The University of Texas at Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Pumpki Lei Su

Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Language development and caregiver-child interaction in children with autism and bilingual children; language assessment in bilingual children.

Curriculum Vitae


Email: [email protected]
Phone: 972-883-2384
Office: CR_1.322
Campus Mail Code: CD10


Dr. Su’s research focuses on language development and caregiver-child interaction in children with autism spectrum disorder and bilingual children. Theoretically guided by the Transactional Model of Language Development, she focuses on the influence of child-level factors, input-level factors, and their interaction on language learning in her research. She uses various methods in her work, including observational methods, eye-tracking, naturalistic home language recordings, and language sample analysis to understand how children with different linguistic experiences acquire language.

Dr. Su completed her postdoc training in bilingualism at the University of Delaware. She received her PhD in hearing and speech sciences from Vanderbilt University where she focused on language in autism spectrum disorder. Prior to that, she earned her MS in neurodevelopmental disabilities from Vanderbilt University and BS in communication sciences & disorders, linguistics, with a minor in French language and literature from Northwestern University. Dr. Su is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist. The long-term goal of her work is to (a) identify malleable aspects of caregiver-child interaction that optimize language outcomes in diverse groups of children, and (b) develop culturally and linguistically sensitive tools to assess language and identify language disorders in children from diverse backgrounds.

Recent and Selected Representative Publications

Recent Articles in Peer-Refereed Journals

Su, P. L., Rojas, R., & Iglesias, A. (2022). Dual language profiles in Spanish-Speaking English Learners. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 65(7), 2608-2628.

Sheng, L., Wang, D., Walsh, C., Heisler, L., Li, X., & Su, P. L. (2021). The bilingual home language boost through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in Psychology, 12(July), 1-10.

Su, P. L., Rogers, S. J., Estes, A., & Yoder, P. (2020). The role of early social motivation in explaining variability in functional language in toddlers with autism spectrum disorder. Autism, 25(1), 244-257.

Koegel, L. K., Bryan, K. M., Su, P. L., Vaidya, M., & Camarata, S. (2020). Definitions of nonverbal and minimally verbal in research for Autism: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 50(8), 2957-2972.

Su, P. L., Castle, G., & Camarata, S. M. (2019). Cross-modal generalization of receptive and expressive vocabulary in children with autism spectrum disorder. Autism & Developmental Language Impairments, 4, 1-18.

Su, P. L., & Roberts, M. Y. (2019). Quantity and quality of parental utterances and responses to children with hearing loss prior to cochlear implant. Journal of Early Intervention, 41(4), 366-387.