• Su Hyun Shin, Cheryl Wright & Susan Johnston (2021). Early life experiences moderate the relationship between genetic risk of autism and current and lifetime mental health. Frontiers in Psychiatry. Published, 11/30/2021. Published, 03/08/2021.
  • Handman, E., & Altizer, G., Wright , C. & Bayles, G (2020). Choreografish: An arts-based, virtual reality anxiety intervention for autism. Groundworks. Published, 11/01/2020.
  • Wright, C.A.& Diener, M. (2020). Advancing participatory oriented research models in research intensive universities. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement.. Published, 10/10/2020.
  • Diener, M. L., Wright, C.A., & Taylor, C., (2020). Dual perspectives into autism and employment: Toward a better “fit” in the workplace. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation.. Published, 10/01/2020.
  • Hyan Shin, S., & Soohyn, P., Wright, C., D’Astous, V. & Giyeon, K. (2020). The role of polygenic score and cognitive activity in cognitive functioning among older adults. The Gerontologist. Published, 09/01/2020.
  • Barhorst-Cates, E., & Stefanucci, J., Creem-Regehr, S. & Wright, C. (2020). Spatial reference frame but neither age nor gender predict performance on a water level task in 8-11-year-old children. Perception. Published, 07/01/2020.
  • Diener, M., & Diener, M., Wright, C. *Taylor, C., D’Astous V. & *Lasrich, L. (2020). Dual perspectives in autism spectrum disorders and employment: Toward a better fit in the workplace. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation. Published, 07/01/2020.
  • *Warren, N., & Eatchel, B., Kirby, A., Diener, M. Wright, C. & D’Astous, V. (2020). Parent identified strengths of autistic youth. Autism. Published, 05/01/2020.
  • Kirby, A., Diener, M. L., Adkins, D., Wright, C. A. (2020). Transition Preparation Activities among Families of Youth on the Autism Spectrum: Preliminary Study using Repeated Time Points Across a School Year. Plos One.. Published, 04/01/2020.
  • Kirby, A & Feldman, K. J. C., Himle, M. B., Diener, M. L., Wright, C. A., & Hoffman, J. M. (2020). Pilot test of the maximizing adolescent post-secondary success (MAPSS) intervention: Supporting parents of autistic youth. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. Published, 04/01/2020.
  • Wright, S.D., Wright, C.A, & D’Astous, V. (2016) Autism Aging, Geriatrics and Gerontology Education. Published, 10/03/2016.
  • Diener, M. L., Wright, C., & Brehl, B. (2016). Socioemotional Correlates of Creative Potential in Preschool Age Children: Thinking Beyond Student Academic Assessments. Creativity Research Journal, 128(4, 450-457. DOI:10.1080/10400419.2016.1229975. Published, 06/30/2016.
  • Diener, M., Wright, C., Dunn, L., Wright, D. S., Anderson, L. L., & Smith, K. N. (2016). A Creative 3D Design Programme: Building on Interests and Social Engagement for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 63, 181-200. Doi: 10.1080/1034912X.2015.1053436. Published, 06/01/2016.
  • Diener, M., Wright, C., Wright, S. & Anderson, L. Tapping into tech talent: Using technology to facilitate personal, social, and vocational skills in youth with ASD, in Teresa Cardon (Ed.), Technology and Treatment of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Springer Autism and Child Psychopathology Series, 2015.. Published, 12/01/2015.
  • Wright, C., Diener, M. & Kemp, J. Storytelling and story dramas. Contemporary Early Childhood Education (Sage),2015.. Published, 12/01/2015.
  • Diener, M. L., Anderson, L. L., Wright, C. A., & Dunn, L. (2015). Sibling relationships in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the context of everyday life and a strength-based program. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(4), 1060-1072. DOI: 10.1007/s10826-014-9915-6. Published, 03/17/2015.
  • Dunn, L., Diener, M., Wright, C., & Wright, D. S. (2015). The Social Ecology of Vocational Readiness in an Extracurricular Technology Program for Students with Autism. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, & Rehabilitation, 52(2) 457-468. Doi: 10.3233/WOR-152160.. Published, 03/09/2015.
  • Diener, M. L., Wright, C., Wright, D.S., & Linnell, L. (2015). Tapping into Tech Talent: Using Technology to Facilitate Personal, Social, and Vocational Skills in Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In T. Cardon (Ed.), Technology and Treatment of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Series Title: Autism and Child Psychopathology Series. Springer. Published, 02/02/2015.
  • Diener, M L., Wright, C.A., Smith, K.N., & Wright, S D. (2014). An Assessment of Visual-Spatial Creativity in Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Creativity Research Journal, 26, 328-337. Doi:10.1080/10400419.2014.929421. Published, 03/24/2014.
  • Wright, C.A., Wright, S.D., Diener, M L., & Eaton, J. (2014). Autism spectrum disorder and the applied collaborative approach: A review of community based participatory research and participatory action research. Journal of Autism. doi: 10.7243/2054-992X-1-1. Published, 03/07/2014.
  • D’Astous, V. A., Wright, S.D., Wright, C.A., & Diener, M.L. (2013). Grandparents of Grandchildren with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Influences of Engagement. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 11 (2), 134-147. DOI: 10.1080/15350770.2013.782744. Published, 03/04/2013.
  • Adams, B., Wright, C. Diener, M.L., Wright, S. (2013). The theory of collective memory and the 1953 Short Creek Arizona Polygamous Raid. Journal of Family History, 38, 443-465. Doi: 10.1177/0363/19913506988. Published, 02/12/2013.
  • Play Creativity and Social Development. Contemporary Perspectives on Research in Creativity in Early Childhood Education, Chapter 13, pp. 271-291, 2012. Published, 10/10/2012.
  • Wright, C., Diener, M. L., & Kemp, J. L. (2012). Storytelling dramas as a community building activity in an early childhood classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal. DOI: 0.1007/s10643-012-0544-7. Published, 03/20/2012.
  • Wright, S.D., D'Astous, V., Wright, C.A., & Diener, M.L. (2012). Grandparents of grandchildren with autism spectrum disorders: Strengthening relationships through technology activities. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 75(2), 169-184. Published, 03/12/2012.
  • Wright, C.A, Diener, M.L., Dunn, L., Wright, S.D. (2011). SketchUp: A Technology Tool to Facilitate Intergenerational Family Relationships for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Family & Consumer Sciences, 40(2), 135–149 DOI: 10.1111/j.1552-3934.2011.02100.x. Published, 03/15/2011.
  • Bacigalupa, C. & Wright, C. (2009) Aggression in children’s stories, Early Childhood Research and Practice. Published, 03/16/2009.
  • Wright, C. & Bacigalupa, C., Black, T., & Burton, M. Windows into children’s thinking. Early Childhood Education Journal, 35, 363-369, (2008). Published, 12/2008.
  • Wright, C. Funding dilemmas: Toward a sustainable and creative financing in child development laboratory programs. Advances in Early Education and Day Care, 12, 165-180, 2005. Published, 2005.
  • Diener, M., Casady, A. & Wright, C. Attachment security among mothers and their children living in poverty. Merrill Palmer Quarterly, 40 (2), 154- 182, 2003. Published, 04/2003.
  • Diener, M., Wright, C., Julian, J. & Byington, C. A pediatric Literacy program for low socioeconomic, culturally diverse families. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 18 (2), 148-158, 2003. Published, 01/2003.
  • Wright, C., George, T., Burke, R., Gelfand, D. & Teti, D. Early maternal depression and children’s adjustment to school. Child Study Journal, 30(3), 153-168, 2001. Published, 01/2001.
  • Cole, W., Diener, M., Wright, C., & Gaynard, L. Health care professionals’perceptions of child life specialists. Children’s Health Care, 30 (1) 1-15, 2001. Published, 01/2001.
  • Wright, C.,Diener, M., & Kay, S. School readiness of low-income children at risk of school failure. Children and Poverty, 6, 2, 99-117,2000. Published, 01/2000.
  • Wright, C. Learn from me: When schools fail to meet the needs of intellectually gifted boys. Perspectives on Early Childhood Gifted Education, 94-106, 1999. Published, 1999.
  • Wright, C. Creativity, Encyclopedia of Human Emotions, edited by David Levinson, James Ponzetti and Peter Jorgenson. Macmillan Publishing Co: NY, 1998. Published, 1998.
  • Wright, C. Child Advocacy. Focus: Journal of the West Virginia Association for Young Children, 16,6-7, 1997. Published, 1997.
  • McLeod, N. & Wright, C. Developmentally appropriate criteria for evaluating sexual abuse prevention programs. Early Childhood Education Journal,24(2), 71-75, l996. Published, 1996.
  • Wright, C. Setting the foundation for later learning; The importance of the early years (Chapter 1). In Education towards the Year 2000, M. Shaunessy (Ed.), Eastern New Mexico University Press, l994. Published, 1994.
  • Wright. C, & Fesler, L. Nurturing creative potential: A model early childhood program (Chapter 18) In Taylor, C. (Ed.), Expanding Awareness of Creative Potentials Worldwide, Trillium Press, NY., 1991. Published, 1991.
  • Driscoll, L. & Wright, C. Survivors of childhood ritual abuse: Multi-generational satanic cult involvement. Treating Abuse Today, l991. Published, 1991.
  • Wright. C, & Fesler, L. Nurturing creative potential: A model early childhood program (Chapter 18) In Taylor, C. (Ed.), Expanding Awareness of Creative Potentials Worldwide, Trillium Press, NY., 1991. Published, 1991.
  • Wright, C. Home school research: Critique and suggestions for the future. Education and Urban Society, 21(1), 96-113, 1990. Published, 1990.
  • Doxey, C. & Wright C. An exploratory study of children's musical ability. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 5, 425-440, 1990. Published, 1990.
  • Brown, L., Wright, C., & Briggs-Cook, L. Promoting reading through a literacy rich classroom environment. Contemporary Issues in Reading, 4(2), 69-78, l989. Published, 1989.
  • Gaynard, L.,& Wright, C. Creative interactional approaches with children in health care settings. Creative Child & Adult Quarterly, 14(4), 170-180, 1989. Published, 1989.
  • Pittman, J., Wright, C. & Lloyd, S. Predicting parenting difficulty. Journal of Family Issues, 10(2), 267-286, l988. Published, 1988.
  • Wright, C., & Wright, S. A conceptual framework for examining the family's influence on creativity. Family Perspective, 20, 127-136, l987. Published, 12/01/1987.
  • Wright, C., & Wright, S. The role of mentors in the career development of young professionals. Family Relations, 36, 204-208, l987. Published, 12/1987.
  • Pratt, C., Wilson, B., & Wright, C. The effects of a preschool health education program upon children's health, knowledge and reactions to health examinations. Health Education, 18, 12-15, l987. Published, 1987.
  • Pratt, C., Hare, J., & Wright, C. Death and dying in early childhood education: Are educators prepared? Education, 107, 279-286,1987. Published, 1987.
  • Wright, C. & Fesler, L. Nurturing creative potential: A model early childhood program. The Creative Child & Adult Quarterly, 12(3), 152-161, l987. Published, 1987.
  • Wright, C. Nurturing creative potential: The school-home interface. The Creative Child and Adult Quarterly, 12(1), 31-38, 1987. Published, 1987.
  • Pratt, C., Hare, J., & Wright, C. Death anxiety and comfort in teaching about death among preschool teachers. Death Studies, 9, 417-425, 1985. Published, 1985.
  • Thompson, R., Gates, C.,& Gross (Wright), C. Thalamic regions critical for the retention of skilled movements in the rat. Physiological Psychology, 7, 7-21, l979. Published, 1979.

Research Statement

Cheryl Wright's current research centers on a community-based participatory research (CBPR) focused on students with autism and their families. She is the co-founder of NeuroVersity - a technology based educational program for students with autism and related disorders. The program leverages 3D design software to enhance the social, personal and vocational skills of participating students. The program is strength-based (visual-spatial skills) and interest focused. The NeuroVersity research team has published 10 papers (since 2011) focusing on the student, parent, sibling and grandparent involvement in the program. The long-range goal of the program is employment since individuals with autism have some of the highest rates on unemployment, underemployment and mal-employment. The program that started in Salt Lake City has been replicated in 4 states and South Africa.



Research Keywords

  • Early Childhood or Pre-School Education; Early Childhood Teacher Preparation;
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders and technology


  • Kirby, A. V., Cottle, K. J., Himle, M. B., Diener, M., & Wright, C. (May 2019). Pilot test of an intervention for parents of youth with ASD focused on life skills and preparing for adulthood. Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Autism Research. Montreal, Canada: May, 2019. Conference Paper, Presented, 05/08/2020.
  • Warren, N., Eatchel, B., Kirby, A., Diener, M., Wright, C., & D’Astous, V. (2019, May). Using parent-identified strengths of adolescents with autism to inform strengths-based transition interventions. Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Autism Research. Montreal, Canada. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 05/09/2019.
  • Warren, N., Eatchel, B., Kirby, A., Diener, M., Wright, C., & D’Astous, V. (2019, May). Using parent-identified strengths of adolescents with autism to inform strengths-based transition interventions. Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the International Society for Autism Research. Montreal, Canada. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 05/09/2019.
  • Wright, S., & Wright, C. Autism Aging, International Association for Gerontology and Geriatrics, 2017. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 07/05/2017.
  • Hacking Autism, Colorado. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 02/29/2016.
  • Critical Issues Facing Children and Adolescents, Neuropsych Institute, 2015 . Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/15/2015.
  • Wright, C., Wright, S., & Diener, M., Tapping into Tech Talent, Autism Society National Conference, 2015. Conference Paper, Presented, 07/08/2015.
  • Wright, C., Wright, S., & Diener, M., NeuroVersity, International Meeting for Autism Research, 2015 . Poster, Presented, 05/07/2015.
  • NeuroVersity, Social Investing, Disabilities Conference, 2015. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/15/2015.
  • Tapping into Tech Talent: Using SketchUp to Enhance Technology Skills in Students with ASD Trimble Coorporation, Boulder, CO. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 11/01/2013.
  • Grandparents of grandchildren with ASD. Strengthening Relationships through Technology. Presented at the Gerontological Society of America, San Diego. Poster, Presented, 11/05/2012.
  • iSTAR Research Activity Updates, Google, Boulder Colorado. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/06/2012.
  • An unexpected Journey into the lives of families and children with Asperger Syndrome:Using technology to facilitate social engagement. Paper presented at the 10th annual Society for Study of Occupation: USA conference, Park City, Utah. Presentation, Presented, 10/2012.
  • Building Inter-generational Family Relationships for Children with ASD through Technology Activities. International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, Nova Scotia. Conference Paper, Presented, 07/12/2012.
  • iStar - Using Technology with Students with ASD. Presented to the Autism Council of Utah. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 04/06/2012.
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children. Using technology to facilitate prosocial and creative skills in children on the autism spectrum. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 11/02/2011.
  • "Technology and Intergenerational Relationships Among Children with Autism". Poster presentation at the National Conference on Family Relations (NCFR), Orlando, FL. Poster, Presented, 11/2011.
  • Google Tech Talk: SketchUp - a technology tool to facilitate intergenerational relationships and social, creative and job skills in children on the autism spectrum. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/2011.
  • "New Demography meets new Technology: Grandparents and their Grandchildren with Autism Spectrum Disorder" Utah Aging Alliance Meeting and Conference. Presentation, Presented, 08/2011.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders: Intergenerational Issues. Poster presented at Utah Valley University 2011 Mental Health Symposium: Focus on Autism.Orem, Utah. Poster, Presented, 04/2011.

Research Groups

  • iSTAR, Research Professor. Family and Consumer Studies. 02/10/2009 - present.
  • SketchUp, Faculty Intern. FCS. 02/18/2010 - present. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: Inter-interdisciplinary Grant.

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • SketchUp. PI: Cheryl Wright. Co-PI(s): Diener, Dunn and Wright. University of Utah Interdisciplinary Grant, 01/12/2010 - 12/30/2011. Total project budget to date: $12,000.00

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • South Africa
    Worked with the Verna School for Autistic Learners.