Teaching at GSU is exciting and rewarding because of its student and faculty diversity. Students have a wide range of experiences, and they use these experiences to learn and acquire knowledge. Learning takes place in a community context, and students focus on social and cultural issues of the community they serve.
Helping children to succeed earlier rather than later, through evidence-based learning approaches, is extremely rewarding. Building self-confidence in children through enhanced communication skills energizes me to engage in the further exploration of efficient interventions for improving social communication skills. I find it academically stimulating to apply mobile technology (smartphones and tables like the iPad) to improve language and social-communication skills in autistic individuals. I also am passionate about investigating the efficiency of recent applications, and developing user-friendly applications for language learning.
I find it gratifying to work in a field related to the contemporary development of mobile technology (and my own investigations in the field) designed to expand communication skills of autistic individuals and those with severe communication difficulties. Participating in scholarship dissemination and an opportunity to contribute to our knowledge-base through scientific investigations is a fulfilling experience that has great meaning to me personally.
I received my graduate degree in Speech and Hearing from the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing at Manasagangotri (Mysore University), located in Mysore, India. After graduation, I started my private practice in Delhi and later relocated to Singapore to work as a Speech-Language Pathologist at a center for children with multiple disabilities. Working at the center for two-and-one-half years developed my interest in using alternative methods, other than traditional speech, for social communication.
With guidance from Dr. Fristoe, I was accepted to the doctorate program at Purdue University and earned my doctorate under the mentorship of Dr. Lyle L. Lloyd in a dual-doctoral program of special education and speech-language pathology that focused on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and assistive technology. Before joining GSU, I was a faculty member at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Duquesne University. I have received various internal grants, as well as external research grants, from the U.S. Department of Education. I have presented my research at national and international conferences, and I have numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals.
My most valuable community service experiences include assisting children to achieve language and reading skills and helping parents improve their children's language and reading skills through media and the Internet. I also help the community by organizing screening activities through local community organizations and professional development activities for clinicians and teachers; these activities keep their knowledge base up-to-date and apply technology that improves communication skills.
Outside the classroom, I am a photographer, an artist, a filmmaker and a writer. My ultimate goal in life is to travel to as many places on this blue dot and experience as many different cultures as possible.
Nigam, R. (2012-13). Software Consultant, for Wendt, O. (2013). SPEAKall! [Software]. Available from http://speakmod.com
Nigam, R. (2012). Criterion-referenced measurement of functional vocabulary for Asian Indian preschool children. ASHA KIRAN: A Publication of the Asian Indian Caucus, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 7-8
Nigam, R. & Wendt, O. Commentary authors, (2010). Peer-mediated naturalistic teaching, both with and without a speech-generating device, has transient effect on communicative behaviors in preschool children with autism spectrum disorders. Evidence-Based Communication Assessment and Intervention. 4, 27-31
Koul, R., Corwin, M., Nigam, R., & Otzel, S. (2008). Training individuals with severe Broca’s aphasia to produce sentences using graphic symbols: implications for AAC intervention. Journal of Assistive Technologies, 2, 23-34.
Nigam, R. (2006). Sociocultural development and validation of lexicon for Asian-Indian individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 1, 245-256.
Nigam, R., Schlosser, R. W. & Lloyd, L. L. (2006). Concomitant use of the matrix strategy and the mand-model procedure in teaching graphic symbol combinations. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 22, 160-177.
Nigam, R. (2003). Do individuals from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds perceive graphic symbols differently? Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 19, 135-136.
Nigam, R. (2001). Dynamic assessment of graphic symbol combinations by children with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 16, 190-197.
Nigam, R., & Karlan, G. R. (1996). Sociocultural validation and development of Picture Communication Symbols for children and adolescents. Proceedings ofthe 7th Biennial Conference of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Vancouver, Canada, 354 -355.
Schlosser, R. W., Belifore, P., Nigam, R., Blischak, D., & Hetzroni, O. (1995). The effects of speech output technology in the learning of graphic symbols. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 28, 537-549.
Schlosser, R. W., Belifore, P., Nigam, R., Blischak, D., & Hetzroni, O. (1997). The effects of speech output technology in the learning of graphic symbols. In B.A. Iwata, J. S. Bailey, N. A. Neef, D. P. Wacker, A. C. Repp, & G. L. Shook (Eds.), Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities (Reprint Volume 1,
3rd edition) (pp. 321-333). REPRINTED from Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 28, 537-549.
Prakash, P., Rekha, R., Nigam, R., & Karanth, P. (1993). Phonological awareness, orthography, and literacy. In S. Scholes (Ed.), Literacy and Language Analysis (pp. 55-70). Hillsdale, NJ: Elbaum.
Nigam, R. (2009). Sociocultural validation of Picture Communication Symbols: An example with Asian-Indian culture. Manuscript submitted to Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Manuscripts under Preparation
Nigam, R., Schlosser, R.W., & Wendt, O. (2010). Efficacy of matrix strategy in teaching early multiword combinations: An integrative review.
Nigam, R. (2010) Selecting a culturally valid lexicon for augmentative and alternative communication: A tutorial.