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Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 356-2154

Release: Immediate

Summer program for children needing speech therapy available at Children's Hospital of Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Children with speech, language or hearing difficulties can receive therapy and other help in the Summer Speech Program at the Children's Hospital of Iowa at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

During the school year, many students with such impairments receive speech therapy in their home communities. However, those services may not be available during summer months.

The Summer Speech Program fills the void by providing students an opportunity to continue therapy during six weeks. It is designed to prepare children in preschool and primary grades for school programs or to provide a summer extension of a school program.

"We work closely with speech and language pathologists in the schools," says Betty Merrifield, speech language pathologist in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. "We help students maintain and enhance the gains they have already made so when school resumes, they haven't lost ground, and can continue to progress."

Last summer, 90 students -- some from as far away as West Des Moines and Geneseo, Ill. -- worked with seven speech and language pathologists during the Summer Speech Program.

The 1998 program, which runs from June 15 to July 23, also will include reading enrichment assistance. Scholarships also are available this year.

More information is available from Merrifield by calling (319) 356-2154. Written requests may be directed to Betty Merrifield, Department of Pediatrics, 2447 JCP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1083.