Clinic review: What’s ongoing and new?

The Charles Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic continues to provide rich educational opportunities for student clinicians through delivery of services to a wide variety of clientele. Each full semester, approximately 30 graduate and 20 undergraduate student clinicians work with clients in the clinic. At least 110 therapy clients are served each semester, with an additional 50 evaluations conducted, including assessments of voice.

Populations served include:

  • Children with speech sound and language disorders (through both the Preschool Language Intervention Program and individual therapy)
  • Preschool children who are developing normally but for whom English is spoken as a second language in the home
  • Pediatric and adult clients who stutter
  • Pediatric and adult clients with voice disorders
  • Adolescents and others with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Adults with aphasia, traumatic brain injuries and dysarthria

In addition to more standard diagnostic and intervention services, student clinicians continue to have the opportunity to gain clinical experience through the Children’s Trauma Assessment Center and through therapy sites in the community, including Kalamazoo County Head Start and Winchell Elementary School.

Speech-language pathology students are also able to experience an inter-professional approach to therapy with individual clients at the clinic. They collaborate with a variety of other professionals and students in areas including music therapy, occupational therapy, blindness and low vision studies, Spanish mentoring, and academic advising.

In addition to conducting traditional diagnostic evaluations, graduate student diagnostic teams are also able to engage in interdisciplinary opportunities such as partnering with the WMU Medical School Pediatric Multiple Disabilities Clinic and the WMU Medical School Pediatric Oral Cleft Clinic each month.

Lastly, the Van Riper Language, Speech and Hearing Clinic recently welcomed aboard a new clinic iPad that is frequently used in therapy with pediatric and adult clients for a range of purposes. It is used daily as an augmentative device for those with aphasia and several children who have severe expressive communication impairments. It can also be use to provide "electronic" stimuli in more traditional therapy.