Student Presentations

University of Arkansas Students will present during this time

Evaluation of a Mentor Program for Children with Communication Disorders (30 minutes)

Brooke Pridgen is an undergraduate Honors student at the University of Arkansas. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to pursue her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.

 

This presentation will review feedback provided by caregivers of children who have completed the mentor program for children with communication disorders to identify strengths and weaknesses of the program to influence the development of future programming and curriculum development. Current research on mentor programs for neurotypical children suggests there are common criteria among effective mentor programs, like duration of mentor relationship or gender of mentor. The mentor program in Northwest Arkansas was created with these criteria in mind; however, this program was designed specifically for children with communication disorders and no evaluation of the overall program has been completed to date. There is limited research available on this topic currently. To determine the strengths (if any) and the weaknesses (if any) of the mentor program, the qualitative data from the exit interviews will be hand coded and a ground theory approach for data analysis will be utilized. A preliminary review of the data indicates that the caregivers feel that that the program had an overall positive effect on their child. Data analysis is ongoing; however, data currently suggests the following strengths of the program: emotional support and social development, including better attitudes toward school and an easier time opening up to others. The data currently suggests the following weaknesses of the program: inconsistency of the mentors and difficulty trying to find time throughout the week to meet with the mentor.

Disclosure

Financial Relationships: None
Non-financial Relationships: None

 

Impact of Phonology Coursework For Future Speech-Language Pathologists (30 minutes)

Colby Fowler is a senior in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Program at the University of Arkansas. She is also a student in the Honors College. She has completed training in Connections OG in 3D® and in the LETRS program modules 1, 2, & 3 by Dr. Carol Tolman. She enjoys working on reading with children with dyslexia and hopes to continue her education in a graduate program for speech-language pathology.

 

In children, phonological awareness has been proven to be necessary for them to succeed in learning all aspects of language (Moats & Tolman, 2016). Therefore, speech-language pathologists need to be experts on phonological awareness skills because they are the foundation for literacy. Considering speech-language pathologists provide treatment and intervention for students with speech, language, and communication disorders, measuring phonological awareness in future speech-language pathologists is of high importance. The focus of this study was to examine how an undergraduate course, Phonology and Articulation, would affect phonological awareness in future speech-language pathologists. This study completed pre- and post-testing of students enrolled in the undergraduate program for Communication Disorders. Thirty-seven undergraduate students were recruited to participate in this study. Participants completed two subtests of the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP-2) remotely. Pre-testing was completed during the first week of the course and post-testing was completed during the final week of the sixteen-week course. This study compared the results to a parallel study (Maestri, 2020) that completed testing face to face. All participants were female between the age range of 20-21 years. Data analysis is ongoing and is anticipated to be completed in Fall 2021. Data will be described and parametric statistics completed as are appropriate.

Disclosure

Financial Relationships: None
Non-financial Relationships: None

 

The Perception of Speech-Language Therapy and Auditory-Verbal Therapy Among Caregivers of Children with Hearing Loss (30 minutes)

Hanna Kate Hartshorn is an undergraduate student at the University of Arkansas. She is an Honors student at the university, and she will graduate in May 2022 with a degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences. Hanna Kate is planning to attend graduate school to pursue her masters in speech language pathology after graduation.

  

Hearing loss affects about three infants in every 1000 born with sensorineural hearing loss making it the most common condition affecting newborns (Fulcher et al., 2012). Early diagnosis and intervention for children experiencing hearing loss often facilitates age-appropriate communication by the child’s first year of primary school (Houston & Bradham, 2011). Speech language therapy (SLT) and auditory-verbal therapy (AVT) are common methods of intervention. The purpose of this research is to make an initial comparison of traditional speech-language therapy versus auditory-verbal therapy through perceived experiences of caregivers who have children with hearing loss who have received intervention via both therapy approaches. The methodology will include a standard electronic questionnaire administered to caregivers of children with hearing loss to gauge their perception on both methods of therapy
Evidence suggests that identification of hearing loss and intervention before the age of six months correlates to higher rates of language development (Prendergast et al., 2002). It is for this reason that therapy approaches, such as SLT and AVT, are encouraged among children with hearing loss. Research also suggests that the caregiver’s role in their child’s rehabilitation process is important regardless of the intervention method employed. Caregivers often serve as the child’s primary language model and their support can facilitate language comprehension (Houston & Bradham, 2011).
The earlier a child is able to receive intervention, the greater opportunity they have to develop normal linguistic abilities. There is significant evidence advocating the need for early intervention; however, there is a gap linking this information to the intervention method that is most effective. This study hopes to share the perceptions of SLT and AVT from caregivers of children with hearing loss.

Disclosure

Financial Relationships: None
Non-financial Relationships: None

 

Colourful Semantics for Children with Hearing Loss (30 minutes)

Samadhi Pusuba Devayalage is a first-year master’s student in the communication sciences and disorders program in University of Arkansas. She is a Fulbright scholar from Sri Lanaka. She is interested in working with children who have hearing loss and developmental disabilities and individuals who need voice and alaryngeal communication intervention. Her research interests include hearing impairments and rehabilitation and voice and alaryngeal communication.
 Andrea Scott is an undergraduate student at the University of Arkansas. She is a senior in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program and plans to pursue a master’s degree after graduation. She dreams of becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist and working in a therapy clinic alongside other professionals to provide the best care to her clients. She is from Joplin, MO and loves to spend her free time reading, drawing, and socializing with her friends.
Abigail Hagner is an Undergraduate student at the University of Arkansas. She is a Senior Communication Sciences and Disorders major and is also completing a double minor in Human Development & Family science and Medical Humanities. She aspires to become a speech language pathologist to work with and advocate for children and their families. She is from Chicago, Illinois and loves the outdoors, her family, and her friends.

 

According to the World Health Organization (2018), hearing loss is the 4th highest diagnosed disability in the world. Due to limited auditory access to spoken language, a child with a hearing loss may not be able to experience adequate spoken linguistic input which results in speech, language and communication difficulty. However, it has been identified that visual modalities can be used as successful teaching methods to develop language and communication skills of children with hearing loss (Gibson, 1973). The colourful semantics approach (Bryan, 1997) is a speech and language therapy treatment protocol that has been strongly supported by visual stimuli. Since the approach aims to develop sentence structure (syntax) using the semantics route that incorporate with visual stimuli, children with hearing loss get more opportunities to expand their language capacities. Methodology: A case study design will be conducted including ten children from kindergarten through fifth grade, following the ABAB model. Participant must be in the pre-determined age range, use spoken language, and should be diagnosed with a hearing loss. During the pre-intervention phase, Cottage Acquisition scales for Listening, Language and Speech (CASLLS-4) will be administered to the primary caregiver of participants. A ten-minute language sample will be obtained apart from the CASLLS-4 from the participant for further analysis to establish baseline measurements. During the intervention phase, recruited participants will continue to complete sessions using the colorful semantic approach via tele-practice two times per week for 12 weeks. Results: Participant recruitment has been initiated and data collection will be continued throughout the fall. Language samples will be analyzed throughout the data collection process. The goal is for intervention to start toward the end of May 2021. A descriptive report of data will be provided during this presentation should it be accepted.

Disclosure for S Devayalage, A Scott and A Hagner

Financial Relationships: None
Non-financial Relationships: None

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