Dr. Silva has had over 35 years of experience working with students with special needs in the roles of special education teacher, grant coordinator, university instructor, principal, and administrator. During her tenure as the special education administrator for the Riverside County Office of Education, she developed the Reach Autism Program, providing evidence-based interventions in classroom and in-home settings. In addition, Dr. Silva has developed and implemented specialized professional development programs providing intensive training for teachers, staff, and parents in Riverside County, throughout California, and across the U.S.
Dr. Silva graduated with a B.S. from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and completed her M.A. in 1988 from California State University, San Bernardino. She earned a Ph.D. in 2008 at the University of California, Riverside in the area of special education.
Over the last 25 years, Dr. Silva has presented on topics related to special education at local, state, national and international conferences. She has also written numerous grants, articles, manuals and curricula in the area of autism, assessment, self-determination, and transition. Recent publications include:
• The Transitions Curriculum (2017), 4th Ed., James Stanfield, Santa Barbara, CA
• The SANDI-FAST Online Assessment (2017), Lakeshore Learning, Carson, CA
In addition, Dr. Silva has chaired and served on a number of local and state level organizations, committees and workgroups related to autism, assessment, intellectual disabilities and transition from school-to-career. Most notable is her 2-year tenure as Co-Chair of the California Senate Select Committee on Autism, Inland Empire. She currently serves as Board Vice-Chair for the Autism Assessment Center, Inland Empire.
Awards and Honors for Dr. Silva include: 2015 Award, Community Advisory Committee Riverside County SELPA; 2011 Administrator of the Year, Riverside County Office of Education; 2010 Special Education Administrator of the Year, Region XIX Association of California School Administrators; 2009 Outstanding Professional Award, EXCEED Adult Services, Perris, California; 2007 Secondary Principal of the Year, Western Riverside County Association of School Managers.