College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

LeAnne Johnson

  • Associate professor, special education program coordinator

LeAnne Johnson

Areas of interest

  • Motivating and engaging educators in developing mindsets and skill sets needed for systems level changes that promote use of effective innovations in early education
  • Closing the research to practice gap through the development of new tools and innovations that address the needs of young children at high risk of school failure, including suspension and expulsion
  • Enhancing data driven, precision oriented, team-based, problem solving through technology enhanced data systems for monitoring children's development and designing instruction
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of interventions addressing the social and communication needs of young children with autism and emotional/behavioral disorders

My role at the University of Minnesota at this time includes serving as the program coordinator special education program and leading an active program of research and training supported by over 2.2 million dollars in federal and state funding to date.

My research interests are intervention-oriented with a focus on improving outcomes for a range of preschool and elementary school-aged children who are at high risk given social, emotional, behavioral, and communication needs. My interests are focused on creating the next generation of implantation studies that support more rapid adoption and high fidelity use of effective interventions within tiered intervention and prevention models.  This includes research projects that are designed to help us, (1) develop technology enhanced data collection tools to support teachers in summarizing, visualizing, interpreting, and using data to engage in a precision oriented problem solving process, (2) improve the adoption and implementation of evidence-based practices in the natural environments of young children through understanding how mindsets and skill sets interact within professional development systems, (3) explore and improve the efficacy of behaviorally based interventions through systematic adaptation and intensification.


Project Engage:  Developing a Cloud-based Measurement System for Data-Informed Implementation of Practices Promoting Children’s Active Engagement; funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (Award # R324A170032)

Project LEAD:  Learning to use Educational Data for Active Decision Making

Developing and Validating Tools to support Precision Problem Solving:  Behavioral Incidents, Developmental Milestones, and Active Engagement

Advancing Social-Communication and Play (ASAP): An Intervention Program for Preschoolers with Autism; funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (Award #R324A110256)


Johnson, L.D., Ford, A., & Hugh, M.  (in press). Maximizing meetings with TIPS: Tools and tricks for meaningful data use. Young Exceptional Children Monograph Series: Instructional Practices: Effective Strategies to Ensure Child Development and Learning.

Boyd, B.A., Watson, L.R., Reszka, S.S., Sideris, J., Alessandri, M., Baranek, G.T., Crais, E.R., Donaldson, A., Guitierrez, A., Johnson, L.D., Belardi, K. (2018).  Efficacy of the ASAP intervention for preschoolers with ASD: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, online first:

Johnson, L. D., Fleury, V., Boh, A., Rudolph, B., Young, K. (2018) Translating Evidence Based Practices to Usable Interventions for Young Children with Autism. Journal of Early Intervention, 40, 158-176. doi/abs/10.1177/1053815117748410

Johnson, L. D. (2017a). Exploring cloud computing as a means to generate usable knowledge for team problem solving.Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, online first: doi: 10.1177/027112141771531

Johnson, L.D. (2017b). Going to scale: exploring implementation of positive behaviour intervention and supports within and across different types of early childhood programmes, Early Child Development and Care, online first: doi: 10.1080/03004430.2017.1331219

Johnson, L. D. (2017c). Scaling the pyramid model across complex systems providing early care for preschoolers: Exploring how models for decision making may enhance implementation science. Early Education and Development, online first: doi: 10.1080/10409289.2017.1286205

Boh, A. & Johnson, L. D. (2017).  Universal screening to promote early identification of developmental delays: Exploring childcare providers’ beliefs and practices. Early Child Development and Care, online first: doi: 10.1080/03004430.2016.1278369

Krick Oborn, K. M., & Johnson, L. D. (2015). Coaching via electronic performance feedback to support home visitors’ use of caregiver coaching strategies. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 35, 157-169. DOI: 10.1177/0271121415592411 

Johnson, L. D., & Monn, E. (2015). Bridging behavioral assessment and behavioral intervention: Finding your inner behavior analyst. Young Exceptional Children, 18, 19-35. DOI: 10.1177/1096250614542708

Johnson, L. D., Wehby, J. H., Symons, F. J., Moore, T. C., Maggin, D. M., & Sutherland, K. S. (2014). An analysis of preference relative to teacher implementation of intervention. Journal of Special Education, 48, 214-224.

Parker-McGowan, Q., Chen, M., Reichle, J., Pandit, S., Johnson, L., & Kreibich, S. (2014). Describing treatment intensity in milieu teaching interventions for children with developmental disabilities: A review. Language, speech, and hearing services in schools, 45(4), 351–364.

Boyd, B. A., Hume, K., McBee, M. T., Alessandri, M., Gutierrez, A., Johnson, L. D., . . . Odom (2014). Comparative efficacy of LEAP, TEACCH and non-model-specific special education programs for preschoolers with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(2), 366-380.  

Johnson, L. D., & McMaster, K. L. (2013). Adapting Research-Based Practices with Fidelity: Flexibility by Design. In B. G. Cook (Ed.), Advances in Learning and Behavior Disabilities (vol. 26). Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Publishing Group.