Roseann C. Schaaf, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Director, Jefferson Autism Center of Excellence
Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
Faculty, Farber Institute for Neurosciences

Roseann C. Schaaf


130 S 9th Street
6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Email Roseann C. Schaaf

215-503-2950 fax

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Roseann C. Schaaf, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Director, Jefferson Autism Center of Excellence
Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
Faculty, Farber Institute for Neurosciences


PhD, Neural and Behavioral Sciences, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
MEd, Motor Development, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
BS, Occupational Therapy, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Recent Publications


  • National Board Certification for Occupational Therapy
  • Licensed Occupational Therapist: Pennsylvania
  • Sensory Integration and Praxis Test Certification
  • AOTA Neuroscience Certificate: Neuroscience Foundations of Human Performance

Professional Societies

  • Member, American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Member, Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association
  • Member, International Society for Autism Research
  • Founding Member, Sensory Integration Research Collaborative
  • Member, Society for Psychophysiological Research
  • Member, Alpha Eta Society

Awards & Honors

  • Thomas Jefferson University, Provost Award for Clinical Translational Research, 2022
  • A. Jean Ayres, Research Award, The American Occupational Therapy Foundation, 2008
  • Bridges to the Ivory Tower Research Award, Pediatric Therapy Network, 2007
  • Dean's Faculty Achievement Award, Thomas Jefferson University, 2005
  • Switzer Fellowship, National Institute on Disabilities and Rehabilitation Research, 2001-2002
  • Service Award, American Occupational Therapy Association Developmental Disabilities SIS 1993-1996, 1996-1999
  • Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, 1996
  • Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, Thomas Jefferson University, 1996
  • Fred and Sayde Abrams Award for Excellence in Clinical and Laboratory Instruction, 1993
  • Master Clinician Award of Excellence, Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association, 1990
  • Cordelia Myers Writer's Award, 1985
  • Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Temple University, 1981

Leadership Positions

Research & Clinical Interests

  • Intervention studies to evaluate the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Studying the neural mechanisms of sensory features in Autism including autonomic nervous system markers and the neural impacts of treatment of sensory features.
  • Building evidence to support optimal function and participation in persons with Autism and other neurodevelopmental and environmental conditions.
  • Promoting best practice in occupational therapy through data driven decision-making, intervention research, knowledge translation and implementation science.


Dr. Schaaf is a translational scientist bringing basic and applied science to clinical practice to improve lives of children and families with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. She is currently co-PI on a large NIH R01 comparative effectiveness trial examining the effectiveness of occupational therapy using Ayres Sensory Integration; an Eagles Autism Foundation Award to develop and test a new assessment of sensory functions; and study funded by the New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence to study occupational therapy intervention using Ayres Sensory Integration to young children. Dr. Schaaf has been involved in research for over 20 years, receiving over $3 Million of funding and serving as a grant reviewer on several panels. She is the author of four books, 75 publications in peer review journals and an international known speaker.