“Communication is vital in our society no matter how you communicate,” said Leah Shaffer, a graduate clinician in speech and language pathology at the UH department of communication sciences and disorders. “It’s the basis of forming relationships. So, if you are having difficulty communicating, that’s going to impact every aspect of your life.”
Texting, phoning, talking—communicating is like breathing. We think nothing of the medium or message that we convey unless it becomes unavailable.
Shaffer and UH colleague Tonya Moreland participated in an intensive two week program spent with the Center for Speech and Language. It was an opportunity to move away from textbooks and into a real-life experiences teaching hearing impaired children to expand their ability to communicate.
“I don’t think people are as familiar with this field when they hear about it,” said Moreland. “I do think if more people knew about it, more people would want to be in the field of speech therapy.”
Supervisors in the room guide the graduate students, providing insight or ways to elicit more language.
“These are real kids with real speech issues,” Schaffer said. “You actually work with them, molding them into better listeners and better speakers.”
The program was one of three intensive summer therapy programs from the UH department of communication sciences and disorders in partnership with area agencies to train the next generation of speech and language pathologists.
“I feel like this field is helping children have that experience and have that opportunity. It feels very rewarding to be part of it,” she said.
“When you see that confidence in them, that ‘I can do anything,’ it’s breathtaking,” added Moreland.
Speech and Language is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston. I’m Marisa Ramirez.
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