Meghan M. Davidson
- Investigator, Child Language Doctoral Program
- Assistant Professor, Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders
1000 Sunnyside Ave
Lawrence, KS 66045-7599
Meghan Davidson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences & Disorders at the University of Kansas. She is also affiliated faculty for the Child Language Doctoral Program. She completed her Ph.D. in 2016 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas at Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders before beginning at the University of Kansas in 2018.
Dr. Davidson’s research focuses on spoken and written language comprehension in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across the lifespan with a particular interest in understanding the contributions of different cognitive, linguistic, and social factors in the development of reading abilities. She is the director of the Comprehension and Language Learning Lab. She also teaches courses in child language development and research methods.
Dr. Davidson’s research focuses on spoken and written language comprehension in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) across the lifespan. Her specific research interests are in the contributions of different cognitive, linguistic, and social factors in the development of reading abilities across the autism spectrum. Current projects are focused on investigating the role of spoken language and social communication in story comprehension with an emphasis on determining child and text influences. She employs eye tracking and text analysis methodologies as part of this work. The overarching goal of Dr. Davidson’s work is to determine profiles of strength and weakness in comprehension and underlying skills in order to identify targeted areas for effective clinical treatment.
- Language and social communication in autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
- Language development
- Language disorders
- Language comprehension processes
- Reading development
- Reading disorders
- Eye tracking methodology
- Text analysis
Dr. Davidson is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, International Society for Autism Research, Society for the Scientific Study of Reading, and the Society for Text and Discourse.
Dr. Davidson teaches undergraduate research methods (SPLH 660) as well as undergraduate and graduate courses in language development (SPLH 566/816), and she mentors the graduate teaching assistant for the language sampling analysis course (SPLH 565). She also mentors undergraduate students in her lab.
- Language development
- Language disorders
- Language assessment and intervention
- Research methods
Selected Publications —
Davidson, M.M. (2021). Reading comprehension in school-age children with ASD: Examining the many components that may contribute. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 52(1), 181-196.
Davidson, M.M. & Ellis Weismer, S. (2018). A preliminary investigation of parent-reported fiction versus non-fiction book preferences of school-age children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Language Impairments, 3, 1-12.
Davidson, M.M., Kaushanskaya, M., & Ellis Weismer, S. (2018). Reading comprehension in children with and without ASD: The role of word reading, oral language, and working memory. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48(10), 3524-3541.
Davidson, M.M. & Ellis Weismer, S. (2017). Reading comprehension of ambiguous sentences by school-age children with autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research, 10(12), 2002-2022.
Davidson, M.M. & Ellis Weismer, S. (2017). A discrepancy in comprehension and production in early language development in ASD: Is it clinically relevant? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 47(7), 2163-2175.
Ellis Weismer, S., Davidson, M.M., Gangopadhyay, I., Roebuck, H., Sindberg, H.A., & Kaushanskaya, M. (2017). The role of nonverbal working memory in morphosyntactic processing by children with specific language impairment and autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 9(28), 1-16.
Kaushanskaya, M., Park, J., Gangopadhyay, I., Davidson, M.M., & Ellis Weismer, S. (2017). The relationship between executive functions and language abilities in children: A latent variables approach. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60(4), 912-923.
Gangopadhyay, I. Davidson, M.M., Ellis Weismer, S., & Kaushanskaya, M. (2016). The role of non-verbal working memory in morphosyntactic processing by school-aged monolingual and bilingual children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 142, 171-194.
Kover, S.T., Davidson, M.M., Sindberg, H.A., & Ellis Weismer, S. (2014). Use of the ADOS for assessing spontaneous expressive language in young children with ASD: A comparison of sampling contexts. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 57(6), 2221-2233.
Davidson, M.M. & Ellis Weismer, S. (2014). Characterization and prediction of early reading abilities in children on the autism spectrum. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 44(4), 828-845.
Davidson, M.M., Ellis Weismer, S., Alt, M., & Hogan, T.P. (2013). Survey on perspectives of pursuing a PhD in communication sciences and disorders. Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders, 40, 98-115.
Awards & Honors —
Loan Repayment Program Award
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
2017, 2019 & 2020
New Century Scholars Doctoral Scholarship
American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation (ASHFoundation)
Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CAPCSD)
Grants & Other Funded Activity —
2020 – 2021 New Investigator Research Grant, American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, “The role of social communication child and text factors in comprehension for children with ASD and their TD peers” (PI: Meghan M. Davidson; $10,000)
2019 New Faculty General Research Fund Grant, University of Kansas, “A pilot investigation of social communication in early school-age children’s comprehension” (PI: Meghan M. Davidson; $8,000)