Paul Luelmo

Paul Luelmo, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Special Education

San Diego

Mail Code


Paul Luelmo, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education in the area of Mild/Moderate disabilities at San Diego State University. His research focuses on addressing inequities in special education by working with families, teachers, and under-resourced racial and ethnic minority communities. His current research projects include a parent-to-parent advocacy intervention employing community-partnered participatory research to address autism service disparities in the Individualized Education Program (IEP). Additionally, he is working on improving special education paraprofessional training and he is currently employing improvement science methods to develop and refine a culturally responsive teacher candidate observation and feedback protocol. Dr. Luelmo is the Equity Implementation Research and Practice Coordinator for the San Diego LEND program. 


  • Ph.D. in Special Education, 2018
    University of California, Los Angeles & California State University, Los Angeles
  • M.A. in Special Education, 2013 
    California State University, Los Angeles
  • B.A. in Political Economy of Industrial Societies, 2006
    University of California, Berkeley


  • 2021 Luelmo, P., Kasari, C., Fiesta Educativa Inc., Randomized Pilot Study of a Special Education Advocacy Program for Latinx Parents of Children with Autism" in Autism: International Journal of Research and Practice, April 16, 2021.
  • Luelmo, P. & Bindreiff, D. (2021) The disproportionality of Latinx students in special education: The growing need to build relationships. Leadership Magazine: Association of California School Administrators, February 2021.
  • 2020   Luelmo, P., Kasari, C, Sandoval, Y., Undocumented Mexican Mothers of Children with Autism (ASD) and Barriers to ASD Services: Submitted to International Journal of Developmental Disabilities, Published 11.26.20
  • 2020, Iadarola., S., Pellecchia, M., Stahmer, A., Lee, H.S., Hauptman, L., McGhee Hassrick, E. Crabbe ,S., Vejnoska, S., Morgan, E., Nuske, H, Luelmo, P., Friedman, C., Gulsrud, A., Mandell, D., Smith, T., Kasari, C. Mind the Gap: An Intervention to Support Caregivers with a New Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis is Feasible and Acceptable. Submitted to Journal of Pilot and Feasibility Studies, August 2020. 
    Contributions: Collaborated on study design, and writing part of the methods section 
  • Stahmer, A.C., Vejnoska, S., Iadarola, S., Straiton, D., Segovia, F., Luelmo, P., Morgan, E.H., Lee, H.S., Javid, A., Bronstein, B., Hochheimer, S., Cho, E., Aranbarri, A., Mandell, D., McGhee Hassrick, E., Smith, T., & Kasari, C. Caregiver voices: Cross cultural input on improving access to autism services.  Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. February 2019.
  • Weinberg, L., Luelmo, P., Cho, J., Thornton, B., Rinehart, L. Multiple Perspectives on How a Change in the Law Affected the Provision of Mental Health Related Services in California. International Journal of Special Education.