FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Contact: Megan Archer, Alumni and Outreach Coordinator, College of Health Professions (304) 696-7153
Marshall Speech and Hearing Center holds ‘Tiny Talkers’ program for children with speech disorders
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Four-year-old Cooper Frasher was diagnosed with apraxia of speech when he came to the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center two years ago. Cooper’s mother, Terri Frasher, said this speech disorder caused her son to have language delays, which kept him from learning to speak, spell and even read.
“As a mother, I am his biggest advocate,” Frasher said. “I knew I needed to help him and when a speech therapist at Cooper’s school suggested the Marshall Speech and Hearing Center, I didn’t hesitate to come.”
In order to help children like Cooper, the program “Tiny Talkers Book Club” was created to facilitate speech therapy through the use of books. Jen Baker, speech language pathologist in the center, said one of the main points of the program is to focus on emergent literacy.
“Kids with speech and language delays are at risk for having challenges with literacy,” Baker said. “We saw a great need for a program like this, which would help strengthen a child’s language skills in a group setting to decrease the chances of literacy problems in the future.”
Since coming to the Speech and Hearing Center, Frasher said she has seen dramatic improvements in her son’s language development.
“This time last year Cooper spoke approximately five words,” Frasher said. “By the end of the summer, he was up to 80 words and using complete sentences.”
Baker said the program holds parent seminars once a month to provide strategies for families to continue teaching their children at home.
“We want to build a solid foundation for our clients,” Baker said. “While working with these children, we are also able to provide great training opportunities for our graduate students in Marshall’s College of Health Professions.”
This summer’s final session of the “Tiny Talkers Book Club” will take place from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, in the Marshall Speech and Hearing Center, located on the Huntington campus in Smith Hall. For more information about the program and future sessions, contact Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos: (Above) Cooper, age 4, and Ellora, age 6, have participated in the Tiny Talkers Book Club all summer. These sessions have provided interactive learning exercises for children ages 3-6 who suffer from various speech disorders. (Below) Graduate students Catherine Counts (left) and Sarah Trill (right), work with children during the “Tiny Talkers Book Club” program.