In public radio interview, Radford University faculty member speaks about supporting individuals with autism

In public radio interview, Radford University faculty member speaks about supporting individuals with autism
Leslie Daniel, Ph.D.

Autism often comes with strengths, such as good visual processing, strong memory and wonderful attention to detail, says Leslie Daniel, Ph.D., a professor of special education in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Radford University.

It can also come with difficulty socializing, communicating and managing sensory input.

In supporting individuals with autism, Daniel says, teachers, therapists, parents and others can use visual supports, grouping and wait time to encourage building relationships.

“One of my favorites is wait time. Give a direction or ask a question and then be quiet,” Daniel said in a recorded interview on the With Good Reason public radio program. “I tell my students, as a rule of thumb, to start by waiting 15 seconds. It feels like a long time, but people with autism often need more processing time.”

At Radford, Daniel teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in autism, including students in the autism studies certificate program. Her research and writings have been published in “Rural Special Education Quarterly,” “Teacher Educators’ Journal” and “Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities."

Daniel’s interview will air June 8-14 on more than 100 With Good Reason stations across the United States.

Listeners in the New River Valley can hear the show at 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 11, on Public Radio WVRU 89.9. Programs are available as podcasts at

With Good Reason is produced by Virginia Humanities for the Virginia Higher Education Broadcasting Consortium, which is comprised of all of Virginia’s public colleges and universities. Radio programs highlight the scholarship of innovative thinkers at Virginia’s higher education institutions as they explore the worlds of literature, science, the arts, politics and history through features and in-depth discussions. 

The award-winning show is heard by an estimated 100,000 people each week on public radio stations in 33 states, including Virginia and Washington D.C. Thousands more download the episodes via iTunes.


May 31, 2019
Chad Osborne