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Luyster obtains grant for autism teaching, research

Rhiannon LuysterAssistant Professor Rhiannon Luyster of Communication Sciences and Disorders has been selected as the recipient of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s 2015–2016 Advancing Academic Research Career (AARC) Award.

The $5,000 award will help Luyster with both teaching and research around treatment of children on the autism spectrum.

Luyster said she will use part of the grant toward research to help launch a new study on how young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) learn new words, and, in particular, if they are able to use overheard speech to learn new words. This project will help understand the flexibility of language learning in children with ASD and whether or not one-on-one attention from an adult is required for children’s language to grow.

Luyster said she will also use the grant toward a graduate course she teaches, titled Research Methods and Measurements, to better prepare students to be evidence-based clinicians and to increase their confidence in using empirical evidence in their clinical efforts. The semester will end with a research colloquium in which the students can share their work.

Luyster will also use the funds to support her attendance at the 2016 International Meeting for Autism Research in Baltimore in May.

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