2017 Van Riper Lectures

Social Communications and Pragmatics: A Developmental Perspective

35th Annual Van Riper Lectures
October 12-13



Dr. Carol WestbyDr. Carol Westby, Ph.D., ASHA Fellow​ 

  • B.A. in English from Geneva College
  • M.A. and Ph.D. in speech pathology from the University of Iowa
  • Specialty Recognition in Child Language (ASHA)

Dr. Westby has published and presented nationally and internationally. Her interests include study of the relationships between language and literacy, assessment and facilitation of written language, and best practices in serving culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Dr. Westby has been principal investigator on a number of research grants, including those that support student preparation for use of best practices in speech-language pathology.

Lee RobinsonLee Robinson, MS-SLP

  • B.S. and M.S. from Brigham Young University
  • Associate clinical professor at Brigham Young University
  • Director of Brigham Young Speech and Language Clinic

Ms. Robinson’s professional expertise is in assessment and intervention of infants, children and adolescents who have social-emotional/pragmatic deficits which interfere with their social interaction and academic performance. She has presented and written about social emotional/pragmatic deficits in students who have communication disorders and has actively collaborated with Dr. Carol Westby on communication impairments associated with ADHD. Ms. Robinson has participated in ASHA’s Leadership Development Program and has received the prestigious Benjamin Cluff Jr. Award for Excellence in Education at Brigham Young University. 



Thursday, October 12

  • 8 to 8:30 a.m. - Registration: Fetzer Lobby
  • 8:45 to 9 a.m. - Dean’s welcome
  • 9 to 10:30 a.m. - Role of Theory of Mind (ToM) and pragmatics
  • 10:30 to 10:45 a.m. - Break
  • 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. - Approaches to assessing pragmatics
  • 12:15 to 1:45 p.m. - Lunch on your own
  • 1:45 to 3 p.m. - Social-emotional/ToM development: Infants and toddlers. Emergent ToM/pragmatics: 18 months to 4 years
  • 3 to 3:15 p.m. - Break
  • 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. - First order ToM: Late preschool/mid elementary
  • 4:30 to 5 p.m. - Q&A
  • 5 p.m. - Adjourn

Friday, October 13

  • 8:15 to 8:30 a.m. - Welcome and Housekeeping
  • 8:30 to 10 a.m. - Second order and higher order ToM development and assessments: Mid elementary school through adolescence
  • 10 to 10:15 a.m. - Break
  • 10:15 to 11:45 a.m. - Carrying on conversations and developing life stories
  • 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. - Q&A and wrap up
  • 12:15 p.m. - Adjourn


Presentation Materials

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Psi Iota Xi, Incorporated
Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
College of Health and Human Services
Western Michigan University