Jena McDaniel, Ph.D.

Jena McDaniel, Ph.D.

Jena McDaniel

My programmatic research focuses on developing, validating, and implementing highly effective and targeted speech-language intervention services for children with speech and language disorders. I strive to answer clinically relevant questions, particularly those related to intervention effectiveness and efficiency. I am interested in predicting response to treatment and effectively matching interventions with individual children (a) to maximize gains in speech and language skills and (b) to use finite time and financial resources of all stakeholders wisely. My intervention interests apply to children with language disorders including children with hearing loss, autism spectrum disorder, and other developmental disabilities.

Post Doc, The Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training,

Ph.D., Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University, 2019
M.S., Speech-Language Pathology, Vanderbilt University, 2012
B.S., Education, University of Virginia, 2010

Contact Information


Robinson Center

1301 Sunnyside Ave

Lawrence, KS 66045



Meritorious Poster Submission and Student Research Travel Award, awarded to first author of the highest-rated, student-authored paper in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorder for Evaluating the validity of conventional & automated vocalization measures for children with autism spectrum disorder, ASHA, 2019

Ohde-Grantham Research Award, Vanderbilt University Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, May 2019
Dissertation Award, Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, April 2019
Lessons for Success Participant, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, April 2018  

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Science Day Poster Competition winner for Clinical, Behavioral, and Intervention Research for graduate students for Can an automated measure – child reciprocal vocal contingency – predict language outcomes for young children with autism spectrum disorder?, 2018

New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship, ASHFoundation, 2017Research Mentoring-Pair Travel Award, Mentor: Courtney Venker, PhD, ASHA, 2017

Meritorious Poster Submission and Student Research Travel Award, awarded to first author of the highest-rated, student-authored paper in the area of Academic and Clinical Education for Taking advantage of technology: Online instruction for identifying and classifying communication acts, ASHA, 2017

Meritorious Poster Submission for Association between vocal communication with canonical syllables & expressive language in young children with ASD, ASHA, 2017

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Travel Award, 2017

Most Student-Centered Poster Presentation, Vanderbilt University Blended and Online Learning Design Program, 2016

Blended and Online Learning Design Fellow Award, Vanderbilt Center for Teaching and the Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), 2016

Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders (SRCLD) Travel Award, supported by NIH/NIDCD/NICHD

Conference Grant #R13 DC001677, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019  

Graduate Student Council Travel Grant, Vanderbilt University, 2015, 2016

University Graduate Fellowship award, Graduate School of Vanderbilt University, 2015 – 2019

Leadership Trainee, Vanderbilt University, US Department of Education (H325D140087), Training Exemplary Predoctoral

Researchers in Language and Literacy, PI: C. Melanie Schuele, PhD, 2015 – 2019



Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, April 2013 – Present

Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of State, May   2013 – Present

Licensed Speech Pathologist, Tennessee Board of Communication Disorders and Sciences, September 2015 – Present

Licensed Speech Language Pathologist, Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, August 2019 – Present



Braddock, B., McDaniel, J., Spragge, S., Loncke, F., Braddock, S.R., & Carey, J. (2012). Communication ability in persons with trisomy 18 and trisomy 13. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 28, 266-277.

McDaniel, J., & Yoder, P. J. (2016). Pursuing precision speech-language therapy services for children with Down syndrome. Seminars in Speech and Language, 37, 239-251.

McDaniel, J., Yoder, P. J., & Watson, L. R. (2017). A path model of expressive vocabulary skills in initially preverbal preschool children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47, 947-960. doi: 10.1007/s108030163016x. PMCID: PMC5396948

Harbison, A. L., McDaniel, J., & Yoder, P. J. (2017). The association of imperative and declarative intentional communication with language in young children with autism spectrum disorder: A meta-analysis. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 36, 21-34. doi:10.2016/j.rasd.2017.01.003

McDaniel, J., & Camarata, S. (2017). Does access to visual input inhibit auditory development for children with cochlear implants? A review of the evidence. Perspectives of ASHA Special Interest Groups, 2(1), 10-24. doi: 10.1044/persp2.SIG9.10

McDaniel, J., D’Ambrose Slaboch, K., & Yoder, P. (2018). A meta-analysis of the association between vocalizations and expressive language in young children with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 72, 202-213. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2017.11.010

McDaniel, J., Camarata, S., & Yoder, P. (2018). Comparing auditory-only and audiovisual conditions for a word learning intervention for children with hearing loss. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, . doi:10.1093/deafed/eny016

McDaniel, J., Yoder, P. J., Woynaroski, T., & Watson, L. R. (2018). Predicting receptive-expressive vocabulary discrepancies in preschool children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-17-0101

Crandall, M. C., McDaniel, J., Watson, L. R., & Yoder, P. J. (2018). The relation between early parent verb input and later expressive verb vocabulary in children with autism spectrum disorder. Manuscript submitted for review.

McDaniel, J., Benitez-Barrera, C., Soares, A., Vargas, A., & Camarata, S. (2018). Bilingual versus monolingual vocabulary instruction for bilingual children with hearing loss. Manuscript submitted for review.

Crandall, M. C., Bottema-Beutel, K., McDaniel, J., Watson, L. R., & Yoder, P. J. (2018). Children with autism spectrum disorder may learn from caregiver verb input better in certain engagement states. Manuscript submitted for review.

Venker, C., Yasick, M., & McDaniel, J. Using telegraphic input with children with language delays: a survey of slps’ practices and perspectives. Manuscript submitted for review.



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