Zhen Chai

Image of Zhen Chai

Dr. Chai is shown in a hand drawn representation of herself by her 3 year old son

Assistant Professor
Special Education & Communication Disorders



Dr. Zhen Chai received her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 2012. Dr. Chai has taught young children with diverse abilities in China and in Georgia. She teaches Working with Young Children Birth to Eight and Assessment of Young Children at NMSU. Currently her research interest focus includes early childhood special education, early intervention, early literacy development, technology, and positive behavior support.  (Dr. Chai is shown in a hand drawn representation of herself by her 3 year old son.)

Research Interests

Early childhood special education, use technology to improve early academic skills, positive behavior supports, and teacher preparation.

Recent Publications

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Papacek, A., Chai, Z., & Green, K. B. (in press). Improving the play and social interactions of young children with autism spectrum disorder in inclusive preschool settings. Young Exceptional Children.

Chai, Z., Vail, C. O. & Ayres, K. M. (2014). Using an iPad Application to Promote Early Literacy Development in Young Children with Disabilities. Journal of Special Education. First published on February 3, 2014 as doi:10.1177/0022466913517554

Lieberman, R. G., Vail, C. O. & Chai, Z. (2013). Examining Response to Intervention Using a Framework of Best Practice from Early Childhood Special Education. Exceptionality, 21, 51-67. (highlighted as top article by Exceptionality).

Book Chapters

Squires, J., Twombly, E., Bricker, D., & Potter, L. (2013). ASQ-3 User’s Guide. (X. Bian, C-I., Chen, & Z. Chai, Trans.). Shanghai, China: Shanghai Scientific and Technical Publishers. (Original work published 2009).

Academic Background

Ph.D. The University of Georgia

M.Ed. Boston University

B.A. Shangdong University