|Center for Persons with Disabilities|
6880 Old Main Hill
Logan UT 84322-6880
• Faculty Fellow at the Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University
• Assistant Clinical Professor, Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education Department;
• Faculty member, Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program at the CPD;
• Provides consultation to the Up to 3 program and the Clinical Services evaluation team at the CPD;
• Director of the Pediatric Feeding Clinic, an interdisciplinary clinic in cooperation with the CPD, URLEND program, Dr. Dennis Odell, Nutrition and Psychology programs;
• Leads the Social Language Group for children with autism, in cooperation with Dr. Odell and the clinical faculty in the Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education department.
Ms. Simonsmeier coordinates clinical and leadership activities for 10 speech-language pathology and audiology graduate trainees in the URLEND program who gain some of their experience through programs and clinics at the CPD.
URLEND is a multi-state collaborative program with the University of Utah Medical Center’s Department of Pediatrics; the CPD; the Utah Department of Health’s Children with Special Health Care Needs Bureau; Primary Children's Medical Center; Family Voices organizations in the participating states, and CSHCN programs in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Utah.
She has been involved with URLEND from its inception, working with Dr. Judith Holt and others to write its initial training grant. Through URLEND, she worked in conjunction with the trainees in occupational therapy and psychology, along with Dr. Dennis Odell to start an interdisciplinary feeding clinic that provides services to children who have trouble getting enough nutrition. The children range from 0 to 12 years old, with many of the referrals coming from the newborn intensive care units at Primary Children’s Medical Center and Logan Regional Hospital. The clinic has served 21 children in the last year, and Simonsmeier has previously published a related article in the journal Infants and Young Children. The clinic is now located in the Lillywhite Building on the Utah State University campus.
Another project, the Social Language Group, also grew out of URLEND program and it’s relationships on campus in order to assist children on the autism spectrum with pragmatic (social language) skills. Most of these children were either undiagnosed in their preschool years or did not qualify for services within school services. This fee-for-services clinic is a project in collaboration with Dr. Odell and the clinical faculty in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education. It has served 10 children in the past year.
These and other clinical sites within the URLEND program serve as a place for the 10 speech and language pathology and audiology trainees who Simonsmeier mentors. The URLEND audiology component is a result of a grant written by URLEND principal investigator Dr. Judith Holt and Communicative Disorders and Speech-Language Pathology Endowed Chair Dr. Ron Gillam.
In addition, Simonsmeier is working on a research project to understand how parents make decisions about alternative treatments or complimentary medicine, especially as it relates to their decision whether to vaccinate their children.