Richard L. Simpson

Professor Emeritus
Primary office:


Richard L. Simpson was a Professor of Special Education at the University of Kansas where he directed numerous University of Kansas and University of Kansas Medical Center demonstration programs for students with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities and coordinated a variety of federal grant programs related to students with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities. He also was a special education teacher, school psychologist and coordinator of a community mental health outreach program. He authored numerous books, articles, and tests on a variety of topics connected to students with disabilities. Dr. Simpson was the former founding editor of the journal Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. He received several awards including the Council for Exceptional Children Research Award, Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders Leadership Award, Autism Society of Kansas Leadership Award, and numerous University of Kansas awards and distinguished roles, including the Gene A. Budig Endowed Teaching Professorship of Special Education.

Selected Publications

Travers, J., Ayers, K., Simpson, R., & Crutchfield, S. (in press). Fad, controversial, and pseudoscientific interventions. In R. Lang, T. Hancock, & N. Singh (Eds.), Early intervention for young children with autism spectrum disorders. New York: Springer Publications.

Simpson, R. L, & McGinnis, E. (2016). Skillstreaming for children with high functioning autism and Asperger syndrome , Champaign, IL: Research Press.

Mundschenk, N., & Simpson, R. (2014). Defining emotional/behavioral disorders: The quest for affirmation. In P. Garner, J. Kauffman, & J. Ellliott (Eds.), Handbook of Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (2nd Edition). Oaks, CA: Sage.

Simpson, R., & Crutchfield, S. (2013). Effective educational practices for children and youth with autism spectrum disorders: Issues, recommendations for improving outcomes, and future trends. In B. Cook, M. Tankersley, & T. Landrum (Eds.), Advances in learning and behavioral disabilities (pp. 197-220). San Diego, CA:: Emerald.

Ahn, S., & Simpson, R. L (2013). Relationships between risk factors, perceptions of school membership and academic and behavioral engagement of students who attend an alternative school for behavioral and emotional challenges. Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship., 3(2), 1-15.

Simpson, R. L. (2013). Personal reflections: Conceptual models and students with emotional and behavioral disorders. In J. M. Kauffman & T. J. Landrum (Eds.), Characteristsics of emotional and behavioral disorders of children and youth (pp. 90-93). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Simpson, R. (2012). Extreme behaviors and learners with autism. In . (Ed.), Managing the Cycle of Meltdowns for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (pp. vii-viii). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Simpson, R. L., & Mundschenk, N. A. (2012). Inclusion and students with emotional and behavioral disorders. In J. Bakken, F. Obiakor, & A. Rotatori (Eds.), Behavioral disorders: Current perspectives and issues (Vol. 22, pp. 1-22). Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing.

Simpson, R. (2011). Autism spectrum disorders: Challenges, hyperbole and the search for effective methods. Budig Professorship Series, University of Kansas, 1-17. Lawrence, KS: School of Education, University of Kansas.

Academic Degrees

  • Ed.D, Special Education, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 1973
  • M.S., Psychology, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, 1969
  • B.A., Psychology, Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas, 1967


Autism spectrum disorders and behavior disorders

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