Kayla Kristensen

Position title: Research Specialist

Email: kayla.kristensen@wisc.edu

I completed my bachelor of arts in psychology and communication sciences and disorders, as well as my masters of science in speech-language pathology at UW-Madison. I was excited to extend my learning with a Master’s thesis, “Relating decreased acoustic contrast to intelligibility: Perceptual consequences for children with cochlear implants,” in partnership with Dr. Jan Edwards, Dr. Ruth Litovsky, and Dr. Katie Hustad. Additionally, I completed a year of training in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities (LEND) at the Waisman Center.

Across my clinical fellowship and as a certified speech-language pathologist, I had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful individuals, families, and interdisciplinary teams within the Waisman Center Clinics. I am so happy to continue working as a speech-language pathologist within the Down Syndrome and Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinics at the Waisman Center.

I also had the amazing opportunity to create and lead the Amina Grace Speech and Language Therapy Program at GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center in Madison, WI for three years. I loved providing speech and language assessment and therapy for individuals with Down syndrome across the age span and collaborating with each individual’s family and teams.

I joined the Binaural Hearing and Speech Lab as a research specialist to continue working with young adults with Down syndrome and their families. I am so thankful to be a part of this wonderful research study and team.

My husband, Ty, helps me remember that there is also a world outside of everything that I love about research and clinical work, and we enjoy traveling, cooking together, hiking, reading, and picking a food (e.g., ramen) and finding our favorite place in Madison for that dish (Morris Ramen!) We are also expecting twins in July 2020 – we are so excited!