Dr. Amber Friesen

Amber Friesen

( She/Her/Hers )
Associate Professor
Special Education (SPED)
Phone: (415) 338-7654
Email: afriesen@sfsu.edu

Dr. Amber Friesen is an assistant professor is early childhood special education in the Department of Special Education and Communicative Disorders. Her primary teaching responsibilities include courses in family systems and services, and early intervention. Dr. Friesen’s primary research interests focus on supporting young children at-risk or diagnosed with disabilities and their families. Specifically she is interested in promoting inclusive early childhood settings and strong family partnerships.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Indiana University, 2011
  • M.Ed. Indiana University, 2008
  • B.Ed/B.A. University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, 2003

Recent Publications

  • Friesen, A., Stewart-Henry, K., & Webb, D. (accepted). Supporting powerful interactions within families that promote early language and literacy development. Advances in Early Education and Day Care.
  • Friesen, A., &, Hsia, S. (accepted). Early intervention. In E.L. Meyen & Y.N. Bui, Exceptional children in today’s schools. What teachers need to know (6th ed.).
  • Mihai, A., Butera, G., & Friesen. A. (accepted). Examining the use of curriculum to support early literacy instruction: A multiple case study of Head Start teachers. Early Education and Development.
  • Horn, E., Kang, J., Classen, A., Butera, G. , Palmer, S., Lieber, J., Friesen, A., & Mihai, A. (2016). Role of universal design for learning and differentiation in inclusive preschools. In L Meyers & T. Catalino (Eds).  DEC recommended practices: Environment practices (DEC Recommended Practices Monograph Series No. 2)(pp. 51-66). Los Angeles, CA: Author.
  • Vaiouli, P., & Friesen, A. (2016). The magic of music: Using songs to engage young children with ASD in early literacy activities. Childhood Education, 92(2), 126-133.
  • Butera, G., Friesen, A., Horn, E., Palmer, S., Vaiouli, P. (2016). Adults working and playing well together. In E. Horn, S. Palmer, G. Butera, & J. Lieber (Eds.), Children’s School Success: A framework for inclusive early education (pp. 183-198). Baltimore, MD: Paul. H. Brookes Publishing Co.
  • Lieber, J., Friesen, A., Mihai, A., & Vaiouli, P. (2016). Foundations of challenging curriculum content. In E. Horn, S. Palmer, G. Butera, & J. Lieber (Eds.), Children’s School Success: A framework for inclusive early education (pp. 23-50). Baltimore, MD: Paul. H. Brookes Publishing Co.
  • Butera, G., Friesen, A., Mihai, A., & Vaiouli, P. (2016). Connecting with families to support children’s school success. In E. Horn, S. Palmer, G. Butera, & J. Lieber (Eds.), Children’s School Success: A framework for inclusive early education (pp. 199-214). Baltimore, MD: Paul. H. Brookes Publishing Co.
  • Palmer, S., Butera, G., Friesen, A., & Clay, J. (2016). Components of progress monitoring. In E. Horn, S. Palmer, G. Butera, & J. Lieber (Eds.), Children’s School Success: A framework for inclusive early education (pp. 111-135). Baltimore, MD: Paul. H. Brookes Publishing Co.
  • Butera, G., Horn, E., Palmer, S., Friesen, A., & Lieber, J. (2016). Understanding science technology engineering arts and mathematics (STEAM) within early childhood special education. In B. Reichow, B.A. Boyd, E. E. Barton, & S. Odon. (Eds.). Handbook of early childhood special education (pp. 143-162)New York, NY: Springer.
  • Friesen, A., Hanson, M., & Martin, K. (2015). In the eye of the beholder: Cultural Considerations in interpreting children’s behaviors. Young Exceptional Children, 18(4), 19-30.
  • Mihai, A., Friesen, A., Butera, G., Horn, E., Palmer, S., & Lieber, J. (2015). Teaching phonological awareness to all children through storybook reading. Young Exceptional Children, 18(4), 3-18.
  • Friesen, A. & Butera, G. (2015). Examining early literacy beliefs and practices within a Head Start program” Building bridges. NHSA Dialog, 18(1), 43-60.
  • Friesen, A. & Butera, G. (2015). Building meaningful partnerships with families to promote early literacy development: Implications for practitioners. NHSA Dialog, 18(1), 101-105.
  • Friesen, A., Butera, G., Kang, J., Horn, E., Lieber, J., & Palmer, S. (2014). Collaboration in preschool to promote early literacy for children: Lessons learned from the CSS curriculum. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 24(2), 149-164.
  • Weiss, S., & Friesen, A. (2014). Capitalizing on curriculum-based measurements for readings: Collaboration within a response to intervention/instruction framework. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 24(2), 96-109.
  • Butera, G., Friesen, A., Palmer, S., Lieber, J., Horn, E., Hanson, M., & Czaja, C. (2014). I can figure this out!: Integrating math problem solving and critical thinking in early education curriculum. Young Children, 69 (3), 70-77.
  • Butera, G., Friesen, A., & Stone-McDonald, A. (2013). What you can accomplish in a year: Head Start teachers’ instructional decision-making. Head Start Dialog. 16(4), 11-29.
  • Butera, G. Friesen, A., & Stone-McDonald, A. (2013). Helping Head Start teachers support children’s school readiness: Lessons learned. Head Start Dialog, 16(4), 94-98.
  • Friesen, A., & Butera, G. (2012). “You introduce all of the alphabet but I do not think it should be the main focus”: Exploring early educators’ decision about reading instruction. Early Childhood Education Journal, 20, 361-368.

Recent Grants/ Awards

Principal Investigator (2014-2018)

Careers and Inclusive Resources related to Children’s Learning in the

Early Years (CIRCLE). U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special

Education Programs

Awardee (2016/17, 2015/16)

San Francisco State University Instructionally Related Activities (IRA).

Early Childhood Special Education Conference

Awardee (2016)

Course Development for Undergraduate Degree

PATH program, Child and Adolescent Department

Awardee (2016)

Graduate College of Education Travel Award to explore Student Summer - Program in Cape Town, South Africa.

Principal Investigator (2013/14)

Investigating a Family Workshop Series’ Contributions to Children’s

School Readiness and Family Involvement Within Jumpstart. Jumpstart

Coordinator of Field Research/ Adjunct Researcher (2010/14)

Children’s School Success Plus (CSS+). Institute of Education Sciences.

Principal Investigator: Eva Horn, Co-Directors: Susan Palmer, Joan Lieber,

and Gretchen Butera