Undergraduate Program Director, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Language development, developmental language disorders, word learning, lexical-semantic organization
Communication Disorders Building
358 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01003
I am interested in the effect word meaning has on how children learn words and store them in memory for later retrieval, and the extent to which children recruit conceptual and categorization skills for learning meanings of words. As a speech-language pathologist, I study children and adolescents who have disorders that affect their language development, such as Specific Language Impairment, Language Learning Disability, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. I also study language development in children who are developing typically; I investigate word learning, word retrieval, and the organization of mental representations of words. I am interested in theoretical models of how children with and without disabilities learn words and in applying my research to more practical educational programs and interventions for speech-language therapy.