Charlotte DiStefano, Ph.D.

Dr. Charlotte DiStefano is a clinical psychologist with expertise in minimally verbal children with ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders. She is a Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences.

After receiving a B.S. in Special Education from New York University and an Ed.M. in Mind Brain and Education from Harvard University, Dr. Charlotte Distefano received her Ph.D. in Psychological Studies in Education from UCLA. She completed her postdoctoral training at the UCLA Center for Autism Research and under the mentorships of Drs. Connie Kasari and Shafali Jeste. Before earning her Ph.D., Dr. DiStefano worked as a special education teacher with children with ASD, in both New York City and Los Angeles.
Clinically, Dr. DiStefano sees patients in the Child and Adult Neurodevelopmental Clinic, and the Developmental Neurogenetics Clinic. She provides assessment and evaluation of children with ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as treatment consultations regarding language and communication development.

Dr. DiStefano’s primary research interests are language development and minimally verbal children with ASD. She was awarded a Meixner Postoctoral Fellowship in Translational Research from Autism Speaks to identify EEG biomarkers related to language and literacy abilities in minimally verbal children with ASD, with the eventual goal of informing treatment decisions. Currently, serves as the UCLA site clinical coordinator for a multisite National Institutes of Health Autism Biomarkers Consortium for Clinical Trials research study.