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Welcome to the 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
Did you know KidTalk is celebrating? 
We have two new PhDs!

Congratulations to Lauren Hampton and Kelly Windsor, both of whom recently completed their dissertation. These ladies will graduate from Vanderbilt's PhD program on May 13th!
KidTalk in Cape Town!
In the beginning of March, Ann, Lauren and Lizzy of the KidTalk Team traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to work with our colleague, Dr. Michal Harty, on an ongoing research project. Dr. Harty is working hard on the project that is implementing EMT for school-aged children with autism. This cultural adaptation of EMT is no small task, given the 11 official languages of South Africa! After countless hours of reviewing videos and Skype calls, we were excited to meet the students in real life! We were also lucky enough to meet the welcoming staff of the Alpha School for Children with Autism, where Dr. Harty is implementing the research project. The Alpha School enrolls children between ages 6 and 18, and is one of only two schools in Cape Town that serves children with autism. We had the opportunity to provide training in EMT to the incredibly hard-working teachers, administrators, and therapy teams at the Alpha School. We also had the opportunity to teach a class for speech language pathologists, to present our research in a talk to the University of Cape Town, and to meet with other autism researchers in South Africa. It was a busy but productive visit!

Of course we managed to make some time for a bit of fun as well. We took cable cars to the top of Table Mountain, where we saw incredible views of the southern coast of Africa. We delved into teatime at the Mount Nelson, a very pink hotel with a very decadent high tea! We also took a weekend trip to the Shamwari Game Reserve, where we saw many animals including lions, elephants, and zebras, oh my! We returned to Nashville with beautiful pictures, a love for teatime, and some big plans of future research projects and return trips to Cape Town!

World Autism Awareness Day
The eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2016. Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique fundraising and awareness-raising events.
How will you celebrate? 

Use #LIUB to share your experience across social media and help light the world up blue this April! Find out which major global landmarks will light up blue in 2016.

Join us to Light It Up Blue! Visit

KidTalk is looking for interns to work with us this Summer and Fall

Do you know a college student who is interested in:
  • Language intervention research?
  • Working with families and children with communication impairments?
  • Learning more about Down syndrome?
  • Learning more about Autism?
  • Working with families who speak Spanish?
Contact for more information or to apply!
Spotlight on the Peck Family

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your family?
A: We are the Peck family.  Kara, AKA- Mom, and Chris, AKA- Dad, Caroline (8), and Miles (6). I am originally from Union City, TN, and Chris is from Nashville TN.  We have lived in the Nashville/Brentwood area for the 16 years we’ve been married. Chris works in sales with Mutual of Omaha, and I am currently not working.  My occupation is nursing. I worked at St Thomas Hospital for 15 years. Caroline and Miles attend Scales Elementary in Williamson Co. Our daily life is like most families. We stay busy with sports, outdoor play, friends and family. We are somewhat different in many other aspects. Miles was born with Down syndrome, so there are certain routines and activities that suite him better than others. We have a love for life and strive to give each of our children opportunities that will benefit them as they grow and mature.
Q: What is your connection to KidTalk?
A: My son, Miles, was born with Down syndrome. He was enrolled in the Susan Gray School on Peabody Campus when he was one year old. It was through Susan Gray I became familiar with KidTalk. We started this program when Miles was 18 months old. Kid Talk has been a HUGE blessing in our lives. It gave Miles a voice and although this initially was through sign language, it has progressed into words and now sentences. It has been amazing to see his growth and to hear him talk! There was a time when I worried about many things like, "Will Miles be able to communicate, will he be able to talk, will others be able to understand him"? Although we continue to work very hard I can say,”Yes!, Miles can communicate, Yes! Miles can talk, and Yes! people can understand him”…...  most of the time :) We have participated in many forms of therapy, but Kid Talk rocks! My family will forever be grateful for what it has given our family. 

Q: Can you tell us about your organization Miles4Miles? 
A: The Miles for Miles Foundation was created in honor of Miles Peck, who was born with Down syndrome on July 22, 2009. The M4M Foundation supports local non profits who enhance the lives of others with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

One of our beneficiaries is Best Buddies TN. Miles for Miles is honored to be a founding partner of Best Buddies Jobs. This program secures employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), allowing them to earn an income, pay taxes, and continuously and independently support themselves. Through the Jobs program, Best Buddies develops partnerships with employers, assists with the hiring process and provides ongoing support to the employee and employer. Miles for Miles values its multi year commitment to this program as it seeks to give greater opportunity, therefore enhancing lives…… the M4M mission! 

Miles for Miles is in the process of providing scholarship dollars to a student seeking post-secondary education through the Nest Steps Program at Vanderbilt. Next Steps is taking applicants at the current time.  Miles for Miles can’t wait to meet our first recipient!  

Miles for Miles is always eager to learn of new opportunities to which we can help support.  To learn more about Miles for Miles visit our website  

Q: How did you start Miles4Miles?
A: Shortly after Miles was born we were told he had Down syndrome.  It rocked our world!  The script to our well planned-out story was quickly erased.  We lost what we hoped and planned for.  A few months after Miles' birth we were given a logo by my older brother, Brian.  He says it was a gift of encouragement for Chris and me.  My brother hoped it was a way for us to focus on the positive for us and for others. Lost dreams have been turned into new, beautiful dreams.  It’s a wonderful privilege to support others with intellectual and developmental disabilities in honor of our own son.
Q: What do you and your family do for fun? 
Our family stays busy with activities and fun. So weather we’re cheering for our Alma mater- Tennessee VOLS, or playing at a park, strolling downtown Nashville to see all the new sights, or just playing in our own backyard with friends, we love to have have some fun together!

Q: Best family-friendly restaurant?
I know there are many kid friendly restaurants in our area, but in order to please everyone in my family, we go to Moe’s.

Q: Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
Chris and I made a pact after Miles’ birth that when the “snowball” starts rolling-( meaning when we start thinking of our future with Miles and will he always have friends who love and cherish him, will we have enough money to support his needs, will he ever be able to live independently, who will care for him when we are no longer able, etc….) we would reel ourselves back in and just say, “Day By Day, Lord, Day By Day”.

Join the KidTalk Team and our friends at the Sertoma Club of Nashville Celebrate Sound Walk! 

The Sertoma Club of Nashville invites everyone to CELEBRATE SOUND Don’t Walk in Silence on April 16th, at Two Rivers Park on the Stones River Greenway in Nashville. 

For 50 million Americans, hearing loss is a significant health issue. From newborn babies to senior citizens, hearing loss can impede learning, lead to social isolation, and even be life threatening.  That’s why Sertoma, one of America’s first service clubs, along with Hearing Charities of America, is sponsoring this walk to raise awareness and funds for hearing health. CELEBRATE SOUND Don’t Walk in Silence is being held to jump start awareness of Better Hearing and Speech Month, an annual event each April when the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association raises awareness about communication disorders and promotes treatment that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding, or hearing.

This year’s Nashville walk begins at the Wave Country-Wave Pool, located at 2320 Two Rivers Parkway, and will take walkers over the Cumberland River onto the Stones River Greenway, and back.  Registration is just $20 and includes a t-shirt, refreshments, live entertainment, and more.  Participants will check in starting at 9:00am; the walk officially begins at 10:00am. 

Money raised by the Sertoma Club of Nashville at this event will be used to fund both local and national hearing health projects. These include grants to local hearing health providers; college scholarships for hard of hearing and deaf students; scholarships for those pursuing graduate studies in speech-language pathology or audiology; awareness programs to prevent noise-induced hearing loss; and programs to promote better public accessibility for people using assistive hearing devices.

To register or to learn more, please visit and click on the Celebrate Sound icon.  


5th Annual Susan Gray School Golf Tournament

The fifth annual Susan Gray School Golf Tournament will be held Thursday, Apr. 14, at Vanderbilt Legends Golf Course in Franklin, TN. Tee time is 8:30 a.m.

Entry fees are $150 per player and $600 per team. Fees cover all tangible benefits, including the green fees, cart, prizes and a boxed lunch, valued at $70 per person. Charitable deduction per golfer is $80.

All proceeds raised will benefit the Susan Gray School, the first nationally recognized early intervention program to include typically developing children in education settings alongside children with disabilities.

Private donations from the community and friends make it possible for the Susan Gray School to continue its commitment to high-quality service, professional training, cutting-edge research, and the demonstration of quality early childhood education and special education practices. We truly appreciate your support!

Susan Gray School, Peabody College of Vanderbilt University
Peabody #66, 110 Magnolia Circle, Nashville, TN 37203-5721

For more information please contact Michelle Wyatt at 615-322-8466 or
- or Chazlie Miller at

Upcoming Events

TRIAD is teaming up with Tennessee Brew Works to “Paint the Taproom Blue”
April 2nd
All day
Tennessee Brew Works, 809 Ewing Ave.
Live music from 4-6 p.m.
For every beer sold that day $1 will go toward the TRIAD Families First program. Tennessee Brew Works will be donating $1 for every beer sold on Sundays in April to the Families First Program
Carnival for International Day of Jewish Youth Service
April 3rd
1:30-3:30 pm
Carnival for children (ages 3 -12) with special needs and their families at the Gordon Jewish Community Center. This event is free and open to all.
Gordon Jewish Community Center
801 Percy Warner Blvd.
More info

Best Buddies Gala and Casino
April 8th 
6:30-11 p.m.
Omni Nashville
Tickets $250/each
Cheatham County Kids Second Annual Autism Awareness Event
April 9th
Noon-5 p.m.
Pleasant View, TN
Fifth Annual Susan Gray School Golf Tournament
April 14th
Tee time 8:30 a.m.
Entry fee $150/person

Celebrate Sound Don't Walk In Silence
The Sertoma Club of Nashville - Two-mile walk to benefit its cause
April 16th

9 a.m.
Two Rivers Park
Registration $20

Purity’s Moosic City Dairy Dash Benefitting High Hopes
April 16th
6-8:30 a.m.
Registration fees vary; Individual $15, family of four $50

Closing the Learning Gap for Complex Kiddos Workshop
April 18th
Workshop for families and caregivers
Registration $50/person
2016 TASH Conference: Faith and Flourishing: Embracing Inclusion for People with Disabilities, their Families, and Congregations
April 22nd
Christ Presbyterian Church; 2323 Old Hickory Blvd.
Registration $65

“Egg” Modified Family Performance
April 23rd
10 a.m.
Tennessee Performing Arts Company 
Andrew Johnson Theater
Tickets $8-12

Pieces of Hope Benefit
April 23rd
6-10 p.m.
The Factory at Franklin
Support the work of Autism Tennessee
Tickets $100/person


Frist Center  - Free Family Festival
April 24th 
1-5:30 p.m.


Autism Awareness Day at Nashville Zoo
April 24th

Noon-4 p.m.

Autism Affinity Day at Frist Center
April 26th
Frist Center for the Visual Arts
Parents can complete a survey for a voucher for free adult admission at
Children 18 and under are always free
What’s Next? A Workshop for Families
May 7th
Holiday Inn Vanderbilt, 2613 West End Ave.
Workshop hosted by The Special Needs Law Center, The Arc Davidson County and Greater Nashville, and the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee.  Workshop will include panels on employment, benefits, housing, recreation, college, transportation, and more
For more information contact Cynthia E. Gardner at (615)509-4677
A Year with Frog and Toad
May 7th
11 a.m.
Nashville Children’s Theater
Sensory friendly performance
Child ticket $15, adult ticket $20

Next Steps at Vanderbilt Open House
May 20th
2 p.m.
Meet current Next Steps at Vanderbilt students and staff and learn about classes, internships, social opportunities, and more. Tour the Next Steps at Vanderbilt offices and The Commons Center. Next Steps at Vanderbilt is a 2-year certification program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, providing individualized Programs of Study in the areas of education, social skills, and vocational training.
Register here:
Get the software that KidTalk uses at a
50% Discount on Proloquo2Go and Proloquo4Text to celebrate

Autism Acceptance Day!
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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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