Communication Sciences to host clinics

RiteCare clinic in 2012

James Cole, Scottish Rite Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Virginia, reads to children at the RiteCare© summer program in 2012.

To help children and their families develop and enhance communication and literacy skills, RU’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (COSD) and the Scottish Rite Foundation will host four concurrent clinics in the Waldron College of Health and Human Services (WCHHS) beginning on Monday, June 10.

RU faculty and graduate student clinicians will assess and work with clients who have applied to participate in the program and will attend for free. The RiteCare© clinics will culminate with a luncheon and program on Tuesday, July 2, in honor of the Virginia Orient of the Scottish Rite and the Scottish Rite Foundation, which has partnered with Radford University since 1995 to offer the Summer RiteCare© Clinics.

This summer's programs include:

  • the sixth annual Family Autism Camp, an intensive family-oriented session that will team children without impairments and children with autism together. The goal is to create an environment for improving communication and social skills with their peers, said Diane Millar, COSD chair. Parents of the participants also attend the camp to learn how to help their children at home with the lessons learned. The camp, themed "Interacting Under the Big Top," will begin on Monday, June 17.
  • the Auditory Processing Disorder (ADP) and Literacy Clinic, in its first year and organized by Assistant Professor Gary Pillow of COSD. Six children with ADP and reading, writing or spelling disorders will work with COSD faculty and graduate students to develop literacy skills, a cornerstone of academic achievement, beginning on Monday, June 10.
  • the Language and Literacy Summer Institute, led by Assistant Professor Elizabeth Lanter of COSD. The institute will provide 25 children from preschool to middle school with treatment programs that bolster their oral and written language skills. The institute, which begins on Monday, June 10, is supported by a grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and will be a collaboration between RU's COSD and Teacher Education and Leadership programs.
  • the Preschool Language Lab (PLL) for toddlers and preschool-age children who have communication disorders or are at risk of failing to develop strong communication skills. During the six-week event, which will feature peer interaction and music therapy activities, the 12 clients will work with COSD and music therapy faculty and graduate students to reach specific speech, language and peer interaction goals. Parents of the participants also will attend, learning how to help their children at home with the lessons learned. The PLL is supported by a university-wide interdisciplinary grant and is organized by Corey Cassidy, WCHHS associate dean, and will begin on Monday, June 10.

"The faculty and graduate students of the COSD department have never been more motivated and determined to serve so many children and their families," Millar said. "It is the generosity of the Scottish Rite and the collaborative efforts of our colleagues in the other colleges that allow us to create this rich, fun environment for teaching communication skills."

The Scottish Rite Foundation and COSD department have collaborated to offer an annual summer program on the RU campus since 1995. To date, the foundation has given more than $900,000 in support of these and other initiatives to enhance children's literacy and language skills.

Seven RU COSD graduate students will receive fellowships from the Scottish Rite Foundation to participate in the 2013 RiteCare© Summer Clinics, and in the fall the foundation will award additional fellowships to RU students who have committed to advancing knowledge of childhood language disorders and positioned themselves to work with children in Virginia who have such challenges.

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Jun 4, 2013
Don Bowman
(540) 831-7523