The Center for AAC and Autism

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Trainer Profiles

Cindy Halloran, OTR/L

Cindy Halloran is an occupational therapist with over 20 years experience working exclusively in the field of pediatrics. She obtained a Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Arkansas, and has received additional training in the area of sensory integration. She is also NDT certified and a NAHRA registered therapist. She has worked in school, home health, and private clinic settings; was co-owner of Integrated Therapy for Kids, a private clinic in North Little Rock, for seven years; and has also served as the therapy department head for Arkansas Easter Seals. She also has a wealth of experience treating children with autism. She is currently serving as the Director of The Center for AAC and Autism.

John D Halloran, M.S., CCC-SLP

John Halloran, a speech-language pathologist, is the Senior Clinical Associate for The Center for AAC and Autism. John has worked in the field of AAC since 1994. He has a special interest in children who are challenged by severe physical or cognitive disabilities. He also finds much reward in exploring ways to best implement assistive technology with children who have autism.

John Halloran graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders. He received his masters in Communicative Disorders from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in 1992. After graduation, he worked at Arkansas Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center, specializing in assistive technology. He has also owned a pediatric therapy clinic and after-school care for children with disabilities. He has taught augmentative communication at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

John maintains membership in several professional organizations, including the American Speech Language Hearing Association and the Arkansas Speech Language Hearing Association.

Christine Grubbs, M.S., CCC-SLP

Christine received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and worked as a speech pathologist in the Pennsylvania public school system for 21 years. She has worked extensively with communication disorders in students K-12, including children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, AAC and multiple disabilities. Christine is passionate about communication especially in persons with autism. She consults with individuals and families in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Christine is a member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association, the Pennsylvania Speech and Hearing Association and NEA-retired.

Teresa Parrill, M.S., CCC-SLP

Teresa Parrill is a speech-language pathologist employed as the Project Manager in the Infant Communication Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has been in this position since a move to the Omaha/Lincoln area with her family in 2014. In this position she conducts research with children in various stages of infancy to determine warning signals for difficulties with speech, language and social communication in later ages.

Before moving from Colorado she spent much of her 15-year career working in early intervention specializing in augmentative communication and autism. She worked closely with families to provide AAC services to children with complex speech and language needs ages up to the age of 20. Teresa has also worked with The Center for AAC & Autism as a LAMP Trainer since 2008.

Teresa received her undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 1995 and her master's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1997. She maintains her certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech and Hearing Association as well as her Nebraska state license. Teresa is dedicated to providing quality speech and language services to children and families across the country.

Lindsey Cargill, M.A., CCC-SLP

Lindsey CargillLindsey Cargill is a speech-language pathologist and the Therapy Manager at Bridgeway Academy, an education and therapy center for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Columbus, Ohio. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Florida. Lindsey has worked with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, cleft palate/craniofacial anomalies, hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, TBI and global delays in out-patient clinics, school-based settings and in the home. She is enthusiastic about applying research and best practices to the facilitation of language development through Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Lindsey has extensive presenting experience at many national and international conferences in the United States and United Kingdom. She maintains membership in the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and with the Ohio Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.

Janie Cirlot-New, M.S., CCC-SLP

Janie Cirlot-NewJanie is the Director of the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability at Mississippi State University. Janie has a Master's Degree in Speech Pathology from the University of South Alabama and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Janie is licensed as a Speech Language Pathologist in the state of Mississippi. Janie has provided augmentative and alternative communication services to individuals of all ages. She developed the augmentative and alternative communication evaluation and training program at the T.K. Martin Center and continues to provide evaluations, intervention and training in the area of augmentative communication. She served as principal investigator on a U.S. Department of Education funded project to assist local education agency teams in utilizing assistive technology to allow students access to the general curriculum and to improve literacy skills of students with expressive communication disorders.

Amy Bereiter, M.S., CCC-SLP, ATP

Amy BereiterAmy received her Bachelor's degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Kentucky and her Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Redlands. She has been a speech-language pathologist since 2004, working with toddlers through young adults. She has worked in a wide range of settings, including in-home early intervention, early childhood special education, elementary self-contained programs, pediatric rehabilitation units, university clinic, and private practice. She has developed AAC evaluation teams at several sites. Prior to relocating to Virginia in 2015, Amy was a full-time Clinical Assistant Professor in the speech-language pathology graduate program at Northern Illinois University. Currently, she is a full-time SLP at a LAMP Center of Excellence in Northern Virginia.

Amy specializes in Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) and working with children who exhibit complex communication needs. She has worked extensively with occupational therapists and other related professionals to best understand and treat children with sensory processing disorder, visual impairments, and motor impairments. She works closely with families to educate, train, and support implementation of AAC in the home environment, and has led support groups for parents of AAC users. She also collaborates with and trains school teams in regards to language development and implementation of AAC in the educational setting. She has experience presenting locally and regionally to SLPs, teachers and assistants, occupational therapists, and other assistive technology professionals. She also co-developed and taught a graduate course on AAC, and has guest lectured in undergraduate and graduate level courses on numerous occasions. Amy is an active member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Her involvement with ASHA includes serving on its Special Interest Group 12 (AAC) Professional Development Committee.

Julie Adkins, MCD, CCC-SLP, BCBA

Janie Cirlot-NewJulie Adkins is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. She holds a Bachelor's of Science and Master's degree in communicative disorders from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro AR. Julie completed her certification process for behavior analysis through Florida Institute of Technology and received certification from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board in 2011. Julie is currently a consultant working with the autism waiver for the state of Arkansas. She also works as a BCBA and AAC specialist for KidSPOT, a multidisciplinary pediatric therapy facility and child care center located in Northeast Arkansas. Julie has been involved in working with children with autism spectrum disorders implementing LAMP strategies for many years. She is very passionate about her work and the children she serves. Julie has been fortunate to be in many different settings such as early intervention, home, school, private school, and clinical. She has had the unique opportunity to follow several children using AAC for many years, allowing her to share the difficulties and triumphs along the way.

Andrea McGuinness, Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (AAC)

Andrea McGuinnessSince qualifying as a Speech and Language Therapist in 1993, Andrea has held a number of posts. All have included working with a wide range of individuals to aid in the development of their communication skills.

Her main focus has been working with children and adults with physical and/or communication impairments in a range of settings, including mainstream schools, special schools, further education establishments and the home environment. Through this work, she has gained experience of a wide range of both low and high tech augmentative communication systems. She is also experienced in linking communication aims into pupils’ Individual Educational Programs, curriculum work and the individual’s functional communication environment. Working within an interdisciplinary team has always been an important aspect of developing each individual’s communication skills. Developing and delivering training packages to teachers, therapists, support workers and parents have also formed a large part of the work.

She has been a member of the assessment and training team at the ACE Centre-North since October 1999, and as a Senior Development Officer and later as the Project Manager. Within this role, she managed the implementation of the National Communication Aids Project on behalf of the ACE Centre North, and managed a number of other projects relating to Assistive Technology on behalf of ACE North.

She is currently working with the ACE Centre North in addition to working as a an Independent Speech and Language Therapist as this allows her to provide support linked more closely to families’ needs. She also works at Access Summit, a centre that assesses students with disabilities who attend the Manchester Universities in relation to their needs in order for them to access their course.

She is registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC) and with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

Hayley Power, Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (AAC)

Hayley PowerHaley qualified from the University of Manchester in 1998 and her first job was working within special schools, including a school for children with a physical disability in Rochdale. Over the years, she has gained specialist skills in the area of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) working predominantly with children aged 0-19 with a wide variety of individual needs.

In 2009, she joined the ACE Centre North which is a specialist centre for assistive technology/ AAC and has been part of the assessment and training team there, working alongside occupational therapists, other speech and language therapists, specialist teachers and technicians. At ACE, she gained extended experience of working with children and also adults with both learning difficulties, and acquired neurological conditions such as strokes and MND.

She has completed post graduate courses in a variety of areas including communication and dysphagia. She is trained in a variety of assessment and implementation strategies including Signalong, PECS, SCERTS, and LAMP.

She is currently employed by Pennine Care, (Heywood, Rochdale and Middleton) as the lead therapist working with children who benefit from use of AAC. She works within nurseries, schools, both mainstream and special and other specialist environments, e.g. CDC. She has recently left the ACE Centre to pursue more independent practice.

She is registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC) and with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

“I am passionate about the field I work within and am really looking forward to supporting the LAMP approach within the UK.”

Peter Hockley

Peter HockleyPeter Hockley graduated from Speech Pathology at Sydney University in 2000. He has since worked in Tasmania and the Northern Territory in Australia, and in the United Kingdom. He is currently Manager for the statewide Participate Assistive Technology (PAT) Team at St Giles, Tasmania. Peter is passionate about supporting children, adolescents and adults to use AAC, and providing customized AAC training for families, schools and other organizations. Peter is a member of Speech Pathology Australia.