New Baylor Speech-Language & Hearing Clinic

February 8, 2017
The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders has a beautiful new facility. CSD now has 22 treatment rooms, 4 group treatment rooms, a magnificent audiology suite, and 6 fabulous labs for research faculty. The department plans to expand the graduate program from 49 graduate students to approximately 100 in the next four years, which will double the number of individuals CSD can serve with communication disorders.

The Baylor Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic continues to create opportunities to make a difference in the lives of people in the surrounding communities through prevention, assessment, screening, and therapy services. This clinic encompasses different avenues for assessment and treatment such as language and literacy (both written and verbal), voice disorders, stuttering, neurologically based disorders, articulation and phonological disorders, swallowing disorders, and hearing disorders in both children and adults. With the new facilities we are able to expand the various treatments offered:

1. We now have a partnership with the Baylor School of Music and have been able to expand our Voice clinic to new heights.

2. We offer an interdisciplinary clinical experience for both our clients and graduate students where we collaborate with a Clinical Psychology Intern, with an ENT, and with a reading specialist.

3. We have expanded our work in the area of Augmentative Communication and "Pediatric Feeding Issues".

In addition to our onsite clinical programs, we provide trainings and screening opportunities to a variety of community settings, such as, Piper Child Development Center, Care Net, several public schools as well as various industries in the Waco area.

CSD has ongoing research in the areas of language, literacy, phonology, and fluency with new avenues of research opening up. We recently completed an investigation using an EEG protocol in combination with behavioral testing in order to examine the relationships between resting-state EEG metrics and language function in children with language and reading disorders. Exciting new research potentials include collaboration with the School of Music and the School of Engineering. It is an exciting time to be in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders!

Dr. Park participated in the 2016 Annual International Convention hosted by the Korean Academy of Speech and Language from Sep 9-10. Dr. Park also presented a 90-minute lecture on "Neuroanatomy and Psycholinguistic Model of Dyslexia" to a group of 24 researchers and doctoral and master’s students of speech-language pathology at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, Korea. Dr. Park is currently preparing an NIH grant proposal on the design and construction of a multilingual child language database in collaboration with a group of international researchers. This database will provide a clinical database that represents multiple ethnolinguistic groups of English-learning bilingual children. A great deal of information, due to the collection of a large amount of linguistic data, is expected to help speech-language pathologists who serve culturally and linguistically diverse children to identify major risk factors for language impairment, providing a great training opportunity to build a feasible, effective and error-free diagnostic-therapeutic path.

Dr. Ritter’s research focuses on the study of language and literacy in the school-age child. Her research investigates typical as well as atypical development in school-age children in order to develop new treatments to improve intervention outcomes and academic success of children with language and reading disorders. Dr Ritter recently completed an investigation in collaboration with Dr. Fillmore using an EEG protocol in combination with behavioral testing in order to examine the relationships between resting-state EEG metrics and behavioral language testing results in children with language and reading disorders.

Dr. Blanchet’s research examines listeners’ perceptions of people with communicative disorders, particularly stuttering and/or cluttering. He initiated this line of research in 2005, and it has since "blossomed" into a multi-study, transdisciplinary endeavor involving both students and faculty from various disciplines (e.g., psychology, sociology). This semester, Dr. Blanchet conducted a study examining the effects of self-disclosure (or acknowledgment) of stuttering on students’ perceptions of a person who stutters. A URC grant enabled him to hire six undergraduate students to assist him with data collection. Findings of this study will add further support for clinical use of self-disclosure. Although this strategy has been utilized to great effect by many stutterers for decades, there is a need for further research demonstrating the benefits of disclosure, empirically.

Dr. Fillmore’s primary areas of specialization are in neurogenic communication disorders and brain-based research methods. His research interests include the neural correlates of speech and language processing (particularly the interactions between bottom-up and top-down processing in speech comprehension), and applications of cognitive training and neuromodulation techniques to improvement of speech and language function. He is currently working on validating an assessment of sensory contributions to speech comprehension and examining the relationships between resting-state EEG metrics and language function in children with reading disorders.
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