Emily Iland, M.A. is an award-winning author, researcher, advocate and leader in the autism field. She is the mother of a young man with ASD and brings personal experience and insight to her professional roles.
Emily is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Special Education at California State University, Northridge. She is an educational consultant, presenting a variety of topics at conferences in both English and Spanish, all over the U.S. and abroad. She is known for the clear way she presents complex information!
Emily has been actively involved with the autism community for more than two decades as an educator and innovator. Areas of special focus include Reading Comprehension, Skills for Safety & Independence, Autism & Law Enforcement, Transition to Adulthood, Parent Training, and Community Integration.
Emily is delighted to co-author her latest book with her son, Tom. Come to Life! Your Guide to Self-Discovery helps youth engage in an active process of self-discovery to shape their own futures. More information and order at ThomasIland.com (Porterville Press, 2017).
Click on each panel for more information about Emily's accomplishments.
Education and Lifelong Learning
- Certified PATH and MAPS planner, June, 2016.
- California State University, Northridge. Post-Master’s Certificate in Educational Therapy, 2012.
- California State University, Northridge. Master’s Degree in Special Education with distinction, focus in Educational Therapy, May, 2007.
- Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. B.A. degree summa cum laude.
- President, Camino Cinema, 2013-present. Creator of BE SAFE The Movie and BE SAFE Teaching Edition that teach teens and adults with special needs how to interact safely with the police.
- President of Emily Iland, Inc., 2003-present. Independent contractor providing consultation, curriculum development, program development and training for parents, organizations, and government agencies.
- Part time Faculty, 2010-present, California State University, Northridge Department of Special Education.
- Professional Speaker, 2003-Present. Presents conference sessions and full-day trainings on a variety of topics in Spanish and English, in the U.S. and abroad.
- Educational Consultant, 2003-2012. Specializing in autism spectrum disorders, bilingual advocacy services, and family support.
- BE SAFE The Movie, Author and producer of video modeling DVD that shows teens and adults how to interact safely with the police
- BE SAFE Teaching Edition, Author and producer of companion curriculum for BE SAFE The Movie, which includes more than 300 pages of differentiated activities, materials, goals and resources to help a wide range of learners master the key safety skills of BE SAFE.
- CUíDATE: Guía de Enseñanza, Author/lead translator of the Spanish-language edition of BE SAFE Teaching Edition.
- Experience Autism®, Created unique hands-on experiential learning workshop to help police and first responders understand and respond to individuals with ASD. Originally designed for the Los Angeles Police Department. Now available via consulting contract to other agencies.
Major Consulting Projects
- Parents Taking Action, 2014-present. Assistant to Primary Investigators in randomized, controlled study testing the effectiveness of a new autism education protocol for Spanish-speaking parents of newly diagnosed children with autism. Co-author of curriculum and lead trainer of parent mentors.
- Mission Possible, 2010-2014. Project manager for the Autism Society of Los Angeles, partnering with the Los Angeles Police Department. Created experiential learning activities and materials to teach young people with autism how to interact safely with the police. Project awarded City of Los Angeles 2013 Quality and Productivity Improvement Award.
- Tierra del Sol Foundation, 2010-2014. Develop and present ongoing training for 230 staff working with adults with autism and developmental disabilities across the spectrum in home, community, and academic settings.
- University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2009-2012. Co-author of curriculum for Spanish-speaking parents, By Understanding Autism, I Can Better Understand My Child. Promotoras work with parents of newly-diagnosed children to provide personalized support to an underserved community.
- National Inclusion Project, 2009-2010. Develop curricular material for inclusive service learning in camp and recreation settings, LEAP Forward: Learn. Experience. Achieve. Play. A Service Learning Curriculum to Foster Greater Inclusion.
- Fiesta Educativa, 2006-2015. Develop and present autism education curriculum for parents of newly-diagnosed children, in English and Spanish.
- Bubel-Aiken Foundation, 2006-2008. Development of Together We Make a Difference Inclusive Service Learning (ISL) curricula for elementary, junior high and high school students.
- University of Minnesota Institute on Community Integration, 2001-2005. California State Representative of the Yes I Can Program for Social Inclusion.
- Senate Select Committee Taskforce on Equity and Diversity, 2012-2013. Statewide leader making policy recommendations promoting equity for underserved communities and cultural competence to work with diverse families in the Regional Center System.
- Senate Select Committee on Autism, 2009-2012. Chairman of the North Los Angeles work group on education and employment for adults with autism spectrum disorders.
- Subject Matter Expert, State of California POST Autism Awareness Training Video, Spring 2009 (Peace Officer Standards and Training). Helped create the law enforcement training materials on autism for the state of California, mandated by SB1513.
- California Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism, Member of the Transition Task Force drafting state legislative recommendations for teens and adults with autism.
- Program developer, project manager, and lead trainer of the Autism Society-Los Angeles Police Department Autism Awareness Training, 2007-2014. Providing training for Los Angeles Police Department Officers, to recognize and respond effectively to individuals with autism.
- Board of Directors, Autism Society of America Los Angeles Chapter. President 2007-2013.
- Founding member and Chairman of C.L.E.A.R., Community and Law Enforcement Aware Response, 2003-present; Project Manager effective 2008. Created a computerized Special Needs Registry to assist the public served by the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department, Santa Clarita Station.
- Founding Member, Board of Directors, Santa Clarita Autism Asperger Network (SCAAN). Leader in local autism support group, 1995-2010. Provided information and support for families.
- Come to Life! Your Guide to Self-Discovery, Co-authored with Thomas Iland, Come to Life! helps youth engage in an active process of self-discovery to shape their own futures. Order at ThomasIland.com (Porterville Press, 2017).
- Drawing A Blank, scholarly and practical information on reading comprehension and autism (Autism Asperger Publishing Company, 2011).
- Autism Spectrum Disorders from A to Z, with Barbara T. Doyle (Future Horizons, 2004).
- Los Trastornos del Espectro de Autismo de la A a la Z (Translator and publisher of the Spanish version of Autism Spectrum Disorders from A to Z (Emily Iland, Inc., 2005).
- Meeting the needs of students with autism spectrum disorder. In W. W. Murawski & K. L. Scott (Eds.), What really works in elementary education: Research-based practical strategies for every teacher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
- Meeting the needs of students with autism spectrum disorder. In W. W. Murawski & K. L. Scott (Eds.), What really works in secondary education: Research-based practical strategies for every teacher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
- Iland, E. No more Asperger’s? What educational therapists need to know about the changes in the DSM-V. The Educational Therapist Journal (in press, Spring 2013)
- Iland, E., Weiner, I., & Murawski, W.W. (2012). Obstacles Faced by Latina Mothers of Children with Autism. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, Special Issue: Health Disparities in Latino Communities (10), 25-36.
- Magaña, S., Iland, E., Wroblewski, N., Paradiso, R., & Machalicek, W. (2010). By understanding autism I can better understand my child: Manual for Latino families of children with ASD. (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Waisman Center, Cultural Context of Caregiving Lab, 1500 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53705)
- Half a Chance is Not Enough- Obstacles Faced by Latina Mothers of Children with Autism, Largest study to date in the US asking Latina Mothers about the challenges they personally experienced after the diagnosis of their child.
Awards and Recognition
- Helen Putnam Award of Excellence from the League of California Cities recognizing outstanding achievement and innovative solutions for the Santa Clarita Special Needs Registry, June, 2016.
- Los Angeles Police Department Recognition for creating the Department’s Autism Awareness Programs and eight years of service to LAPD, April 2015
- Autism Society of America, “Spirit of Supporting Autism Understanding Award” (with Autism Society of Los Angeles) for Mission Possible/ Los Angeles Police Department Training, 2013.
- California State Legislature, Recognition for leadership and contribution to the Senate Select Committee Taskforce on Equity and Diversity, 2012.
- Vista del Mar Award for “Creating programs that promote community awareness of autism,” 2012.
- California Emergency Services Association, Southern Chapter Diamond Award for the Santa Clarita Special Needs Registry, September, 2011.
- Department of Homeland Security, Recognition of the SCV Special Needs Registry as a national model, March, 2011.
- Centers for Disease Control Know the Signs. Act Early. Partner Spotlight, 2008.
- Los Angeles Police Commission Recognition Award May, 2008.
- Nathan O. Friedman Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year, California State University Northridge, 2007.
- International Latino Book Awards- Best Health Book 2006 (Autismo A-Z).
- Exceptional Parent Magazine Symbol of Excellence 2007(Autismo A-Z & ASD A- Z).
- Outstanding Literary Work of 2006, Autism Society of America (Autismo A-Z).
- City of Santa Clarita Community Service Award, 2005.
- William Hart District School Board Recognition Award, 2002.
- Phi Beta Kappa, 1979.