James Madison University

Social Communication Lab

Focus of Lab

Dr. Timler's research program is motivated by her decade-long career providing speech-language pathology services to young children with autism spectrum disorder and developmental language disorders and school-age children and adolescents with language and learning disorders. Many of these children had limitations in pragmatic language skills and problematic peer interactions. As such, research in the Social Communication Lab is focused on the creation and dissemination of empirically supported assessment and intervention protocols to address social (pragmatic) communication disorders S(P)CD in preschoolers and school-age students with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Our research protocols include peer conflicts tasks, narrative and conversational analyses, parent report and student self-report measures to identify S(P)CD and to document the outcomes of social communication interventions.

Current Projects

  • Validation of a conversational language sampling protocol and rating scale for use by speech-language pathologists to reliably characterize pragmatic deficits in school-age children and adolescents
  • Refinement of a self-report measure of conversation participation for school-age students, ages 7 to 16 years, as a method to support social communication intervention planning and outcome measurement


  • Geralyn R. Timler, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Director
  • Joseph Evans, M.S., graduate assistant
  • Christine Helms, M.S. graduate assistant
  • Sydney Knupp, undergraduate research volunteer
  • Rebecca Reid, undergraduate honors student
  • Sonika Singh, undergraduate research volunteer
  • Gillian Withers, undergraduate honors student