Margaret Kjelgaard, PhD, CCC-SLP

Margaret Kjelgaard
Associate Professor
Communication Sciences and Disorders
(617) 643-6337
Office Location: 
Shouse - 427

Research Interests

Dr. Kjelgaard has a long-standing commitment to understanding autism, both clinically as well as in basic science. Her research has been mainly aimed at uncovering the issues that make the comprehension of language difficult for so many individuals with autism.

This work has been historically focused on the expression and comprehension of prosody, or the rhythm and tune of speech, and how this presents problems for some individuals with autism. More recently, her research has also begun investigations of lower level, sensory processing issues, especially of auditory information, and how it relates to the sensory difficulties that are so clinically salient in many of those who have autism.

In addition to her many focuses on autism, Dr. Kjelgaard's work has also included research in basic psycholinguistic studies of prosody, as well as in language processing in other clinical populations, such as those with specific language impairment, dyslexia and blind individuals.

Dr. Kjelgaard is Co-Investigator on a National Institutes of Health grant, Brain Bases of Language Deficit. MIT Prime 2011-2016.



Geiser, E.,  Kjelgaard, M., Christodolou, J., Cyr, A., Gabrieli, J.D.E. (2014). Auditory temporal structure processing in dyslexia: Processing of prosodic phrase boundaries is not impaired in children with dyslexia. Annals of Dyslexia.

Kjelgaard, M. and Tager-Flusberg, H. (2013). The perception of the relationship between affective prosody and the emotional content in utterances in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, 20 (1) 20–32.

Kjelgaard, M. and Guarino, A. (2012). Assessing the predictive validity of the admission process in a master's level speech language pathology program. Psychological Reports: Measures & Statistics, 111 (2) 613-617.

Kjelgaard, M. and Guarino, A.J. (2012). Assessing clinical and academic performance in a master's level speech language pathology program: A path analysis. Creative Education. 3 (1), 145-148.  DOI: 10.4236/ce.2012.31023

Titone, D. A., Koh, C. K., Kjelgaard, M. M., Bruce, S., Speer, S. R., Wingfield, A. (2006). Age-related impairments in the revision of syntactic misanalyses: Effects of prosody. Language and Speech 49. Pt 1: 75-99. DOI:  10.177/00238309060490010501


Kjelgaard, M.M. (2014). Autism and sensory sensitivities. Boston Conservatory. Boston, MA.

Smith, M. & Kjelgaard, M. (2014). Degree of Emotion in Prosody: Acoustic Correlates. ASHA National Conference, Orlando, FL.

Kjelgaard, M.M., Gandhi, T.K., Tsourides, K., Pantazis, D. & Sinha, P. (2014). Causal Underpinnings of Sensory Hypersensitivities in Autism. International Meeting of Autism Research (IMFAR), Atlanta, GA.

Qi, Z., Perrachione, T., Harris, A., Ostrovskaya, I., Beach, S., Halverson, K., Cyr, A., Sher, K., Kjelgaard, M., Gabrieli, J., Wexler, K. & Tager-Flusberg, T. (2013). Neural signatures of phonological working memory and grammatical processing in autism spectrum disorders. Poster presented at 5th Neurobiology of Language Conference & 43rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.

Kjelgaard, M., Chiew, J., Gandhi, T., Sindhal., N., Sinha, P. (2013). Perception of Emotion in Speech Prosody by Blind & Autistic Individuals. ASHA National Conference. Chicago, IL.


BA, Psychology, Magna Cum Laude, University of New Hampshire
PhD, Experimental Psychology, Northeastern University
Clinical Certification Program in Communication Disorders, MGH Institute

Curriculum Vitae