Faculty Profiles

Lesley Olswang

Lesley B. Olswang, Ph.D./ CCC     

  • Language Development and Disorders in Children
    • Social Communication Disorders in School-Aged Children
    • Early Signals of Communication in Infancy
  • Treatment Efficacy
Personal Teaching & Research website

Dept. of Speech & Hearing Sciences
       (For Campus Mail only: Box 354875)
University of Washington
1417 NE 42nd St.
Seattle, WA 98105-6246


Office:(206) 616-5273 Fax:(206) 543-1093
Education & Research: Speech-Language Pathology Division
Faculty & Staff Directory

Lesley Olswang has been on the faculty at the University of Washington since 1978. She is also an affiliate of the Center on Human Development and Disability and the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Center. She became an Asha Fellow in 1996 and was awarded a Fulbright Scholar Award in 1994-95, allowing her to study in Great Britain at the University of Reading and the University of Edinburgh. She received her degrees from Northwestern University, University of Illinois and the University of Washington.    

Her research has focused on measuring the benefits of treatment for individuals with language disorders, including using dynamic assessment as a means of predicting change in young children with specific language impairments. She currently is pursuing two major lines of investigation. The first involves the acquisition of signals of communication by infants with motor impairments and young adults with severe/profound developmental disabilities. The second focuses on examining the social communication skills of children prenatally exposed to alcohol. This latter research has been examining the performance of children as they interact with peers in their classroom Dr. Olswang's research is described more fully on her lab Website and her Personal Teaching and Research Website.

Dr. Olswang teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in the department. She won the University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award in 1983, and the Marsha Landolt Graduate Mentor Award in 2005. She was also the recipient of the Washington State Clinical Achievement Award in 2004. Her courses include: Social Cultural Aspects of Communication (SPHSC 308), Clinical Methodology for Documenting Change in Communication Disorders (SPHSC 500), Clinical Research in Communication Disorders (SPHSC 505), and Instructional Development Forum (SPHSC 563).

Recent Publications

Olswang, L., Coggins, T., & Timler, G. (2001). Alternative measures for evaluating outcomes: outcome measures for school-age children with social communication problems. Topics in Language Disorders, 21(4), 50-73.

Stone-Goldman, J. & Olswang, L. (2003). Learning to look, learning to see: using ethnography to develop cultural sensitivity. Asha Leader, 8(5), pp. 6-7, 14-15.

Beilinson, J., & Olswang, L. (2003). Facilitating peer group entry in kindergarteners with deficits in social communication. Language, Speech, Hearing Services in Schools, 34, 154-166.
Murphy, K. M., Saunders, M. D., Saunders, R. R., & Olswang, L. B. (2004). Effects of ambient stimuli on measures of behavioral state and microswitch use in adults with profound multiple impairments. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 25, 355-370.
Timler, G., Olswang, L., & Coggins, T. (2005). “Do I Know What I need to Do?” A social communication intervention for children with complex clinical profiles. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services In Schools, 36, 73-85.
Community of Science: complete description of research and updated bibliography with abstracts.