Current Students

Kelsey Dillehay, M.Ed. – Interventionist 

Kelsey received her Bachelor’s degree from Berry College in Psychology and Family Studies, and her Master’s in Human Development Counseling from Vanderbilt University. After interning with KidTalk for two years on various projects, she now enjoys working full time with minimally verbal children with autism and their families.  She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree

 

Jodi Heidlage, M.Ed. – Interventionist

Jodi received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Lipscomb University, and her Master’s in early childhood special education from Vanderbilt University. She has worked for the past seven years as a therapist, consultant, and parent trainer for pre-school and school-aged children with autism. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree, and works on the KidTalk ACE project serving minimally verbal children with autism.

 

 

Victoria Henry, B.A. – Research Assistant

Victoria Henry is a Master’s student at Vanderbilt University working toward her degree in Early Childhood Special Education. She earned her B.A. in Developmental Psychology from Emmanuel College in Boston, MA. She has worked as a research assistant for projects studying sex differences in gregariousness in preschool aged children, parent and teacher training for naturalistic language interventions, and the quality of language interactions in preschool settings. Her research interests include early intervention, parent-implemented interventions, and classroom based language interventions.

 

 

Noel Lopez, B.A. – Research Assistant

Noel received his Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in Child Development and has had experience working with children with autism and other developmental disabilities in clinic and home settings. He is currently a first year Master’s student in the Early Childhood Special Education program at Vanderbilt University and is excited to be part of the KidTalk team. 

 

 

Janki Merai, B.A. – Research Assistant

Janki received her Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine, where she worked with both typically-developing children and children with disabilities in a range of instructional, research, and clinical settings. Currently a Master’s student in Vanderbilt Peabody’s Special Education program, she is interested in research-based school and curriculum design.

 

 

Natalie Pak, M.A., CCC-SLP – Assessor

Natalie received her B.A. in Spanish and Speech-Language-Hearing in 2013, as well as her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology in 2015, from the University of Kansas. She then worked as a speech-language pathologist in a public school district in Colorado for three years at the preschool and elementary levels. Natalie came to the KidTalk lab in 2018 to pursue a PhD and contribute to research on communication interventions for children and families.


Good Things Happen When You Talk!