The Northwest Ohio Stuttering Clinics
The Long Term Project Update and Message of Appreciation
Rodney Gabel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Stephanie Hughes, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
The University of Toledo
Hello Psi Otes,
Once again, I (Rodney Gabel) was so excited to be able to spend the morning at the Psi Iota Xi convention in June and speak to all in attendance about the progress being made at the Northwest Ohio Stuttering Clinics (NWOSC). I wish to express our appreciation for the continued support. This past year, Psi Iota Xi has supported the NWOSC with two large financial gifts (totaling $20,000) that have made all of our work possible. In this article, I would like to outline the outcomes of the program over the past two years.
At the convention, I presented information about the program’s development and activities during 2014. During the summer of 2014, we had 18 individuals attend our two intensive clinics (the Intensive Stuttering Clinic for Children and their Families and the Intensive Stuttering Clinic for Adolescents and Adults). Due to the thoughtful donations of the Psi Iota Xi sorority, each of these individuals was able to attend therapy at a reduced cost. This has allowed us to stay well below the cost of other intensive programs throughout the country and allows us to serve a clientele that is often unable to attend therapy due to the lack of funding through insurance companies. Many of these clients continued to receive services during the academic year through the NWOSC, but most were discharged due to making significant progress and no longer needing services. In total, 30 individuals received services through the NWOSC during the 2014-2015 school year.
As a part of these clinical programs, we also train our students. During the summer, 9 of our students were involved in delivering therapy to our clients. Each gained over 90 hours of clinical experience in providing treatment to people who stutter of a variety of ages. Additionally, 7 students completed internships this past academic year working in our clinic. In total, I feel as if we are really providing an incredible opportunity for our students and training them to be able to provide proper treatments to children and adults who stutter in the future. Also, several of these students are interested in becoming specialists in stuttering and perhaps pursuing the doctoral degree and entering academic careers working in stuttering. You have helped us begin to address the shortage of individuals who are knowledgeable and prepared to work with individuals who stutter in our local area and nationally.
In June, we always offer what I believe is the biggest part of our programs, which are the summer clinics. Over the past two months we have been offering our continuing weekly services and our two intensive programs. I wish I could express to all of the members of each chapter how amazing the progress has been for the group this year. We have had 24 individuals attend our clinics, 14 in the intensive clinics and 10 in our weekly therapy. All of our clients, and the ten students working in our clinics, have come so far in such a short time.
In the coming year, the NWOSC will continue to offer these important clinical and educational endeavors. Additionally, we will be using part of the funding provided by Psi Iota Xi to offer additional programming that will target the community. First, we will host a one day workshop for the National Association of Young People Who Stutter, also known as Friends, on October 24th. This one day workshop provides information, support, and a truly special experience for people who stutter and their families, as well as practicing speech-language pathologists and SLP students. Due to the visibility raised by the NWOSC, we have been able to develop these important partnerships with these types of national organizations.
Additionally, we have completed the first year of our local chapter of the National Stuttering Association, the largest support group for people who stutter in the world. Our group, though small, has been important for our returning clients and other people who stutter in the community. In the coming year, we are hopeful that we will be able to expand the group and begin to do a variety of activities to help promote the needs of people who stutter and their families in the Toledo area.
Finally, the NWOSC is planning to become a provider of continuing education during the coming academic year. This will allow us to expand the training opportunities related to stuttering in Ohio and beyond. In general, it is hoped that we will offer one to two continuing education workshops for practicing speech-language pathologists and students in speech-language pathology. Eventually, my hope is that we can set up a system for offering online continuing education programs to serve an even larger audience.
The support of Psi Iota Xi has been critical for the development of the NWOSC. The visibility of our programs, which are possible primarily because of Psi Iota Xi’s support, has led other agencies and groups to also donate to support the NWOSC. Psi Iota Xi still remains the largest provider of support for the NWOSC, and it would not be possible to offer the clinical and education programs offered by the NWOSC without the support of Psi Iota Xi.
Thank you again for all your support.
Rodney Gabel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BRS-FD