Faculty Name

Burke, John C. Ph.D., BCBA-D

Faculty Department

Special Education Literacy Counseling

Burke, John C. Ph.D., BCBA-D

Home > Content > Burke, John C. Ph.D., BCBA-D


Dr. Burke has more than 30 years of experience working with children, youth, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as their families and professionals across the fields of education, mental health, and vocational rehabilitation. He also has extensive experience with children with Downs Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury, and complex learning disorders. Dr. Burke has been extensively involved in several major research and training projects pertaining to autism funded by various government agencies. His research interests include identifying and targeting pivotal learning characteristics and early identification and intervention. With a team of highly skilled graduate students, Dr. Burke has initiated several lines of research and the development of an "Infant Eye Tracking and Learning Lab".  

Degree Information: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Departments of Behavioral Psychology and Pediatrics, Application of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Ph.D. - Joint Doctoral Interdisciplinary Program in the Speech & Hearing Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara and University of California, San Francisco Medical School.

Courses Taught: Assessment of Individuals with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities, Single Subject Assessment Methodology, Basic Applied Behavior Analysis, Autism: Collaborative ABA Transdisciplinary Intervention, Educational Programming for Students with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. 

Primary Area of Expertise: Applied Behavioral Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Advice for Students Preparing for Your Class: "Successful students seek to understand autism by examining individualized child and environmental factors that influence learning and development. By advancing one’s own knowledge, a student can be better prepared to apply principles and strategies to produce socially significant changes in a child’s life. Ultimately within our classes, it is vital for students to share information, propose innovative ideas, and demonstrate a genuine caring for those we serve in our field."

2017 Marian and David Rocker Lecture




  • Using the Ecological Learning Assessment to develop a PRT program with children with ASD - A new study is being initiated at Kean University to assess the utility of an Ecological Learning Assessment (ELA) approach to develop individualized programs based on Pivotal Response Teaching. This study will systematically implement an ELA for children ranging in age from 3 to 12 years who are diagnosed with ASD or who show core characteristics of ASD.
  • Targeting responses to single and multiple cue instructions in 3 -7 year old children with ASD - A new study is being initiated at Kean University to assess how children with ASD can be taught to respond to instructions that have multiple cues or steps contained within an instruction. This investigation will build upon lines of previous research and clinical efforts by Kean faculty of defining and targeting pivotal skills pertaining to attention in older children. We are currently seeking the involvement of children with ASD between 3 to 7 years of age. 
  • Stimulus Preference in Infants who have older Siblings with ASD - A new study is being initiated at Kean University to assess whether infants who have older siblings with ASD may show a developmental milestone of preferring to look at visual stimuli that contain a certain amount of complexity. This study will systematically assess the children’s responses to visual stimuli that vary in complexity. We are planning on assessing younger siblings of children with ASD who are approximately 2 to 6 months of age.  We are also seeking the involvement of children without ASD of the same age to serve in a comparison group.
  • First Signs Infant Program for infants with older siblings with ASD - The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of a specialized early intervention program that is designed to target common areas of need seen in infants who are at risk of later diagnosis of ASD. Younger siblings of children with ASD will participate in evaluations and an early intervention program along with their parent. Individual sessions will occur and then parents will participate in a "parent and me" series of sessions. 

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