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KidTalk Newsletter
We want to hear from you! Do you have news you would like us to include in an upcoming newsletter?  Please email us at
Lab News
The fall semester is in full swing here at Vanderbilt University.  When not traveling around the world to attend conferences, Dr. Kaiser has been busy teaching a new cohort of students and writing grants for new research studies.

In the lab, we have welcomed a fabulous new group of interns and research assistants.  We couldn’t be more grateful for all of their hard work!  Watch our Facebook page for introductions.

There are many fun events coming up this fall!  Our staff and students plan to attend the Autism Speaks Walk on October 22nd and the Nashville Buddy Walk on October
29th.  Both walks will be held at Centennial Park.  We hope to see you out at one of these events!
Dash for Down Syndrome
KidTalk Down Under!
by Lizzy Fuller
 At the beginning of August, Ann, Lauren and Lizzy of the KidTalk Team traveled to Melbourne, Australia to speak at the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSID) World Congress. We had the opportunity to present with our colleague, Dr. Michal Harty, on our project implementing EMT with children living in South Africa, as well as preliminary data from our EMT en Espanol project. We also had the opportunity to meet with professors at the Australian Catholic University both in Melbourne and in Brisbane. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with and learn from colleagues across the globe!
We made some time for sightseeing as well! We were lucky enough to see many of Australia’s wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas. We also saw the country’s beautiful coastline and found the world’s best cookies. We made the long trip back pleasantly full of sweet treats and knowledge.
You can view our recent presentations on our website at this link.
Dash for Down Syndrome

Do you know a child who would benefit from our project?

We currently have openings for our language intervention research projects for children ages 18-months to 4-½ years old with Autism and Down syndrome who live within the greater Nashville area. To set up a phone screen please email us at or give us a call at

For other services and resources check out the Kennedy Center Pathfinder database at this link:

Spotlight on the Moore Family!

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your family?
My husband Brad and I have been married for 12 years. We are both transplants to to the area, but met here and love it, even before it was popular. We have four boys ages 9.5, 8, and identical twin boys who just turned 5. We just welcomed a puppy to our family, a red lab named Louis.

Q: What is your connection to KidTalk?
A: We got hooked up with KidTalk when one of our twins was diagnosed with Autism when he was 2.5. He attended a Metro public school pre K class when he was 3. He did so well, but then summer break happened and we were without services for a few months. KidTalk came along at the right time and bridged that gap. He learned how to use the iPad and so many other ways to communicate. When he returned to the same class the next fall, his teacher noticed the tremendous difference. We had the same gap this last summer and KidTalk had a different study that he has been participating in with Jodi. We are so thankful for our wonderful KidTalk family!

Q: What is the most useful strategy you have learned from KidTalk
A: During the first study, we worked with Lizzy. I was also a part of the study, and it was so helpful to watch Lizzy interact and see how my son responded to her. I was able to take that home and use the same words, tones, etc... It helped me to communicate with him in a way that we hadn't been able to before!
Q: What do you and your family do for fun? 
We are perpetually in survival mode, we don't venture out too much with all four boys. We try to divide and conquer. Sometimes we all go to the park together. It is getting better as they get older. So we mostly hang out at home.

Q: Best family-friendly restaurant?
Sonic, no transitions! 

Q: Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
My son's life verse which we chose for him when he was a baby, but has been very helpful throughout this journey with him: "For I know the plans I have for you' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Halloween Tips
Here are some ideas to help make Halloween fun for children with Autism and other special needs.
  • Plan ahead! Make sure you set up the day so your child knows what to expect and can be successful.
  • Practice the “trick-or-treating” routine. Ask a neighbor if they will let your child come and practice, or practice knocking on your own door and giving a treat! Make it more fun by involving siblings in the practice!
  • Plant treats if your child does not enjoy traditional Halloween treats. Go to familiar houses and bring some of your child’s favorite snacks. Describe what your child will be wearing and ask the person handing out treats to please give your child the specific treat you provide. Most people are very accommodating and excited to be able to help!
  • If your child does not use verbal words give them a way to say “trick-or-treat” so they can participate. If your child uses a speech generating device such as the iPad, program a button to say “trick-or-treat”! You can also purchase a recordable button and record “trick-or-treat” so your child can push the button to participate. Click here for an example of one from Amazon. 
  • Use a visual schedule so your child knows how many houses they will visit and can check them off the schedule as you go! We love the Choiceworks app ($6.99 on iTunes) that can be downloaded to your phone or iPad, and will allow you to program your child’s schedule.
Click here to download a copy of our tips sheet
Upcoming Events

Afflicted: Daughters of Salem – Sensory Friendly Performance
Nashville Children’s Theater
October 1st at 2 p.m.
Cooper Trooper Foundation Pumpkin Patch
Open October 1st-31st
Free Kids Corner every weekend in October
Corner of Cool Springs Blvd and Mallory Lane
100% of profit goes to the Foundation to Fund Pediatric Cancer Research & Support Well Siblings
Family Fun Day at Gentry’s Farm with Autism Tennessee
October 2nd at 1 p.m.
Admission $7/person
Gentry’s Farm, 1974 Highway 96W, Franklin, TN 37064

Next Steps at Vanderbilt College Night
October 3rd at 5 p.m.
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Room 241
Jumpstreet – Franklin and Murfreesboro locations
October 8th at 9 a.m.
Special needs jump
Families First Program: Developing Basic Communication Skills
October 8th from 9 a.m. to noon
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Room 241

Regal Cinema My Way Matinee
Storks - Sensory Friendly
October 8th at 10:30 a.m.
Regal Opry Mills – 570 Opry Mills Dr, Nashville, TN 37214
844-862-7342, ex: 364
Mix 92.9 Kids Day
October 9th from 12-4 p.m.
Free event
Liberty Hall in The Factory at Franklin, 230 Franklin Road, Franklin, TN 37064
Autism Speaks Walk at Centennial Park
October 22nd at 9 a.m. Opening Ceremonies; 9:30 a.m. Walk begins
Register here:
El Dia de los Muertos
October 29th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cheekwood Art & Gardens
Children 17 and under are free; Adults $16/each
Nashville Buddy Walk at Centennial Park
October 29th at 11 a.m. Pre-Walk Festivities; 1 p.m. Walk begins
Register here:
Jumpstreet – Franklin and Murfreesboro locations
November 5th at 9 a.m.
Special needs jump
Regal Cinema My Way Matinee
Trolls - Sensory Friendly
November 12th at 10:30 a.m.
Regal Opry Mills – 570 Opry Mills Dr, Nashville, TN 37214
844-862-7342, ex: 364
2016 Made South Holiday Market
November 18th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A portion of the proceeds goes to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
The Factory at Franklin, 230 Franklin Road, Franklin, TN 37064
Junie B. Jones Is Not a Crook – Sensory Friendly Performance
Nashville Children’s Theater
November 19th at 2 p.m.
Jumpstreet – Franklin and Murfreesboro locations
December 3rd at 9 a.m.
Special needs jump
Regal Cinema My Way Matinee
Moana - Sensory Friendly
December 10th at 10:30 a.m.
Regal Opry Mills – 570 Opry Mills Dr, Nashville, TN 37214
844-862-7342, ex: 364

Jumpstreet – Franklin and Murfreesboro locations
January 7th at 9 a.m.
Special needs jump
Treasure Island – Sensory Friendly Performance
Nashville Children’s Theater
January 28th at 2 p.m.
Sky High Sports
Every Tuesday at 3-6 p.m.
Sensory friendly jump
5270 Harding Place, Nashville, TN 37217
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110 Magnolia Circle, Suite 314
Nashville, TN 37203

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Vanderbilt KidTalk · 110 Magnolia Circle · Suite 314 · Nashville, TN 37203 · USA

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