College of Education and Human Development

Department of Educational Psychology

M. Y. Savana Bak

  • Pronouns: she, her, hers

  • Assistant professor

  • Office Hours

    By appointment

M. Y. Savana Bak

Areas of interest

  • ALAB: A Lab for Autism Research
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Language and social communications
  • Behavior measurement
  • Intersectional and culturally responsive interventions

PhD, Michigan State University
MS, Drexel University


My current research focuses on 1) social communication interventions for autistic children using multi-mode language data from the children’s natural environment and 2) supporting communities to advocate for culturally responsive interventions. My research objective encompasses investigations concerning 1) current language assessments for autistic children who are non- or minimally-verbal, 2) importance of culture in social communication assessment and learning objectives, and 3) cross-cultural and global considerations of evidence-based practices.


Bak, M. Y. S., Dueñas, A. D., Avendaño, S. M., Stanley, T., & Graham, A. C. (2021). Tact instruction for children with autism spectrum disorder: A review. Autism and Developmental Language Impairments, 6, 1-22

Bak, M. Y. S., Plavnick, J. B., & Byrne, S. M. (2019). Vocalizations of minimally verbal children with autism spectrum disorder across the school year. Autism, 23, 371- 382. doi: 10.1177/1362361317747576

Dueñas, A. D., Plavnick, J. B., & Bak, M. Y. S. (2019). Effects of joint video modeling on unscripted play behavior of children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 49, 236-247. doi:10.1007/s10803- 018-3719-2