Speech-Language and Hearing Center Closed July 21 – August 29

The SUNY New Paltz Speech-Language and Hearing Center will be closed from July 21 through August 29. During this time, hearing aid appointments for audiological clients will be conducted on the lower level of the building. Work on the Center and building infrastructure is being done to prepare for an upcoming renovation. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Questions should be directed to Sandy DiStasi, Secretary of the Communication Disorders Department, at (845) 257-3600.

IMG_0070

Head of Her Class

Arielle2

Arielle Rubinstein

For the second year in a row, a graduate of the Communication Disorders Department has been named class valedictorian. Arielle Rubinstein, who double majored in linguistics and maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA, delivered the class of 2014 commencement address on Sunday, May 18, at the Old Main Quadrangle.

At New Paltz, Rubinstein distinguished herself as excellent student and leader. She served as president of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA), which advocates for communication disorders organizations. Through her work with the association, she organized fundraisers for the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders and invited experts in the field to campus to deliver lectures.

Arielle1

Rubinstein (second from right), served as president of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association at New Paltz. She is shown with fellow association members Alexandra Lavrentieva, Catherine Schembri and Victoria Guido.

As a student, she interned at a special services elementary school in her hometown of Robbinsville, N.J., where she learned valuable skills that she will apply in her chosen career as a speech language pathologist. “It gave me a good foundation of what it means to be speech pathologist, especially working with a population that’s so impaired,” she said. “It was more meaningful because you were helping students really communicate.”

In her senior year, she worked in the Communication Disorders Department’s Early Intervention Clinic, conducting therapy with both a client and parent. “The point is to make the parent the therapist,” Rubinstein noted. “You’re working with children with language disorders and delays and showing parents how to model language with the child and engage the child in play to produce language. You are showing parents how to create an optimal environment for the child to communicate.”

Rubinstein said her client, a two-year-old girl, made significant progress during their time together. “By the end, she was initiating her own play, using three- and four-letter words to express what she wanted, and had more consideration of other people within her play situations,” she said.

Rubinstein has been accepted into New Paltz’s Master of Science in Communication Disorders program. Though she was accepted at other schools, Rubinstein said she liked the “sense of community” at New Paltz.

“I know all the professors really well. I was one of those people who always went to office hours to get help, and I felt like they were always there for me when I had a problem. They want you to do well. They’re really encouraging and supportive,” Rubinstein said.

Rubinstein noted the importance of developing relationships with professors and getting involved in campus life. The class valedictorian advised her New Paltz peers to take an active role in their education.

“Things aren’t always going to come to you. You have to go out and work for them,” she said.

Watch Rubinstein’s valedictory address here.

 - Despina Williams

Keep Your Voice Healthy! – Voice Clinic May 28 – June 18

woman speaking

Do your professional or personal obligations strain your voice? Have you wondered why, and if there is anything you can do about it? If so, then this 4-week voice clinic is for you.

Voice Maintenance Clinic: Keeping Your Voice Healthy is a group clinic that will focus on techniques and rationale for developing and maintaining the best voice for speaking or singing at any age. It will include a basic assessment, information on the mind/body/voice connection, practice activities, and maintenance plans.

Date: Wednesdays, May 28-June 18, 2014
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm
Where: Speech-Language and Hearing Center, SUNY New Paltz, Humanities Building
Cost: $20 for all 4 sessions; free for SUNY New Paltz faculty, staff and students

Liz Hester

Liz Hester, CCC/SLP, PhD

The workshop is presented by Elizabeth Hester, CCC/SLP, PhD, a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist with experience in Somatic and Estill voice training, and staffed by graduate student clinicians.

To register, please contact Sandy DiStasi in the Department of Communication Disorders at (845) 257-3600. Questions? – contact Liz Hester at hestere@newpaltz.edu.

 

‘Identify the Signs’ Campaign Promotes Awareness of Communication Disorders

hearing and speech month

With 8-9 percent of young children suffering from speech disorders, May’s Better Hearing and Speech Month is the perfect time for parents to learn how to recognize the early signs of these disorders. The Speech, Language, Hearing Center at the State University of New York at New Paltz is encouraging parents to educate themselves through the Identify the Signs campaign, a national effort of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The campaign is designed to combat an overall lack of awareness about communication disorders—a major barrier to treatment for the more than 40 million total Americans who are affected.

Speech, language, and hearing disorders are among the most common disabilities in the United States. However, unlike many other disabilities, these disorders often are reversible and even preventable with early intervention. Unfortunately, many parents do not recognize the first signs of these disorders. In young children, early treatment can help prevent them from falling behind academically, socially, and in other key areas at a critical time in their development.

Certified speech-language pathologists see the benefits of early intervention every day. Unfortunately, the consequences of waiting too long to seek treatment are also seen and this is one of the reasons that education and early identification are being promoted. This is the idea behind the American Speech and Hearing Association’s Identify the Signs campaign.

While it is certainly never too late to seek help, treatment is most successful, less expensive, and most effective when a parent or loved one is able to recognize the earliest signs of these disorders. MAY IS BETTER HEARING AND SPEECH MONTH, and this is the perfect time for caregivers to familiarize themselves with these signs at ASHA’s IdentifytheSigns.org website. Caregivers should also seek information or an assessment from a certified speech-language pathologist if they have any questions

Identify the Signs of Communication Disorders

In children, parents should watch for the following signs of speech, language and hearing disorders:

Does not interact socially (infancy and older)

  • Does not follow or understand what you say (starting at 1 year)
  • Says only a few sounds or words or makes only a few gestures (18 months to 2 years)
  • Says words that are not easily understood (18 months to 2 years)
  • Does not combine words (starting at 2 years)
  • Struggles to say sounds or words (3 to 4 years)
  • Does not seem to hear what you are saying
  • Frequently asks “what”?

In adults, signs of speech and language disorders include:

  • Struggles to say sounds or words (stuttering)
  • Repeats words or parts of words (stuttering)
  • Says words in the wrong order (expressive aphasia)
  • Struggles with using words and understanding others (global aphasia)
  • Has difficulty imitating speech sounds (apraxia)
  • Speaks at a slow rate (apraxia)
  • Produces slurred speech (dysarthria)

For more signs, treatment information, and other resources, visit http://identifythesigns.org.

For more information regarding speech and hearing, please contact Department of Communication Disorders Chair Wendy Bower  (bowerw@newpaltz.edu). To schedule an appointment for a speech or hearing assessment, please contact the department secretary at (845) 257-3600.

LA&S Summer Internship Scholarships

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce scholarships to support low-paying or unpaid summer internships for students.  For summer 2014 we will offer two or three $1,000 awards.  This program is supported by generous contributions from SUNY New Paltz parents, alumni, and friends to the LA&S Dean’s Fund.

These are merit-based awards that take into account the student’s GPA, the quality of the internship, the relevance of the internship to the student’s academic major and educational goals, and the relevance of the internship to the student’s future career.

Guidelines:

  • Applicants should be majors in a department or program within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  • Applicants should have a 3.3 or higher cumulative G.P.A.
  • Preference will be given to students in their junior year; seniors who will graduate in May or August 2014 are not eligible for this award.
  • The internship cannot be with a business or organization run by a family member, relative, or close family friend.

To apply, students should submit the following:

  • A 300-500 word description of the internship and its relation to the student’s academic major, educational goals, and career plans
  • A resume
  • An academic transcript with cumulative G.P.A.
  • Two letters of recommendation from faculty

Applications should be sent to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, JFT 614.  Deadline for applications is May 7, 2014.  Awards will be announced on May 15, 2014.

April is Autism Awareness Month

as_liub_horiz

April is Autism Awareness month, and it is Autism Awareness Week here on campus. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development, which are characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 out of 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism, in varying degrees, in the United States.

The SUNY New Paltz chapter of Autism Speaks U will be hosting a series of events aimed at raising autism awareness and raising funds for Autism Speaks. Be sure to visit their table outside of SUB100 this week; bracelets, pins, water bottles, and raffle tickets will be on sale. Blue hair extensions and henna tattoos are also available.

On Friday, April 4, eat a meal at P&Gs on Main Street and 15% of the bill will go to Autism Speaks U; you must present the coupon, which can be printed from the chapter’s Facebook group page:

facebook.com/groups/autismspeaksusunynewpaltz

In addition to this week’s events, there will be a parent panel on Thursday, April 24 at 6:30pm in CSB Auditorium. Parents on the panel will share their experiences in helping their child navigate the public education system and answer audience questions.

About Autism Speaks U

Autism Speaks U is a program designed to support college students in their awareness, advocacy and fundraising efforts for Autism Speaks. Since its inaugural event at Penn State in 2006, Autism Speaks U events have raised over $1 million and student-organized Walk teams have brought in millions more.

The Autism Speaks U SUNY New Paltz chapter was founded by Danielle Franke in November 2011. She says: “I decided to start this chapter on our campus because of my past work with children on the spectrum. Our chapter has raised much-needed awareness of autism, and we have been successful at raising money for Autism Speaks and for individuals on the spectrum; we raised money for a child to receive a therapy dog.”

Visit the Autism Speaks U table outside SUB100 to learn more about autism, Autism Speaks, and to support the efforts of this “true blue” campus group!

Free Hearing Test for Students, Faculty & Staff

DSC03877Hearing loss is a very common problem that can significantly affect an individual’s ability to communicate. The Speech Language and Hearing Center (SLHC) here on campus provides full audiological evaluations at no cost for students, faculty and staff.  The evaluation takes approximately one hour and will be performed by a nationally and state certified audiologist. If you are interested, please call 257-3600 to make an appointment.

Statistics on Hearing Loss:

  • About 20 percent of adults in the United States, 48 million, report some degree of hearing loss.
  • 60 percent of the people with hearing loss are either in the work force or in educational settings.
  • At age 65, one out of three people has a hearing loss.
  • About 2-3 of every 1,000 children are hard of hearing or deaf
  • Estimated that 30 school children per 1,000 have a hearing loss.

Source: John Hopkins Medicine

Deaf Awareness Week – ASL Movie Night April 9, 2014

GeraldsmDeaf Awareness Week  – ASL Movie Night Wednesday, April 9

This film is rated PG-13 and is being shown for free. It is presented in sign language and closed-captioned for the hearing.

When: 6:30-8:30pm

Where: SUNY New Paltz Lecture Center Room 100 (LC100)

Please join us for this important and moving film. The story traces the journey of a young man, Corey, who discovers he has a deaf autistic grandfather he has never met. Determined to make a connection with his grandfather, Corey uncovers family ties and secrets in a dramatic chain of events, leading to a shocking truth.

Sponsored by: Mid-Hudson Deaf Awareness Group, Communication Disorders Department, Sociology Dept. – Human Services Concentration, and Taconic Resources for Independence, Inc. CAS

Student Organization Teams with P&G’s on March 12 to Support Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Are you planning lunch or dinner out soon? The SUNY New Paltz chapter of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA) is teaming up with P&G’s on Main Street in New Paltz on Wednesday, March 12 to raise money for the AAC Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting effective communication for people who rely on augmentative and alternative communication.

P and G_sFundraiserflier

Print the coupon image above, present it after your meal on March 12, and P&G’s will donate 20% of the bill to the AAC Institute. Printed coupons are also available in the Communication Disorders department in HUM 14A.

Each semester the SUNY New Paltz chapter of NSSLHA devotes time and energy to raising awareness about a specific area within the field of Communication Disorders, and to raising money for a non-profit specializing in that area. When asked why they chose Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC), Caitlin Ward of the NSSLHA chapter had this to say:

“Our chapter chose to focus on Alternative and Augmentative Communication as the theme of the semester, because AAC is a rapidly developing area in our field, but it’s not something that we as undergraduates have much exposure to. We chose to help fundraise for the AAC Institute because their organization provides SLPs and AAC users & families of users with a number of great resources. They offer SLPs online CEU’s at no charge, and their website features a parent support group and blogs by AAC users. We hoped that by selecting AAC and the AAC Institute, the members of our NSSLHA chapter would have the opportunity to gain some familiarity with AAC. One of the NSSLHA mission statements is to help provide resources to prepare students to become professionals, and we feel that this theme and the events for it throughout the semester will be an invaluable resource for those involved.”

For more information:

http://www.aacinstitute.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmentative_and_alternative_communication