Educational psychologist Erin Rotheram-Fuller is an associate professor of special education at Arizona State University who has worked with individuals with autism for over 13 years. Before participating in a panel on how to teach children with autism, she talked about both her son—who was born in 2011—and the Phoenix sun, which she is relishing, in the Zócalo green room.
If you didn’t live in Phoenix, where would you be?
I just moved to Phoenix. I would probably be back in Los Angeles; that’s where I’m from.
What’s your favorite thing about Phoenix so far?
The sun. It is always sunny here. I was in Philadelphia for the last six years, so waking up every day to sun has been a wonderful change.
What’s been the most important year of your life so far?
2011. I had my son.
Whom do you go to for advice?
What’s your fondest childhood memory?
Christmas morning. My family always made it a big deal.
If you could live in any time period, which would you choose?
The future. Things keep getting better, and I imagine it would be even better in the future.
What’s your favorite condiment?
What’s the fastest way to bore you to sleep—or tears?
Reading really long dissertations.
What reality TV show would you be on?
What was the last thing that inspired you?
I think again I go back to my son. He’s probably the most inspiration to me on a regular basis, to think about where he’s going to be in five to 10 years, and what needs to change in education especially when he goes through.