Stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the Lab

End-of-year CLL celebration

May 3, 2023

On May 1, before several of us jetted off to INSAR 2023 in Stockholm, the Child Language Lab’s members gathered together at Letty’s house

for an end-of-school-year celebration and sendoff to our graduating seniors.


We are so proud of Maddie Riascos, Sarah Cintron, Sede Osahon, Jaydel Hernandez, Aliah Segui, and Julia Johnson for completing

their UConn undergraduate education, and we wish them great success in their futures!

(pictured below, left to right, with Letty)


We also sincerely thank the following undergraduates for their outstanding work in the lab in the 2022-23 school year:

Harish Ravichandran, Robbi Zamora, Lindsey Gaspard, Kristina DeMichiel, Audra Giugno,

Yasmin Andalib, Liz Sahagun, Aayaat Saiyed, and Sarah Courtney.

(pictured below, top to bottom, with our graduating seniors, graduate students Cynthia and Kaya,

lab manager Grace, and visiting graduate student Junyou Su)

CLL attends SRCD 2023!

April 2, 2023

From March 23-25, members of the Child Language Lab converged on Salt Lake City for the 2023 biennial Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) conference. CLL has been attending SRCD’s conferences for years, and we are so proud to have brought along three of our amazing senior undergraduates, each of whom had their own poster, to the 2023 conference. All in all, our posters spanned a wide range of subjects, including autistic individuals 2-22 years of age, Theory of Mind (ToM), the influences of caregiver input on children’s language, phonological development, auditory brainstem research, and numerous others. We were also privileged to meet and hear from hundreds of fellow researchers making an impact on the field of developmental research.

See below for a slideshow of our favorite moments (all posters can be viewed in more detail on our Posters & Presentations page):

  • CLL members convene amidst the chaos of SRCD (left to right: Grace, Kaya, Letty, Lee, Cynthia, Jaydel, Sarah, Julia).

Please note that our group stayed masked at SRCD except to take photos and present our posters.

CLL attends the 2023 Meeting on Language in Autism (MOLA)!

March 20, 2023

From March 9-11, 2023, members of the Child Language Lab convened with over 100 other professionals studying language in autism at the first-ever Meeting on Language in Autism (MOLA). MOLA was first scheduled for March 2020, but due to the pandemic, was postponed indefinitely and finally took place this year. The organizers (Rhiannon Luyster, Letty Naigles, Gordon Ramsay, & Elena Tenenbaum) did not give up on hosting the conference, and the first MOLA was a resounding success. We heard from speakers including Helen Tager-Flusberg (BU), saw over 60 posters, and socialized with attendees who flew in from dozens of places, including Belgium and Japan.

See below for a slideshow of our conference highlights:

  • MOLA organizers Rhiannon Luyster (Emerson College), Elena Tenenbaum (Duke University), Gordon Ramsay (Emory University Marcus Autism Center), and Letty Naigles (UConn; head of the CLL) took a photo together in North Carolina's gorgeous March weather before the start of the conference.

Congratulations to Jaydel!

January 13, 2023

We are so pleased to share that our incredible honors student, Jaydel Hernandez, has been featured on the NIDCD’s 2022 list of Diversity Scholars, a group of talented people conducting health-related research. Jaydel, a Psychology and HDFS (Human Development & Family Sciences) double major, has been with the Child Language Lab since spring 2021, and she is now preparing her honors thesis in Psychology under Letty’s mentorship. See her achievement and research aims here.

Great work, Kaya!

November 21, 2022

Our impressive graduate student, Kaya LeGrand, attended the 2022 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention in New Orleans from November 17-19. Kaya, who worked as a licensed speech-language pathologist before beginning her PhD program at UConn, presented her poster, “Early Verb Production in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)”, at the conference. Congratulations on a successful conference visit, Kaya!

Kaya pictured with collaborator Julia Parish-Morris.
Pictured: Kaya LeGrand and collaborator Julia Parish-Morris (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia).

BUCLD Plenary delivered by Dr. Letty Naigles

November 11, 2022

Numerous current and former members of the Child Language Lab headed to Boston from November 3-6 to witness Letty deliver the plenary address at the 47th Annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD). Letty’s talk, entitled “Autism Illuminates Language: Acquisition, Development, Use”, enlightened and inspired listeners. We are so proud of her!

Letty shows a slide discussing the work of Dr. Helen Tager-Flusberg.
Letty describes the work of her late graduate advisor, Dr. Lila Gleitman.
Pictured (left to right): Grace Corrigan, Emma Kelty-Stephen, Leo Tecoulesco, Letty Naigles, Kaya LeGrand, Cynthia Boo, Juandiego Carmona. Not pictured: Amanda Mankovitch, Emma Nguyen.

Congratulations, Amanda!

November 1, 2022

Our fantastic graduate student Amanda Mankovich recently had her paper, “Say that again: Quantifying patterns of production for children with autism using recurrence analysis”, published in Frontiers in Psychology. Congratulations, Amanda!

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Lab Hike 8/12/2022

August 15, 2022

Last Friday, the team took advantage of the beautiful weather and hiked on Soapstone Mountain. It was our last chance to be in-person for quite some time, as Dr. Naigles is about to depart on a multi-week trip to Denmark and Switzerland as part of her sabbatical. Additionally, it was our last chance to say goodbye to Juandiego Carmona, our former lab coordinator, who will be starting his PhD this fall at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. We are going to miss Juandiego but are so proud of him and hope he has an amazing time in NYC!

Photo of all current lab members standing atop the lookout tower on Soapstone Mountain.
Left to right: Sarah, Cynthia, Dr. Naigles, Amanda, Julia, Grace, Kaya, Hugo (dog). Photo taken by Juandiego.
Selfie of Juandiego and all current lab members, taken on the lookout tower at Soapstone Mountain.
Left to right: Juandiego, Amanda, Sarah, Cynthia, Dr. Naigles, Julia, Grace, Kaya.












Reunited in-person!

July 29, 2022

Yesterday, we held a fully in-person Grad Lab meeting for the first time since our new personnel (lab coordinator Grace, honors student Julia, and McNair Scholar Sarah) joined the lab in June. It was great getting to see everyone in real life, albeit masked. We discussed upcoming conferences, trainings, and projects, then took a group photo* at the end. Next up: our team-building group hike in a few weeks!

*All members are fully vaccinated and were only unmasked for the duration of the photo.

CLL members in a group photo, unmasked and smiling.
Left to right: Grace, Amanda, Kaya, Cynthia, Dr. Naigles, Julia, Jaydel, Sarah

Sarah’s McNair research presentation!

July 27, 2022

Our incredible undergraduate McNair Scholar Sarah presented her research poster, “Child Vocalization Development Coded Through the International Phonetic Alphabet: A comparison of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Typically Developing Children,” at the 10th Annual McNair Scholars Summer Poster Exhibit today! Sarah spent her summer transcribing typically developing and autistic low- and middle-verbal participants’ vocalizations into the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), then analyzing differences in usage of consonant and vowel types and tokens between the three groups. She will be building on her summer research as she enters her senior year and is considering adding phoneme elongation as a variable of interest. We are so proud of what Sarah has achieved and can’t wait to see what she does next!

Cynthia, Sarah, and Dr. Naigles standing next to Sarah's poster.
Left to right: Cynthia, Sarah, and Dr. Naigles with Sarah’s poster.
Sarah standing next to her McNair poster.
Sarah and her McNair poster.