Nikko S. Da Paz received a B.A. in psychology from Stanford University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in Health Psychology. Her research interests center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) from both the child and the parent perspective. She has explored intrinsic motivation of language acquisition and question-asking behavior in children with ASD. Her current research investigates the psychological and physiological effects of parenting a child with ASD. This investigation includes an examination of parent education trainings and interventions to reduce stress and improve health outcomes. Nikko aims to utilize research as a tool to create a deeper understanding about the joys and struggles of autism and the families that it affects. To further this goal, Nikko was recently appointed by the Governor of California to serve on the Area VIII Board for the State Council on Developmental Disabilities.