Friday, December 5, 2014

CDI Alumni Spotlight

The faculty and staff of the Center of Communication Disorders is excited to introduce you to  Kristen Wheeler, class of 2008. We applaud her success and thank her for her contributions to the program as a member of the Center's Alumni Advisory Council. 

Since graduating from MSU in 2008, I have spent my career working in the field of pediatric speech-language pathology. I began my career working on the Autism, AAC and pre-school language teams at Vanderbilt University Bill Wilkerson Center. While at VUBC, I developed my knowledge and passion for working with children on the autism spectrum and incorporating AAC into their treatment.  Also while at VUBC I co-created with a fellow SLP, language groups for children on the autism spectrum. In 2010 I moved to Lexington to work in the Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Outpatient Clinic. While at CH I was able to further develop my skills in the areas of autism & AAC, becoming a Certified Autism Specialist in 2014. Cardinal Hill also provided me the opportunity to develop other interests of mine including working with pediatric patients with tracheostomies and ventilators, as well as the feeding population. I also had the amazing opportunity to work as a multi-disciplinary team with OT and PT to provide treatment to our patients; through this experience I co-created with an OT colleague of mine, a multi-disciplinary approach to evaluating children on, or suspected of being on the autism spectrum. Through the creation of this program I was given the opportunity to develop relationships with multiple developmental pediatricians and psychologists in the Lexington area, as well as to serve on a statewide autism task force determining areas of service need for this population.  In September I was given the great opportunity to work for Associates in Pediatric Therapy as a contract therapist in the Bluegrass Center for Autism in Louisville, and am excited to see what this opportunity holds. 

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