She received her Ph.D. in Special Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood Special Education from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. During her 20 years as research faculty at Vanderbilt University, she was the investigator for a number of federally funded grants including awards from National Institute of Health (NIH), Institute of Education Services (IES) and Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF).
Much of her research investigated the effects of a naturalistic language intervention, Enhanced Milieu Teaching (EMT) when implemented by parents, teachers, therapists and siblings on the language and communication skills of preschool children, especially those children with significant language issues like children who have been diagnosed with autism. She is the co-developer of EMT. While at Vanderbilt, she was also a member of a national research consortium investigating the connection between language and behavior in preschool children and Vice Chair of Vanderbilt University’s Institutional Review Board.
After she left Vanderbilt, she was the Director of Behavioral Services at Brenham State Supported Living Center, a residential treatment center for individuals with significant behavioral and developmental issues. Before joining the team at FSBA, she was a professor of Clinical Practice in Special Education with an emphasis in Autism and Behavior at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. She was also the Research Director for the Clinic for Autism Research, Evaluation and Support (CARES) at Texas State University. She has presented her research at conferences, published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and co-authored a book in 2016 titled: Early Intervention for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.