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Samuel L. Odom

Samuel L. Odom

Samuel L. Odom

Senior Research Scientist
Spangler, Room 235

Academic Affiliation 

Research Professor
School of Education


Special Education,
University of Washington
Educational Psychology,
University of Tennessee
Special Education,
University of Tennessee
University of Tennessee

Area(s) of Work

Biographical Statement 

Samuel L. Odom, PhD, is a senior research scientist at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and research professor emeritus in the UNC School of Education. He is the author or co-author of over two hundred publications and editor or co-editor of eleven books on early childhood intervention and developmental disabilities. His research has addressed topics related to early childhood inclusion and preschool readiness although most of his current research focuses on autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Odom was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Educational Programs for Young Children with Autism, which published a report on effective educational programs for young children with ASD. He also was a member of the committee that developed the 10-Year Roadmap for Autism Research coordinated by the National Institute of Mental Health and the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. His recent research articles have addressed the efficacy of a variety of focused intervention approaches (e.g., peer-mediated interventions, sibling-mediated interventions, parent-mediated approach to promote children's joint attention, independent work systems approach to promote learning) for children with ASD. Odom was the Principal Investigator of the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, the ASD Toddler Initiative: Promoting the Use of Evidence-based Practices for Toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and the Center on Secondary Education for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders.

In 2007, Odom received the Special Education Research Award from the Council for Exceptional Children, and in 2011, he received the Distinguished Graduate Award from the University of Washington College of Education. He also received the 2013 Arnold Lucius Gesell Prize from the Theodor Hellbrugge Foundation. In September 2016, Odom was awarded an honorary doctorate from Stockholm University.