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Skilled Dialogue

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About the Author

Isaura Barrera, Ph.D., is a native of South Texas whose interest in cultural diversity was stimulated at an early age, as she realized that the colorful autumn leaves that she cut out in first grade had no correspondence to any leaves she had actually seen. She has worked for more than 25 years in early childhood special education programs in San Antonio, Texas, and western New York State, as well as in New Mexico. Dr. Barrera holds a bachelor's degree in major communication sciences and a master's degree in speech pathology from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. She holds a doctoral degree in education research and evaluation, with concentrations in early childhood and bilingual special education, from the State University of New York at Buffalo. As an associate professor in the Special Education Department at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Dr. Barrera coordinates the Early Childhood Special Education concentration within the graduate special education program. She continues to work nationally as a consultant. Her research focus is the Skilled Dialogue approach and its related materials, including a preschool language screening protocol for linguistically diverse preschoolers.

Lucinda Kramer earned her doctoral degree in Special Education with a concentration in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of New Mexico. As an associate professor in Special Education at National University in Costa Mesa, CA, she coordinates the credential and graduate programs in Special Education. She has served as Chair of the Multicultural Committee for the Council of Exceptional Children's Division of Early Childhood and has worked with teachers, families, schools, and agencies in Texas, Arizona and California. Dianne Macpherson, M.S.W., C.I.S.W., C.A.S., is a clinical social worker in private practice in Arizona. She has 25 years of clinical experience in school, mental health, chemical dependency, and clinical practice settings. Her positions have included working as a bilingual education elementary school teacher and acting as a guest lecturer/consultant, teaching undergraduate and graduate special education students to identify and intervene for mental health issues in the classroom. Ms. Macpherson has clinical practice experience in agency settings for forensic mental health, hospital-based chemical dependency programs, and managed behavioral health care. Her private practice work has focused on the psychiatric evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with a wide range of mental health and addiction disorders - primarily those individuals with impaired functioning as a result of trauma, abuse, and extreme stress. Ms. Macpherson also has served as a professional trainer/workshop facilitator at local, state, and national conferences related to the sequelae of trauma and abuse. Ms. Macpherson's web site provides information to families as well as to school and mental health professionals on topics related to addressing difficult and complex learning and behavior problems in children and adolescents. The site also provides access to expert consultants in related fields.


"An invaluable resource . . . bridges what we know from current research to how we can make it real in our practices. This book is a must have for early childhood professionals whose work must begin with building healthy relationships with young children and families from all different backgrounds." --Rosa Milagros Santos, Ph.D.

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