Dr. Louise Soares & Mr. Robert T. Law

"The Impact of Dysfunctional Mirror Neurons on Autistic Children"
Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. in the Marvin K. Peterson Library


Dr. Soares will provide background information on mirror neurons, previous research on macaque monkeys and the relevance to the children with special needs, especially those who are designated as "autistic," along with causes of the behavioral differences of autistic children as compared with other children as a result of the mirror- neuronal deficit.

Mr. Law will outline the typical behaviors of autistic children, how it is diagnosed, current practices in schools, the effect on families, the differences between males and females, and examples of autistic children. Then, they will both present the results of their observations, recommendations and where do we go next.

Biographical Information

Dr. Louise Soares

Professor Soares earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Music, Psychology, & Education from Boston University and a doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois. At the University of Bridgeport, she was a professor in Psychology, Education, & Business, Assistant to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, designer of the doctoral program in Educational Leadership, President of the Faculty Council, Chair of the University Master Plan Committee, Director of the Social Research Center, and creator/director of the first Internship Program in the U.S.A.

She received several research grants from the Mellon Foundation, Dana Planning, and GE Scholars. She was invited to join the faculty at the University of New Haven in 1992 for the purpose of initiating both a Graduate Department of Education and an Internship Program similar to what she had devised at UB, and establishing five off-campus sites for a full complement of teacher education courses. She received a Dialogue Grant for designing Integrated Science curriculum, and became a member of the Review Committee for the Connecticut Board of Education. At the University of New Haven, she also established the Math/Science Council and Liberal Arts Council with faculty from other A & S departments, designed a Charter High School as an Academy for Future Teachers with West Haven Public Schools.

She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the Learning and Brain Society out of Harvard University. She has published over 200 articles, presented over 450 research papers at several national and international conferences, and several test reviews for the Buros’ Mental Measurement Yearbooks, as well as creating several educational and psychological assessments for her own research that appear in the Yearbooks. She was selected for Who’s Who in America, Outstanding Leaders in America, National Distinguished Teacher Educator (Wadsworth Publishing), World Who’s Who of Women, and many other similar publications.


Mr. Robert T. Law


Mr. Law holds a Masters Degree in School Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University and a 6th Year Professional Diploma from the Connecticut Center for Gestalt Therapy. He is a Practitioner-in-Residence in the Education Department at the University of New Haven.

Robert Law came to the University of New Haven from the public education sector where he was a special education teacher and then a school psychologist. He joined the Graduate Education Department in 1996 and became a PIR in 2006. He currently teaches Contemporary Issues (ED 680) and Children with Special Needs (ED 605). From 1997-2005, Robert was a member of the Regional Crisis Intervention Team at the Yale Child Study Center where he assisted in developing a training manual and video to be used for educating school personnel in responding to crisis and emergency situations.

He has presented at numerous national conventions for NASP and APA (Division 16). In addition to his work at the University of New Haven, he is a consultant to the Ansonia Public Schools where he works with children diagnosed with autism and emotional disturbances.