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Local parent, graduate student say TSU speech pathology clinic gives children a new voice and a great experience

NASHVILLLE, Tenn.(TSU News Service) –Kerri Claybrooks says the progress her children have made by attending the Tennessee State University summer speech pathology program is reason enough for her to put it on her calendar again. The mother of two has already made plans for them to return next summer to TSU’s Language, Articulation, and Fluency clinic.

Claybrooks admits she has witnessed her 6-year-old daughter blossom with her verbal requests, while her 8-year-old son has enhanced his conversational skills. The children have been a part of the university’s clinic and Speech Pathology and Audiology department program for more than four years.

“It has been a huge progress we’ve been able to see with this clinic,” Claybrooks adds. “The communication between the speech pathologists and everyone in the department has been wonderful.”

The free six-week program, located on the Avon Williams campus, serves children throughout the Metro Nashville, ages 5-14. The children receive a comprehensive evaluation of their speech and language skills followed by an individualized plan that targets their specific communication needs.

The program provides graduate students with an opportunity to practice clinical skills and certified Speech-Language Pathologists are hired to ensure that students are learning to use effective, evidence-based strategies. (Photo submitted)

Dr. Danielle Hayes Watson, Associate Professor, Admissions Coordinator and Director of the L.A.F. Clinic says the program’s objective is to reach children’s specific communication and speech goals while providing an intensive, quality program that is evidence-based and free for everyone.  

“One thing that I can say that makes our program great is the quality of services that we provide,” Watson says. “Our clinical supervisors are Speech Pathologists who work every day in a variety of settings. Because of this, they can train our students on the most current and effective practices. Our families come back year after year which is another sign that we are doing something right.” 

The summer program provides graduate students with practice clinical skills such as how to properly administer evaluations, write goals, treat, and measure progress. 

Tiara Delevoe, a second year Speech Language Pathologist graduate student, said this field chose her in high school when she baby sat an autistic child. She instantly fell in love with learning how to help and started her speech pathology journey shortly after.  

“I loved every minute of learning new ways to help him, which eventually encouraged me to get my bachelors in speech pathology,” Delevoe said. 

Tiara Delevoe said the clinic has guided her on how to implement goals while doing treatment in a field that she fell in love with in high school. She looks forward to finishing up her speech pathology journey and becoming a future clinician. (Photo submitted)

As the university’s summer clinic has come to an end, Delevoe stated that the hands-on experience was an eye opener that shows graduate students what it takes to become a clinician. 

“Going into the clinic I had no clue what types of personalities and abilities I would come across,” she said. “It helped to meet a variety of children and have different ideas from other clinicians on how to implement goals while doing treatment. As a future clinician, I will use the organizational skills and documentation guidelines I was provided.” 

Please contact Dr. Danielle Watson at 615-963-7092 or via email at [email protected] if you know of someone in need of speech pathology and audiology services and are interested in the six-week summer L.A.F children’s clinic.

If you are a student interested in the highly competitive graduate-level Speech Pathology Program ,please complete an application by visiting Communication Sciences and Disorders Centralized Application Service (CSDCAS). Traditional students deadline for applying is February first of every year, while Distance Education student deadlines are set for June 1 each year.

Visit https://www.tnstate.edu/speechpath/  for more information regarding the program and or clinical services.

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About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.