This fall the program is being run by first-year students Jessica Shor and Reagan Vanteeling and second-year students Ashley Lamping and Jaqueline Oakes.
The four students are leading the group of almost two dozen 18-21 year-old participants to provide a relaxed, structured environment where they can improve their communication skills to feel more comfortable and confident in their relationships and work encounters.
The therapy is designed to be conversational and everyone is equal and encouraged to engage, Shor said.
It integrates language-based and functional communication to help the participants work toward independence, Vanteeling said.
There has been lots of improvement among the participants this semester, she said.
The students started the semester by inviting participants to suggest topics they wanted to focus on improving. Those suggestions formed the theme for each week’s session, Shor said.
Many of the topics are everyday communication situations that many people take for granted such as job interviews or social situations like talking to a roommate or making a phone call, Vanteeling said.
The CSD students then gauge each participants’ progress based on their interactions such as taking turns and staying on topic.
A different group of CSD students leads the group each semester as part of their practicum experience. It is one example of the work CSD students do during their practicum both on campus and off campus.
These programs are one aspect of the several community, adult and child services provided by the CSD department through its Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic in Brown Hall.