Sally J. Rogers, Ph.D.


Clinical Psychology


Neurodevelopmental Disorders



  • Professor


To see if Sally J. Rogers is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).

UC Davis MIND Institute

2825 50th St.
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

Phone: 916-703-0264
Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)





Philosophy of Care

I specialize in working with parents of young children (3 and under) who have autism spectrum disorder and in working with parents with infants who are having difficulty with social interactions. I believe that parents and caregivers are the most important sources of learning and change for all young children, including those with ASD.  

I also believe that a young child's daily routines with his or her caregivers are the most important learning environments and opportunities available. Working with young parents and other caregivers  to support a young child's development of language, play, social communication, and happy participation in family life as part of everyday caregiving is very rewarding work for me because of the effects of daily interactions in everyday situations to support development and change. 

Clinical Interests

Dr. Rogers' clinical interests include infants presenting with risk features of autism spectrum disorders; assisting parents with their young children with ASD; consultation with families or therapists when young children with ASD are not responding well to treatment; and difficult to treat children. 

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Rogers specializes in conducting research into autism and other developmental disorders, and treating patients who have developmental disabilities, especially young children with autism.

She studies early developmental processes, including imitation, social-communicative behavior, development of motor skills, language and social interaction patterns. She collaborates on studies of autism in infant siblings, and is also involved in developing treatments and examining treatment efficacy in autism using a treatment model that she developed in collaboration with Geraldine Dawson, the Early Start Denver Model. 

Her clinical interests include evaluation of cognitive, behavioral, social, emotional, and adaptive functioning; early intervention for children with autism; developing treatment and educational interventions for persons with autism of all ages; and social skills groups for adults with autism.

Dr. Rogers has written extensively in her field, is an associate editor for Autism Research and serves on the editorial board of many publications, such as the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education and Infants and Young Children.




Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis MIND Institute


Ph.D., Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus OH 1975

B.A., Ashland College, Ashland OH 1969

Internship: Orient State Institute, Orient OH 1973

Professional Memberships

American Association on Intellectual Disabilities

American Psychological Association

Autism Society of America

International Society for Autism Research

Society for Research in Child Development

Honors and Awards

Jacobson Award, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Division 33, American Psychological Association, 2013

Honoree at �Breaking the Glass Ceiling Awards,� The California Legislative Women�s Caucus, 2013

American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award for Consumer Health for �An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn�, 2012

Autism Speaks Top 10 Science Autism Research Advances of 2012; �Early Intervention Program Alters Brain Activity In Children with Autism: Clinical study of Early Start Denver model intervention shows that it improves not only social skills, but also brain responses to social cues�, 2012

Time Magazine Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs �Hope for Reversing Autism � ESDM Therapy�, 2012

Fellow, American Psychological Association, 2011

Dean's Excellence Award, UC Davis, 2010

Fulbright Senior Specialist, LaTrobe University, Melbourne, 2010

Research Award, UC Davis School of Medicine, 2008

Select Recent Publications

Estes, A., Munson, J., Rogers, S.J., Greenson, J., Winter, J., & Dawson, G. Long-term outcomes of early intervention in 6-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder.  J of Autism and Developmental Disabilities. 2015;54(7), 580-587.

Rogers, S.J., Vismara, L., Wagner, A.L., McCormick, C., Young, G., & Ozonoff, S. Autism treatment in the first year of life: A pilot study of Infant Start, a parent-implemented intervention for symptomatic infants. J of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2014.

Estes, A., Vismara, L., Mercado, C., Fitzpatrick, A., Elder, L., Greenson, J., Lord, C., Munson, J., Winter, J., Young, G., Dawson, G., & Rogers, S.J. The impact of parent-delivered intervention on parents of very young children with autism. J of Autism and Developmental Disorders. 2014;44(2), 353-365. 

Dawson, G., Jones, E.J.H., Merkle, K., Venema, K., Lowy, R., Faja, S., Kamara, D., Murias, M., Greenson, J., Winter, J., Smith, M., Rogers, S.J., & Webb, S.J. Early behavioral intervention is associated with normalized brain activity in young children with autism. J of the Am Acad of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2012;51(11), 1150-1159.

Rogers, S.J., Estes, A., Lord, C., Vismara, L., Winter, J., Fitzpatrick, A., Guo, M., & Dawson, G. Effects of a brief early start denver model (ESDM)-based parent intervention on toddlers at risk for autism spectrum disorders: A randomized controlled trial. J of the Am Acad of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2012;51(10), 1052-1065.

Dawson, G., Rogers, S., Munson, J., Smith, M., Jamie, W., Greenson, J., et al. Randomized controlled trial of the Early Start Denver Model: A developmental behavioral intervention for toddlers with autism: Effects on IQ, adaptive behavior, and autism diagnosis. Pediatrics. 2010. doi/10.1542/peds.2009-0958.

Vismara, L.A., Colombi, C., & Rogers, S.J. Can 1 hour per week of therapy lead to lasting changes in young children with autism? Autism: an International Journal. 2009;.13(1), 93-115.

Vismara, L., & Rogers, S.J. The Early Start Denver Model: A case study of an innovative practice. J of Early Intervention. 2008;31(1), 91–108.

Rogers, S.J. & Vismara, L. Evidence-based comprehensive treatments for early autism. J of Clin Child and Adolescent Psychology. 2008;37(1), 8–38.

Nadig, A., Ozonoff, S., Young, G.S., Rozga, A., Sigman, M., & Rogers, S.J. A prospective study of response-to-name in infants at risk for autism. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 2007;161,378-383.