Com Dis Clients

University of Wisconsin - River Falls

Aug. 9, 1996

Communicative Disorders Clinic Accepting Clients

By Valerie Zahorski Hause
UW-RF News Bureau

The UW-River Falls Communicative Disorders Clinic has immediate openings for those who are seeking speech-language and hearing diagnostic and therapy services.

These services are open to the public and are covered by most private insurance and by government-funded medical assistance. If there is no insurance or the services are not covered, the fee will be based on a sliding scale pegged to income so those who need the services can receive it.

According to Paul Hayden, chair of the communicative disorders department, because this is a teaching clinic the faculty and students seek to see a wide variety of cases. Individuals of all ages are encouraged to seek out the services if they have a need, Hayden said.

The speech clinic offers several types of services, including consultations and screenings. Therapy is available for stuttering, articulation, voice and receptive/expressive language difficulties. The clinic provides assistance to individuals in need of augmentative communication and English as a Second Language. Clients also may seek the services if they have suffered a stroke or have neurogenic impairment such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy or Huntington's Chorea.

The speech clinic serves some 45-55 clients each semester. The client meets with a clinician two or three times per week for 45 minutes to an hour.

A laryngectomy group consists of individuals who have had the larynx removed due to cancer. They meet on Wednesday afternoons for support and therapy. After having the larynx removed, the client must learn an alternate method of producing sound.

There are three ways to accomplish this, Hayden said. The first method is an electrolarynx in which a mechanical device is pressed against the soft tissue in the neck. This sends a vibration into the vocal tract and produces sound. Another method is esophageal speech in which the patient is taught to use the top of the esophagus as a sound source. The third option is prosthetic-assisted esophageal speech.

The audiology clinic provides hearing tests 16 hours a week. Clinicians assess for hearing impairments and hearing loss. Clients can be fitted for hearing aids if needed.

The Speech/Language and Hearing Clinic is handicapped accessible and is located on the second floor of the Kleinpell Fine Arts Building. It is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. five days a week during the school year and Monday through Thursday during the summer. Parking is close to the building and spaces are available for persons with disabilities. For more information on any of these services call 715/425-3801.

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