Graduate students screen hundreds of area kids
for speech, language and hearing problems
Getting preschoolers to sit still and pay attention can seem like wrangling cats, but some speech-language pathology and audiology graduate students does it dozens of times per year.
This fall about 40 master’s and doctoral candidates are honing professional skills while testing hundreds of three-, four- and five-year olds for speech, language and hearing problems, says Karen Day, coordinator of the Speech-Language Hearing Clinic’s Off-Campus Preschool Screening Program.
Day says the program, now in its ninth year, enables the students to fulfill a clinical requirement while providing a needed and much-appreciated community service.
The program offers screenings in a variety of settings, including Head Start, church-affiliated and private preschools in Baltimore City as well as Baltimore, Harford and Carroll counties.
“It’s important for students to be able to work with children from a variety of socioeconomic groups and at varying developmental levels,” Day explains. “It’s an interesting and sometimes eye-opening experience.”
Identifying speech-language and hearing difficulties early is critical to social and academic success once a child starts school, she says. About one in five of the preschoolers screened through the program is referred for further assessment.
“Our students don’t diagnose,” Day emphasizes, “but they will recommend that parents take those children to a speech-language pathologist, audiologist or medical doctor.
“It could be a relatively minor problem—a middle-ear infection from a cold, for example—but we emphasize the important of following up.”
Originally funded through a grant from BGE, the Off-Campus Preschool Screening Program now operates with funding from the clinic and small individual contributions.
“The program provides a fantastic opportunity for students,” says Day. “Of course they enjoy working with the children, but they also see everything from perfectly normal kids to kids with significant impairments. This is an important part of their graduate education.”
As for the subjects themselves, they may be having too much fun with the earphones and word games to fully understand the importance of their screenings. “The students can make it seem like play,” says Day, “but in fact we’re providing a major service, especially for the under-resourced preschools.
“This really is a mutually beneficial relationship—everybody wins.”
Those wishing to give to the Off-Campus Preschool Screening Program may do so by designating xxxxx on their Faculty/Staff Campaign donor cards.
Story by Jan Lucas/Photo by Kanji Takeno
TU program inspires, motivates students
Many young adults want
to effect meaningful change, yet too seldom act on those longings.
"That's where LeaderShape can
change lives," says
Deb Moriarty, TU's vice president for student affairs. "It
provides the catalyst that enables them to translate their visions
The not-for-profit Leadershape
Institute offers nationally acclaimed programs designed to develop
young adults "to lead with integrity." More than 15,000
people--mainly from colleges and universities--have participated
in its programs.
LeaderShape's six-day intensive
leadership-development experience encourages participants to live
in a state of possibility, make a commitment to a vision, develop
relationships to move the vision into action, and sustain a high
level of integrity.
TU's first program took place last
month at the Bishop Clagget Center near Buckeystown, Md., with 52
students culled from 80 applicants who had been nominated by TU's
faculty and/or staff. "They were about as diverse a group as
we could assemble," says Moriarty, who served as one of two
lead facilitators. "The power and the beauty of the program
is that it brings together people who might never have gotten together
"We wanted them to
understand that it's possible to put aside individual differences
and build strong communities."
Despite their varied backgrounds,
Moriarty says the 52 bonded tightly in a structured learning environment
that included small lectures, working in groups, individual self-assessment
and lots of feedback.
"It's a very intentional
curriculum that speaks to different learning styles," Moriarty
adds. "Some parts are intense and some are playful, but every
experience points participants toward the need to commit to a vision
and to collaborate to attain shared goals."
The campus community will
have an opportunity to meet TU's first LeaderShape graduates on
Wednesday, March 2, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the University Union's
"These students returned
to campus with great ideas and lots of energy," says Moriarty.
"The reception will enable them to share what they hope to
accomplish with our faculty and staff and identify ways the community
can best support their progress."
Those wishing to attend the March 2 reception should
R.S.V.P. to x43307.
by Jan Lucas/Photo courtesy of the Division of Student Affairs
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