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Release: April 5, 1999

UI summer programs can help people with communication difficulties

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Children and adults with speech, language, hearing and reading problems may participate in expanded outpatient assistance or updated residential programs this summer at the University of Iowa Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic.

The outpatient program will allow individuals in eastern Iowa to receive treatment for their communication problems two to three times weekly during the summer. The one-week intensive residential programs are also important opportunities, particularly for Iowans who come from small schools or rural communities where they may be the only people with a certain type of communication problem, said Ann Michael, clinic director. "The updated residential programs build on our 53-year tradition of helping Iowans and others improve their communication and reading skills for home, work or school," she added.

UI graduate student-clinicians in the department of speech pathology and audiology, under the direct supervision of certified and licensed speech-language pathologists and audiologists, will provide therapy and assessments in the programs. To discuss participation in the summer programs or to schedule an evaluation, contact the Wendell Johnson Speech and Hearing Clinic at (319) 335-8736.

Beginning Monday, June 14, Speech Pathology and Audiology Outpatient Clinical Services will be available for people with communication problems. The services will include programs to help infants, toddlers and preschool children with their emerging communication skills. The services will also help school-age children continue their Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) so they can work on their communications skills during the summer. Adult clients with communications problems will work toward functional communicative goals. People of all ages with hearing impairments can receive individualized attention to meet their unique communicative needs through the audiology outpatient clinic, which will provide hearing assessments, hearing aid evaluations and listening devices services.

The Summer Program to Build Successful Readers, a new offering, will be June 14-July 16 to help children ages 5 to 7 who are at risk for developing language and/or reading skills problems. To participate, children must have a referral from a classroom teacher or an educational specialist. The program will help children build and improve the foundations of reading, such as vocabulary, decoding and comprehension skills. A certified teacher will join the certified speech-language pathologists and graduate students in the department to provide instruction. This new service is a joint effort of the Wendell Johnson clinic and Breakthrough to Literacy, Inc., a nationally recognized literacy program developed at the UI. The two organizations are collaborating to create the Breakthrough to Literacy Institute, which will be housed at the UI and formally launched in the fall. The new summer reading program is one component of the institute, which will also offer education for professionals and promote research.

Three one-week residential programs, all requiring referrals, will provide children with intensive help for challenging communication problems. Participants will live in one of the UI student dormitories and will be supervised by a full-time, live-in counselor. In addition to formal instruction, the children will participate in late afternoon and evening recreational activities, such as bowling and trips to the park, so they may practice what they learn during the day.

The three one-week residential programs are as follows:

From June 6 through June 11, the Intensive Stuttering Program for Teens will help adolescents gain fluency. Teens will receive individualized and group instruction. A special feature of the program is a follow-up visit with camp participants about four to six weeks after they attend the program.

From June 13 through June 18, the Developmental Apraxia of Speech (DAS) Program will help children ages 8 to 12 work on severe speech problems. Participants will receive about five hours of therapy each day in individual and group sessions. Each child's school clinician will be invited to observe one of the therapy sessions, and parents can attend a parent conference the last day of the program.

From June 27 through July 2, the Aural Rehabilitation Intensive Summer Therapy Program for Children will help children age 8 to 12 who have severe to profound hearing impairments. Children who use hearing aids or cochlear implants may enroll in this program. They will also receive additional assistance from a child-care worker for all non-instruction tasks.