Camp Offers Therapy and Fun for Kids Who Stutter
June 19, 2008
For the ninth consecutive year, UT Dallas’ Callier Center for Communication Disorders is sponsoring Tricks for Talking, a comprehensive speech therapy camp for children and adolescents ages 3 to 15 who stutter.
According to the National Stuttering Association, more than 3 million Americans stutter. This communication disorder produces disruptions — or disfluencies — in speech. The result can be very mild and barely recognizable, to more severe with noticeable tension of the speech muscles and extreme difficulty pronouncing certain syllables.
Stuttering usually begins in children between 2½ and 5 years of age. Most stuttering children younger than 6 experience spontaneous recovery. But for those who continue to stutter, speech therapy has proved to be their best option. With intensive speech therapy, children learn to speak more easily, more effectively and with more confidence.
That’s why Tricks for Talking is so important. Speech-language pathologists from the Callier Center and graduate students enrolled in the communication disorders program in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences provide each child with a speech-language evaluation and then tailor the child’s therapy to match his or her individual needs.
“Most children can learn new speech patterns and develop healthy attitudes toward speaking if they receive appropriate therapy at an early age,” said Jan Lougeay, director of clinical education in the university’s School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
The camp’s philosophy is that talking should be fun, so the counselors use games and other activities for group and individual therapy. While the children have fun and improve their speech fluency, their parents learn how to help their children overcome their speech difficulties. The camp’s goal is to get the children and adolescents ready for the new school year with an increased level of confidence and better speech.
Tricks for Talking runs June 9–July 16, every Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the UT Dallas campus in Richardson.
The Callier Center, with locations in Dallas and on the UT Dallas campus in Richardson, is one of the nation’s pre-eminent educational, research and treatment centers focusing on communication and communication disorders. The center is part of the university’s School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.