Training School Speech-Language Pathologists to Assess and Manage Communication Skills in Children with Autism

(84.325K, U.S. DOE H325K090328)
Grant Active from September 2007 to May 2012

Grant Objective

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are lifelong neurodevelopmental disorders that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social and emotional interactions, as well as educational performance. As fiscal constraints increase, more school systems assume the responsibility of providing services to children with multiple disabilities and complex communicative disabilities, such as ASD. These responsibilities have been falling onto inadequately prepared school staff, including school speech-language pathologists (SLPs). There is a vital need to build capacity of school-based SLPs who are knowledgeable, skilled, and experienced as effective collaborators in the public schools to improve achievement and outcomes of students with ASD.

The U.S. DOE project entitled, Training School Speech-Language Pathologists to Assess and Manage Communication Skills in Children with Autism, offered a total of 27 fellowships during the 2010-2013 academic years to fund a cohort of full-time SLP graduate students accepted into the Master’s Speech Language Pathology graduate program. The project made it financially possible these masters’ fellows to complete the masters program in SLP with specialty training in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders. All graduate fellows funded under this grant engaged in additional coursework to gain expertise in ASD. In addition to their typical master’s graduate-level course-work, grant funded students completed two electives, the ASD course and one course in Special Education or Education, and one (1) credit monthly seminar over the two year period of the masters’ degree program. DOE ASD fellows gained clinical experiences working with children with ASD in the Department’s on campus clinic, the Center for Speech Language and Hearing, as well as at our collaborative off-campus settings during their typical practicum assignments. DOE ASD master’s fellows funded under this grant graduated in the two-year period along with their other peers earning a master’s degree (MA) in Speech-Language Pathology, with additional training in ASD.


Mary Andrianopoulos, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Mary Lynn Boscardin, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Elena Zaretsky, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Shelley L. Velleman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Patricia Mercaitis, Ph.D., CCC-SLP


DOE ASD Fellows 2010 – 2011

Finn, Mayya
Grayeck, Samantha
Kellogg, Alicia
LaMondia, Katelyn
LeClair, Kristin
Marsh, Laura
Mehdiyoun, Amanda
Putnam, Lauren
Silva, Nicole
Stavrianopoulos, Theoni
Sullo, Cara

DOE ASD Fellows 2010 – 2012

Felton, Jenna
Ludwig, Ingrid
O’Conner, Kayleigh
Nissenbaum, Sarah

DOE ASD Fellows 2011-2013

Epstein, Stephanie
Fader, Elena
Gieguez, Stasia
Kranz, Katie
McNulty, Bria
Mossman, Lauren
Moylan, Colleen
Piatczyc, Sasha
Reber, Alisson
Thoreson, Maggie
Wilkins, Abby

DOE ASD Fellow 2013

Nicotera, April