From behind a two-way mirror, it appears to be a particularly busy preschool playroom in which a handful of precocious children push toy trucks through shaving cream, play red light/green light or sing songs.
In actuality, the room is a classroom dedicated to introducing and facilitating the fundamentals of play, peer interaction and communication with children for whom such hallmarks of childhood are troublesome.
The Preschool Language Lab (PLL) is wrapping up its summer session and 12 participating toddlers and pre-school aged children who are at risk of failing to develop strong communication skills due to speech, language and/or hearing difficulties are spending four hours a week for six weeks with a licensed speech-language pathologist from RU's Communication Sciences and Disorders department, a board-certified music therapist from the department of Music Therapy and a team of graduate and undergraduate COSD and music therapy students.
"Radford University is what saved him," said Jennifer Britton of Salem whose five-year-old son Spencer has been a part of the PLL for three years. "I can't believe he is talking and that he is now a totally normal kid."
Now in its sixth year, the PLL has added an exciting new element this session by incorporating music therapy into its program.