N2, 132.

Connect with Sarah on Twitter and LinkedIn.