Grace Fantaroni, Ed.D.

Associate Professor of Education
MA Special Education Program Lead, Mission Valley

Dr. Grace Fantaroni loves her new career as an associate professor in special education at PLNU. Prior to this, she had many years of experience, first as a special day class teacher and then as an autism and behavior educational specialist for the San Diego Unified School District, consulting with various K-12 school teams on students with challenging academic and behavioral needs. Her focus is on supporting parents and families, especially diverse populations, understand and access support for autism spectrum disorders and other special needs. Serving on the Board of Directors of the Autism Society San Diego, she helps run the monthly Parent Support Group, "Through the Lifespan," in conjunction with the San Diego Unified School District. Fantaroni is featured in the documentary, "Bass Clef Bliss: Terrence's Path," the story of her former student with ASD who developed an amazing musical talent. She is so blessed to continue to serve schools, families, and students in special education.


  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Alliant International University
  • M.A., Teaching and Special Education, National University
  • B.S., Education, Elementary and Special Education, University of Delaware

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Trainer of Trainers, California Autism Professional Training and Information Network (CAPTAIN),  2013 – present
  • Board Member, Autism Society San Diego, 2013 – present  (assist in monthly Parent Support Group meetings) 

Awards and Honors

  • Volunteer of the Year April 2009 County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Child Welfare Services
  • Teacher of the Month, November 2003, "Teachers are Heroes" presented by Azusa Pacific University

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • Presenter, "Evidenced Based Practices in Autism Spectrum Disorders" CAPTAIN Conference, San Diego 
  • Featured in Documentary "Bass Clef Bliss: Terrence's Path" featuring a young man with ASD 
  • Presenter, Summer Institute Autism Spectrum Disorder, California State University San Marcos
  • Presenter, Autism Forum in conjunction with Somali Family Services, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency and CDC
  • Participant Working Group Panel Autism Society National Conference, 2013
  • Presenter, "Evidence Based Practices for Parents,"  Fiesta Educativa Conference, San Diego, 2014
  • Dissertation, "Ethnicity, Families and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Exploring the Differences"