Baylor-Scottish Rite Camp Targets Language Problems For Local Children July 12-Aug. 6

July 12, 2004

by Judy Long

Camp Success, Baylor University's language and literacy summer camp, will serve Central Texas children for the second year from July 12 until August 6. Baylor's Communication Disorders Clinic received $42,000 this year from the Waco Scottish Rite Bodies to operate the special needs camp. The camp is provided at no cost to the families of the campers.

The overwhelming success of the 2003 camp spurred Scottish Rite to increase this year's funding, more than doubling the number of children able to attend. Fifty-three students ages five to 17, under the guidance of 26 graduate clinicians and six faculty, are being served at the Baylor clinic this summer.

Dr. Michaela Ritter, assistant professor in the department of communication sciences and disorders, said students will achieve as much progress in four weeks as a typical student would progress in one year. The intervention is intense as well as explicit and systematic, and the treatments are all research-based and known to be effective.

"The children coming to Camp Success all have language and language-based reading problems. Fun tasks are a part of the schedule, but they're always goal-directed to enhance the student's progress. The children will have a great time while receiving explicit, systematic language and literacy interventions," she said.

Approximately 20 percent of children enter public school classrooms with

"specific language impairments" and will struggle considerably when they start to learn to read. Dyslexia is the most common reading disability in elementary school, affecting equally males and females, as well as children from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. In Central Texas, more than 4,500 pre-kindergarten children are estimated to have significant language disabilities.

Waco Scottish Rite and Baylor's Communication Disorders Clinic in the department of communication sciences and disorders both have a long history of helping

children with language disorders and dyslexia. Today, there are 163 Scottish Rite clinics, centers and special programs for children and therapists located throughout the United States, while Baylor has graduated more than 1,200 speech-language pathologists since the department began in 1976. Baylor students have provided thousands of Central Texas children with treatment of their speech, language and hearing disorders at little or no cost to their parents.

For more information about the clinic, contact Ritter at 710-4745 or e-mail at Michaela_Ritter@baylor.edu.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?