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Kristie Patten

Professor of Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy


Kristie Patten, PhD, OT/L, FAOTA, is Vice Dean of Academic Affairs at NYU Steinhardt and  Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Patten’s research focuses on utilizing a strength-based paradigm, in partnership with stakeholders, to understand the impact of our biases and practices on quality of life and well being with a focus on interventions in inclusive settings. Dr. Patten has received over $20 million dollars in external funding for her research and programs.  Dr. Patten is the Principal Investigator of the NYU Steinhardt's ASD Nest Program, an inclusive program for children and adolescents with autism in the New York City Department of Education, the largest inclusion program in the country, grounded in strength based practices.  She is currently Co-PI of an NSF grant entitled, “Developing Abilities and Knowledge for Careers in Design and Engineering for Students on the Autism Spectrum by Scaling Up Making Experiences” which is an expansion of an earlier NSF grant entitled "IDEAS: Inventing, Designing and Engineering on the Autism Spectrum". These projects leverage strengths and interests of 5th through 12th grade students on the spectrum to develop social competence and potential career pathways. Dr. Patten has published and presented nationally and internationally on topics related to examining the efficacy of public school inclusion models and viewing autism from a strength-based or abilities-based model. She was  awarded the 2022 Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship, by the American Occupational Therapy Association, the highest academic award in the profession for her work entitled "Finding our Strengths: Recognizing our Professional Bias and Interrogating Systems".


Selected Publications

  • Murthi, K., Onwumere, D., Chen, Y.L., Shore, S.,  & Patten, K. (accepted). Strength-based practice to enhance mental health for autistic individuals: A scoping review. American Journal of Occupational Therapy.
  • Murthi, K. & Patten, K. (accepted). "Improving executive functions using the Engineering Design Process: A peer-mediated problem-solving approach for autistic adolescents. American Journal of Occupational Therapy.
  • Patten, K. (2022). The 2022 Eleanor Clark Slagle Lecture. Finding our strengths:  Recognizing professional bias and interrogating systems. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76(6). DOI:
  • Chen Y-L, Schneider M, Patten K. (2022). Exploring interpersonal and environmental factors of autistic adolescents’ peer engagement in integrated education. Autism. 26(5):1255-1266. doi:10.1177/13623613211046158
  • Chen, Y-L., Murthi, K., Martin, W., Vidiksis, R., Riccio, A., Patten, K. (2021) Experiences of students, teachers, and parents participating in an inclusive, school-based informal engineering education program.  Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Chen, Y.L., Martin, W., Vidiksis, R. & Patten, K. (2021). A different environment for success: A mixed-methods exploration of social participation outcomes among adolescents on the autism spectrum in an inclusive, interest-based school club. International Journal of Developmental Disabilities,                                       DOI:10.1080/20473869.2021.2001729
  • Chen, Y-L., Murthi, K., Martin, W., Vidiksis, R., Riccio, A., Patten, K. (2021)       Experiences of Students, Teachers, and Parents Participating in an Inclusive, School-Based Informal Engineering Education Program. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
  •  Chen Y-L, Senande LL, Thorsen M, Patten K. (2021). Peer preferences and characteristics of same-group and cross-group social interactions among autistic and non-autistic adolescents. Autism. 2021;25(7):1885-1900. doi:10.1177/13623613211005918
  • Chen, Y. L. and Patten, K. (2021). Shifting Focus from Impairments to Inclusion: Expanding Occupational Therapy for Neurodivergent Students to Address School Environments. American Journal of Occupational Therapy.
  • Onwumere, D.D., Cruz, Y.M., Lauren I. Harris, L.I.,  Malfucci, K.A.,  Seidman,   S., Boone, C., & Patten, K.  (2020) The Impact of an Independence Curriculum on Self-Determination and Function in Middle School Autistic Students.  Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, DOI: 10.1080/19411243.2020.1799904 
  • Martin, W., Vidikis, R., Wu, J. & Patten, K. (2020). Promoting science, technology, and engineering self-efficacy and knowledge for all with an autism inclusion maker program. Frontiers in Education.
  • Fang, C., Weinberg, S. & Patten, K. (2020) A comparison of the participation levels of Taiwanese children with autism spectrum disorders  in inclusive vs. specialised settings. International Journal of Inclusive Education. DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2020.1777332
  • Martin, W., Vidiksis, R., Patten Koenig, K., & Chen, Y. (2019). Making on and off the spectrum. Connected Science Learning, Issue 10.
  • Patten Koenig, K. & Hough Williams, L. (2017): Characterization and Utilization of Preferred Interests: A Survey of Adults on the Autism Spectrum, Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, DOI: 10.1080/0164212X.2016.1248877
  • Tomchek, S., Koenig, K. P., Arbesman, M., & Lieberman, D. (2017). Evidence Connection—Occupational therapy interventions for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71, 7101395010.
  • Tomchek, S., & Patten Koenig, K. (2016). Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association.


Occupational Therapy

NYU Steinhardt’s occupational therapy program educates both aspiring OTs and credentialed professionals looking to further develop their practices.

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Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention

Principles and methods of evaluation, goal development, and intervention in pediatric practice in occupational therapy. Factors that influence pediatric practice and selected frames of reference will be discussed. Assessment and intervention methods will be demonstrated, applied, and discussed in laboratory sessions.
Course #
OT-GE 2748
Occupational Therapy

Successful Intervention in Early Intervention and in Schools

Examine therapist’s perceptions that have an impact on therapy in the classroom and early intervention centers. Students will learn to identify strategies and methods that will assist in designing intervention plans that can be implemented in these settings. Research effective strategies for ensuring best practice in a wide variety of educational systems.
Course #
OT-GE 2335
Occupational Therapy