Background: In my early academic career, I had the opportunity to work under the direction of an amazing SLP-BCBA team and was completely sold on interprofessional collaboration. I was convinced that this was the path for me and decided to commit to staying in school forever to complete the education necessary for credentialing as a speech-language pathologist and behavior analyst. I received my master’s degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences and completed my thesis comparing AAC modalities under the advisement of Dr. Sandie Bass-Ringdahl, Ph.D., CCC-A at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and completed my clinical supervision in speech-language pathology and behavior analysis at the Munroe-Meyer Institute in Omaha, Nebraska. I feel very fortunate to continue to find myself under the guidance and mentorship of outstanding professionals in both disciplines. I believe that there is a big place for interprofessional collaboration in the areas of AAC research and practice. I hope to help this potential become realized.
Current Interests: My current interests include the application of behavior analysis in the assessment and treatment of individuals with complex communication needs. Specifically, I am interested in AAC teaching practices and the utility of verbal behavior and transfer of stimulus control technologies to improve learner outcomes.
Dissertation Chair: Dr. Jonathan Baker
Sample Presentation/Publication and Rationale:
I always find it challenging to respond to parents when they ask me this question, “Which AAC system is BEST for my child?” The answer is not an easy one. The decision-making process is contextualized and requires individualized assessment procedures. My thesis represents a comparison of low-tech, AAC modalities using single-subject methodology. Experimental controls were implemented to account for the effects of the transfer of stimulus control procedure/teaching procedures and included repeated measurement across multiple dependent variables including acquisition, collateral speech outcomes, and challenging behavior. My work highlights the importance of the teaching method and monitoring all forms of communication throughout AAC interventions.
Presentation Topic: Evaluating Popular AAC Strategies for Children with ASD
- What are your thoughts on SSEDs in the evidence-based practice process? What is the utility of SSEDs in dynamic assessment?
- It has been estimated that there is a 17-year gap between research and practice. Do you think that the public attention given to ASD has contributed to the narrowing of this gap? Do you think that this social support has affected the implementation of empirically supported treatments in practice?
- Strong clinical repertoires are often a result of experience. These experiences are often idiosyncratic, and may produce a lack of continuity between providers. What are the pros and cons of this? Could this contribute to emotionally charged responses to empirical questions? Is this beneficial or detrimental to EBP?