Welcome to the UTHSC Language, Autism, & Sensory Processing Lab

About our lab

Our lab studies what sorts of factors help or hinder language learning in both typically developing and developmentally delayed populations. Specific areas of research include understanding the role that sensory processing and sensory integration play in language learning and development, measuring and improving methods designed to help children diagnosed with autism learn to communicate more effectively, and reserach on cognitive aspects of language learning and processing in young children and adults.

Our lab frequently conducts experiments in collaboration with the Speech and Hearing Center and Pediatric Language Clinic. We are dedicated to collaborating with clinics in the region and a wide range of faculty at both the University of Tennessee as well as other universities.

Thanks to our sponsors!

Our research is supported in part by

  • the UT Alliance of Women Philanthropists.

  • Recent Research Highlights


    • Language function in autism

      This study underscores the importance of functional language measures in guiding and evaluating treatment for children with autism, and suggests that play-based interventions can improving children’s use of language during parent–child interactions.

    • Sensory Processing

      A myriad of treatment options are available for children with autism, yet little is understood regarding characteristics of parents (e.g., education) and children (e.g., severity of autism symptoms) that influence types and amounts of therapy utilization. Interviews from 70 families were analyzed to determine potential influences on utilization (e.g., start of first services, use of traditional services).