Toni Van Laarhoven, Ed.D.
Professor, Special Education


Special and Early Education (SEED)


  • Ed.D., Northern Illinois University, Special Education
    (developmental disabilities and applied behavior analysis) 
  • M.S.Ed., Northern Illinois University, Special Education
    (developmental disabilities and applied behavior analysis)
  • B.S.Ed., Illinois State University, Special Education
    (developmental disabilities and adapted physical education)


Toni Van Laarhoven is a Professor in the Department of Special and Early Education at Northern Illinois University. She teaches courses in the areas of developmental disabilities and autism, assistive technology, and applied behavior analysis. She was a Co-Director of a technology-based, self-advocacy grant funded by the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities (Project MY VOICE) and has been responsible for the preparation and development of the LBS Assistive Technology lab in the College of Education. She has worked in the field professionally for over thirty years and grew up with an older sister with significant disabilities. She enjoys working in the field and has conducted and published several research studies on the effectiveness of using video-based instruction for promoting independence among individuals with ASD and/or developmental disabilities. Her research interests include: video-based instruction, use of mobile devices (e.g., iPods/iPads) as prompting systems, employment for individuals with disabilities, transition planning using technology, assistive technology, functional behavioral assessment, and technology integration in teacher education. She is an editorial review board member for Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Special Education Technology, and Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She was a former rocker in a band and is also mom to two beautiful girls, a huge dog, and a spunky dog-like cat.

Research Interests:

  • Video-based instruction
  • Use of mobile devices as prompting systems
  • Employment for individuals with disabilities
  • Transition planning using technology
  • Assistive technology
  • Functional behavior assessment
  • Technology integration in teacher education


  • SESE 461: Assistive Technology for Individuals with Autism and Multiple Disabilities
  • SESE 462: Self-Determination and Transition Planning Using Technology
  • SESE 604: Assistive Technology and Methods for Teaching Individuals with Autism and Developmental Disabilities
  • SESE 709: Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis and Research-Based Interventions for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • SESE 792: Single-Case Research Methodologies and Research-based Practices in Special Education 

Recent Publications:

Van Laarhoven, T., Bonneau, W., Hunt, D., Burgin, X., Blood, E., & Johnson, J. W. (in press). Effectiveness of using video modeling booster sessions to maintain vocational skills. DADD Online Journal.
Van Laarhoven-Myers, T., Van Laarhoven, T., Smith, T. J., Johnson, H. L., Olson, J. S. (in press). Promoting self-determination and transition planning using technology: Student and parent perspectives. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals.
Van Laarhoven, T., Kos, D., Weichle, K., Johnson, J. W., Burgin, X. (2014). Comparison of video modeling and video feedback to increase employment-related social skills of learners with developmental disabilities. DADD Online Journal, 1, 1, 69-90.
Chan, J. M., Lambdin, L., Van Laarhoven, T., & Johnson, J. W. (2013). Teaching leisure skills to an adult with developmental disabilities using a video prompting intervention package. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 48, 3, 412-420.
Van Laarhoven, T., Munk, D. D., Chandler, L. K., Zurita, L. M., & Lynch, K. (2012). Integrating assistive technology into teacher education programs: Trials, tribulations, and lessons learned. Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, 8, 1, 32-47.
Van Laarhoven, T., Winiarski, L., Blood, E. M., & Chan, J. M. (2012). Maintaining vocational skills of individuals with autism and developmental disabilities through video modeling. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 47, 4, 447-461.
Van Laarhoven, T., & Conderman, G. J. (2011). Integrating assistive technology into special education teacher preparation programs. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 19(4), 473-497.

Toni Van Laarhoven


(815) 753-8084
Gabel 162B