Degrees and Certifications:
Wichita State University - BA - Communicative Disorders and Sciences - MA - Communicative Disorders and Sciences George Mason University - Graduate Certificate - Autism - 30+ hours of graduate coursework in Special Education
Mrs. Kim Bender
Mrs. Bender is pleased to join the staff of Sanders Corner Elementary this year as the school's new speech-language pathologist.
Mrs. Bender began her career as a speech-language pathologist at Grafton School. She also worked in Prince William County Schools for nine years before coming to Loudoun County Schools in 2003. During her time in LCPS, she has also had the unique opportunity to teach a self-contained K-2 autism class for two years. Her special education background allows her to better understand and address behaviors that can accompany weak communication skills.
Although Mrs. Bender assists school teams with a wide variety of communication needs; she particularly enjoys working with families and school staff to help support the complex communication skills of students with autism. Her interests extend from non-verbal or minimally verbal students who require augmentative alternative communication (AAC) support; to those students with Aspergers Syndrome (AS) who struggle with social communication skills and higher level language (idioms, humor, inferences...) needed to maintain social relationships and understand abstract academic concepts. She has completed many hours of extra professional development in interventions that include: Social Thinking (M. Winner), Zones of Regulation, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and implementing low, mid, and high tech AAC systems that promote meaningful and functional communication with a combination of "core" vocabulary and personalized "fringe" vocabulary personalized based on the student's interests and needs (LAMP Words for Life, Minspeak, Unity, etc...).
This year, Mrs. Bender plans to introduce the use of Story Grammar Marker (SGM) as an extra tool to promote improved language comprehension and expression. Intervention with the SGM, supports the complex set of language skills needed to fully understand and retell stories (story narratives) and past experiences (personal narratives). Skills that are linked with improved social and academic performance.
Mrs. Bender lives with her husband, her 21 year old son, her 19 year old daughter, and a rescued sheltiepoo named Bailey in Clarke County, Virginia. She is looking forward to an exciting year working the families and staff at Sanders Corner Elementary.