Chelsea La Valle

PhD in Developmental Science

  • Title PhD in Developmental Science
  • Office 152
  • Education Ph.D., Developmental Science, Boston University, 2023
    M.A., Psychology, Boston University, 2019
    B.A., Psychology, DePaul University, 2013

I am currently a sixth-year doctoral student in the Developmental Science program at Boston University. My research examines how minimally verbal autistic individuals are using their communication skills, including speech, gestures, gesture-speech combinations, manual signs, and augmentative and alternative communication in context with others. This research can identify communicative strengths across different modalities of communication to further support and expand social communication skills. I also investigate changes in social communication and expressive language skills in minimally verbal autistic children in the context of a naturalistic, developmental behavioral intervention (JASPER; Joint Attention, Symbolic Play, Engagement, and Regulation). As a certified JASPER interventionist, I work directly with children on key areas of social communication. My work as a JASPER interventionist extends to teaching caregivers specific JASPER strategies in the context of play.

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