About Us

Principal Investigator


Allison Gladfelter, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Email: agladfelter@niu.edu

Allison Gladfelter, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the School of Allied Health and Communication Disorders. Before coming to NIU, Gladfelter received her Ph.D. and clinical master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Purdue University. She has also worked clinically on an interdisciplinary diagnostic team at the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Gladfelter’s research explores language acquisition in children with autism spectrum disorder and developmental language disorder with the ultimate goal of developing more evidence-based language interventions for these children. Gladfelter is also a founder and facilitator for the NIU Autism Caregiver Group.

Alumni Researchers

Kacy Kreger

Kacy Kreger

Kacy successfully defended her master's thesis exploring the semantic learning of children with specific language impairment and children with autism. Her past research experience at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee included working on research projects investigating child speech development, learning English as a second language, and clear speech production compared to typical speech production in adult speakers. Kacy also has experience working as a respite care provider with children and adults with disabilities. She graduated with her master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Northern Illinois University in May of 2016.


Alyssa Wunderlich

Alyssa completed her master's degree in speech-language pathology at NIU and is currently working with children with autism at the Brokaw Early Learning Center in Oswego, IL. She has experience providing services to children in the NIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic and at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Sycamore, IL. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication disorders and sciences with minors in American Sign Language and psychology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her past research experience included analyzing speech and language development of young children with cochlear implants using the LENA system. She is interested in working with the early childhood population and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In her free time, she enjoys baking and spending time with family.

Bethany Schimetz

Bethany is an undergraduate student majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders with an emphasis on Speech-Language Pathology and minoring in Family and Child Studies. She is interested in research in young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and also Dsyphagia both in children and adults. She is currently working with children with both ASD and Down Syndrome ranging in ages from 11 months to 6 years at Gigi's Playhouse. In the future she would like to work in a hospital or clinic setting focusing primarily on children and possibly early intervention. Outside of class, she likes to teach at Gigi's, spend time with family and friends, and hang out with my kitten Niko!

Erik Johnson

Erik Johnson

Erik Johnson is working towards his master’s degree in speech-language pathology at Northern Illinois University. He previously attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has worked as a special education paraprofessional in a local elementary school. His primary research interests involve language acquisition and motor characteristics in individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

Katie Myers

Katie Myers

Katie is pursuing her master’s degree in speech-language pathology at Northern Illinois University. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in speech and hearing sciences with a minor in communications. She has experience providing intervention to children in Northern’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic and St. Mary’s Catholic School in Sycamore, IL. Her past research experience involved reviewing and analyzing clinical case studies and collecting data to determine social validity in the University of Illinois’s discourse analysis lab. She has interest mainly in working with the early childhood population. In her free time, she appreciates spending time with her friends and family and listening to music.


William Mills, Assistant Professor, College of Engineering and Engineering Technology

Contact Us

NIU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic
3100 Sycamore Road
DeKalb, IL 60115
Parking for families participating in research is the front row of spaces labeled “Guest Parking.”