- Coastal Carolina University Bachelor of Science in Psychology
- Indiana University Master of Arts in Speech Language Pathology
Licenses & Certificates:
- Licensed to practice in the states of South Carolina
- Received Certificate of Clinical Competence through American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
- Certificate of Participation: Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing – Provided an introduction to the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders.
- Certified Autism Specialist (CAS)
- LAMP Certified Professional
- 3 Time ASHA Award for Continuing Education (ACE) Awardee (2017, 2020, 2021)
- Certified to provide Hanen More Than Words – The Hanen Program for Parents of
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
While working toward my Bachelor’s degree, I worked in the Myrtle Beach area as an ABA therapist for two years serving children with Autism and their families. During my graduate studies, I worked with children in a variety of settings including a developmental preschool, hospital, outpatient facility, and in the public schools. After receiving my Master’s degree, I worked in Tennessee as a Speech-Language Pathologist with children in the following settings: a residential treatment facility for children ages 6-18 with Autism and Developmental Delay, a public school system, and Tennessee’s Early Intervention program. Throughout my experiences I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of populations including: Autism, Apraxia, AAC, Cerebral Palsy, Hearing Impairment, Feeding/Swallowing, and Speech and Language Delay.
“Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders: The SOS Approach to Feeding”
This was a 3-day training conference on the SOS Approach to Feeding. This is a feeding program that is a non-invasive developmental approach to feeding. It is designed to assess and address all the factors involved in feeding difficulties. This approach allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way. It focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level through exploring and learning about the different properties of foods, including texture, smell, taste, and consistency. The SOS approach follows a hierarchy to feeding from tolerating foods in the room, interacting with the food, smelling, touching, tasting, and eventually, eating the food.
“Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) Extended Course: Highlighting Local Clients”
LAMP is an augmentative alternative communication (AAC) approach designed to give a method of independently and spontaneously expressing themselves through a speech generating device. This course will covered the components of LAMP: readiness to learn, engaging the learner through joint engagement, and learning language through a unique and consistent motor plan paired with an auditory signal and a natural consequence. Discussion included how this approach addresses the core language deficits of autism, device features that are beneficial to teaching language, and how to use those features to implement LAMP components. PRC’s language system and devices were used to illustrate treatment components but LAMP principles can also be applied to other products.
Words for Life: Features and Implementation for LAMP™
This course addressed how to use the Words for Life software to implement the LAMP approach. Topics included how to navigate the vocabulary that is currently on the software as well as personalizing the vocabulary by adding or modifying specific words, how to use several features of the software including the word finder, the vocabulary builder, and how to prevent unwanted modifications. This course also covered what vocabulary is best to begin with and examples of activities to implement.
Training Auditory Processing In Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders And Other Developmental Disabilities
This course was designed to help speech-language pathologists and educators understand the current research and management approaches for auditory processing disorders (C)APD as evident in children on the autism spectrum (ASD) and children with other developmental learning challenges. The presentation reviewed new neuroscience research to help participants understand how the brain processes auditory information like speech as well as causative factors known to contribute to (C)APD in children. The course concluded with a presentation of evidence-based interventions from several sources that have been shown to improve auditory processing and effect brain function.
Autism Spectrum Disorders: Build Speech, Language and Literacy Skills With Orthographic Instruction
Different from other “literacy” courses, this evidence-based course provided specific guidance for SLPs working to establish early literacy skills with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Phonological awareness is vital for successful literacy, language and speech skills in children. Exposing children with ASD to early literacy interventions with embedded printed (orthographic) cues is imperative. This course addressed the use of printed cues as a means to activate and synchronize the processors within the brain (orthographic, phonological, meaning and context) resulting in improved communication and literacy skills.
Apraxia Kids National Conference
The Apraxia Kids National Conference is the only major conference on the speech, language, learning, and life needs of children with apraxia. The National Conference brings together parents, professionals, educators, and others who are seeking the most up-to-date and in-depth learning opportunities available.
Responsive Feeding Therapy Conference
The mission of this two-day conference is to foster a supportive community for providers to learn about and hone their skills around “responsive” feeding and therapies. An international and transdisciplinary panel of speakers will explore early challenges that predispose to feeding and eating difficulties and how professionals can support clients and families around responsive feeding and therapies. Speakers will explore feeding practices, issues around assessing weight and nutrition, therapeutic strategies, and how to decrease anxiety and increase comfort and competence around new foods. The speakers will provide background information as well as concrete tips that clinicians can use right away. Speakers will highlight how to support and improve appetite, bodily autonomy, and internally driven eating to help clients be the best, most confident and joyful eaters they can be.
Social Thinking’s Clinical Training Program
The Clinical Training Program is an advanced three-day training to deeply explore the Social Thinking Methodology. The training is designed to provide an opportunity to observe and discuss the implementation and use of the Social Thinking Methodology across assessment and treatment. Attendees will be part of a small group of professionals from around the globe who will bring their unique experiences and understanding of Social Thinking and other treatment programs to the training. Attendees will observe clients from preschool age through adulthood, with most falling within the school-age years. The clinical treatment groups represent both concrete learners (Emerging Social Communicators) and nuanced learners (Nuance-Challenged Social Communicators).
AllAccess: Expanding Opportunities for Individuals Using AAC and Alternative Access
This course is an interactive and hands-on overview of the various methods by which individuals with multiple disabilities access augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. Strategies and considerations that impact language learning and ultimately the ability to communicate with AAC is also reviewed. Through demonstration, video examples and hands-on experience, participants will explore eye gaze technology, infrared sensing (head tracking), joystick and alternative mouse control, single and multiple switch control, and touch access for AAC devices. Clinical and practical assessment considerations will be discussed across the access methods, along with implications for teaching and common adjustments to increase effectiveness in access and overall communication. The relationship between motor actions and language learning is reviewed in context with how someone with physical or multiple disabilities becomes an effective, proficient communicator with AAC technology.
Social Thinking Across the Home and School Day: The ILAUGH Model
ages 5 – young adult
This course is designed to teach professionals and parents the social learning frameworks, concepts, and strategies needed to guide others toward improved social processing and social competencies. Conference attendees will gain new insights into the power of their own social-emotional intelligence as they explore their social motivations and how they process and respond to social information. We will dissect hidden social rules, contemplate how social expectations change with age, and discuss how social problem solving is at the heart of social competencies and affects how students interpret and respond to social-academic information and assignments. Social Thinking has developed a large range of treatment strategies—and attendees will walk away with a number of them, including approaches for helping students avoid “the blurt,” cope with boring moments, and develop conversational language.
The Informal Dynamic Assessment and Core Treatment Strategies
ages 5 – young adult
This conference explores how to better understand the minds of individuals with social learning challenges when traditional standardized tests fall short. We introduce the Social Thinking Informal Dynamic Assessment (ST-IDA), a series of tasks with corresponding templates described in Michelle Garcia Winner’s book Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME, 2nd Edition. The dynamic tasks included in the ST-IDA examine the way the individual approaches social communication, executive functioning, and problem solving in real time. We review two practical treatment frameworks. The first, Social Behavior Mapping (SBM), is a visual framework that teaches social responsibility by highlighting that social expectations occur in a given context based on the situation and people. SBM enables individuals to discover what is expected or unexpected in a social situation while also learning the impact their behavior has on others’ feelings.
Implementing Social Thinking Concepts and Vocabulary: A Day to Develop Team Creativity
ages 5 – young adult
Using Social Thinking’s Social Competency Model, learn to guide individuals to better socially attend, interpret, problem solve and respond to social information. Explore how to teach three core treatment*-based frameworks and more than 20 unique strategies based on Social Thinking Vocabulary and related activities. Teach students to better interpret and respond to their social world by making smart guesses to discover hidden social rules. Learn systematic and logical ways to encourage social responsibility by learning about our own and others’ social thinking. Explore how our thinking about a situation and what we know about others can help us create the expected behaviors that support our relationships. Learn how we make these abstract concepts more concrete by reviewing a variety of activities through clinical examples. Our evidence-based Social Thinking Vocabulary is the foundation of our teaching programs, and research published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Crooke, et al.) demonstrates how individuals benefit from learning these concepts.