Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities

Linda S. Heitzman-Powell, Ph.D., MPH

Research Centers - Life Span Institute
Research Associate Professor
Primary office:
The University of Kansas Hospital
University of Kansas
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160



PhD, University of Kansas

MPH, San Diego State University

BA, Psychology, with Distinction, San Diego State University

AA , Cuyamaca College


Philosophy for training and developing students. My philosophy on teaching and educating others has its base in a natural science perspective and applies to all types of learners. Thus, the philosophy that guides my interactions is one in which I believe that all students have the ability to learn and grow in their chosen discipline. With regards to the training/education of students, I am a firm believer in the use of sound instruction design/technology – that is, the incorporation of active responding in the learning experience. As such, I follow a precision teaching model, especially for early learners, in order to ensure students have the basic concepts mastered prior to introducing more complex systems.

From my perspective, there are two components to active responding. The first is when the student assumes the part of the learner. In this capacity, I actively solicit responding during lectures in the form of question and answer about topics presented earlier in the lecture or course. It is my belief that as the semester progresses, students should be on a path of greater sophistication with regards to the materials presented in class and ancillary materials. This question/answer period during class is a way for me to check with their knowledge acquisition over time. If they are NOT responding with more sophistication, then it becomes my responsibility, as the instructor, to determine what changes need to be made to the presentation of materials in order to increase gains. The second component to active responding lies in the student's ability to describe key constructs to others and to be able to use the terms and concepts presented in lecture/materials in ways that are accurate and understandable. I have found that when students can explain the terms and concepts to others, they have come close to mastery of the subject.

From this beginning, especially in understanding the scientific method, students then have the ability to begin to apply concepts in a systematic way, developing the framework for becoming good consumers of research. This applies to whether the student decides to continue into a research career, is involved in determining if a strategy has a sound basis in research, or whether they decide to go into an applied setting where they would be implementing research- based strategies. Thus, as educators, I believe that we have an ethical and moral obligation to our students to provide the educational experiences that they need as they begin their path to the professionals of tomorrow.

I also believe that, as a behavior analyst, it is my responsibility to bring the science of behavior into my interactions with my students. As I work with families, teachers, and providers engaged with children with autism and other disabilities, I am continually reminding them that we need to focus on the skills that we want to see increase, focus on the desirable behaviors, use the strategies and techniques that we know produce learning to increase these individuals' ability to interact effectively, fluently, efficiently, and happily in their everyday environments. To do less than this in my interactions with my students, staff, or supervision professionals would be hypocritical. The principals of behavior apply to all of us and the use of those techniques to shape our upcoming researchers and professionals creates a positive learning experience for all.


My principle areas of scholarly activity include autism research, specifically: the advancement of evidence-based interventions for children; the advancement of effective parent training; the advancement of effective provider training; and culturally appropriate training for the Hispanic population.

Selected Publications

Heitzman-Powell, L. S., Bessette, K. K., Wills, H. P., Koertner, J. M., & Rusinko, L. (2013). Assessing a modified functional analysis condition for removal of attention as an establishing operation in an escape functional analysis condition. Progress in Medical Science, 1, 65-70.

Kamps, D. Wills, H. Dawson, H. Heitzman-Powell, L. Kottwitz, E. & Hansen, B. (2013). Class-Wide Function-based Intervention Teams: CW-FIT Efficacy Trial Outcomes. Psychology in the Schools.

Heitzman-Powell, L. Buzhardt, J. Rusinko, L. Turek, J. J., & Miller, T. (2013). Formative Evaluation of an ABA Outreach Training Program for Parents of Children with Autism in Remote Areas. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 29(1), 23-38.

Heitzman-Powell, L. S., White, R. Tafs, P. & Buzhardt, J. (2013). Towards a Technology of Supervision: Use of the OASIS model in the Delivery of Distance Supervision. Progress in Medical Science, 1, 79-84.

Buzhardt, J. Greenwood, C. Walker, D. & Heitzman-Powell, L. (2012). Using Technology to Support Progress Monitoring and Data-based Intervention Decision Making in Early Childhood: Is There an App for That? Focus on Exceptional Children.

Kamps, D. Wills, H. Heitzman-Powell, L. Laylin, J. Szoke, C. Hobohm, T. I., & Culey, A. (2011). Class-wide function-related intervention teams: Effects of group contingency programs in urban classrooms. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 13, 154-167.

Abbott, M. Wills, H. P., Greenwood, C. R., Kamps, D. Heitzman-Powell, L. & Selig, J. (2009). The combined effects of grade retention and targeted small group intervention on students’ literacy outcomes. Reading and Writing Quarterly , 26(1), 4-25.

Heitzman-Powell, L. S., White, R. & Perrin, N. L. (2008). Behavior analysts and counseling: Why are we not there and how can we get there? International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, 3, 571-587.

Heitzman-Powell, L. S., Perrin, N. Heinz, L. Wegner, J. Rinkel, P. & Miksch, P. (2008). Best Practices for Autism Treatment in Kansas, Best Practices Subcommittee of the Kansas Legislative Task Force on Autism In . (Ed.), Report of the Kansas Autism Task Force Submitted to the 2009 Kansas Legislature.

Buzhardt, J. & Heitzman-Powell, L. (2006). Field Evaluation of an Online Foster Parent Training System. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 35(3).

Buzhardt, J. & Heitzman-Powell, L. (2005). Stop Blaming the Teachers: The Role of Usability Testing in Bridging the Gap between Educators and Technology. Electronic Journal for the Integration of Technology in Education, 4, 1-19.

Buzhardt, J. & Heitzman-Powell, L. (2005). Training Behavioral Aides with a Combination of Online and Face-to-Face Procedures. Teaching Exceptional Children, 37(5), 20-26.

Heitzman-Powell, L. Buzhardt, J. Suchowierska, M. & Morrison, K. (2003). Behavioral Aide Training Program. McLouth, KS: Integrated Behavioral Technologies, Inc. http://www.ibt.lsi.ku.edu/

Hovell, M. F., Blumberg, E. J., Liles, S. Powell, L. Morrison, T. C., Duran, G. Sipan, C. L., Burkham, S. & Kelley, N. (2002). Training AIDS and anger prevention social skills in at-risk adolescents. Journal of Counseling and Development, 79, 347-355.

Freeman, R. L., Britten, J. McCart, A. Smith, C. Heitzman-Powell, L. Baker, D. & Sailor, W. (1999). (Module 1) Foundations of positive behavioral support. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas. University Affiliated Programs, Center for Research on Learning. http://onlineacademy.org/modules/a201/lesson/lesson_1/xpages/a201c1_60200.html

Heitzman-Powell, L. Stubberud, T. Hovell, M. Sipan, C. Burkham, S. Blumberg, E. Williford, S. Duran, G. & Purcell, A. (1994). Social Skills Training and Systematic Desensitization: An Integrative Approach to Violence. San Diego State University McNair Journal

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