Clinics Continue to Offer Much-Needed Services to the Community
For more than 75 years, the school has offered speech-language and audiology clinical services to the community. Last year, students and their supervising professionals offered more than 6,000 hours of clinical services to more than 750 individual clients. These services are offered at no charge and the clinics rely on donations to cover their costs. In addition to the on-campus clinics, students and their supervisors also offer screening services at the San Diego Regional Center and various school locations.
The Speech-Language Clinic sees individuals of all ages from the San Diego community. It also serves as a training institution, preparing future speech- language pathologists to enter in to the workforce in public and private school systems, hospitals, nursing care facilities, and in private practice. Its mission is to train therapists in current evidence-based practice; generate evidence for assessment, intervention, and service delivery for individuals with speech, language, feeding, and hearing disorders; and to serve as a community-based resource in the greater San Diego and southern California regions.
At the Speech-Language Clinic, the clients are children and adults who have hearing problems and communication disorders, including permanent hearing loss. Some are wounded warriors, stroke survivors, and children with autism or other developmental speech and language delays. These programs help community members who would otherwise be without resources to obtain speech-language intervention services.
For children with an autism spectrum diagnosis (ASD), the clinic offer both individual and group therapy each semester with a focus on pragmatics, expressive language. In the current group of clients, approximately 38% of them have an ASD diagnosis. For children with ASD, it is the only program in San Diego County, outside the public schools, where they can receive free speech-language services. Because of this, there are always many more families seeking services than can be accommodated at the clinic. For the current summer semester, there are 31 children scheduled but another 23 families are on the wait list. Of those children, about half have been diagnosed with ASD. The clinic tries to provide services for three consecutive semesters in order to allow as many children as possible to benefit from the services offered.
The Audiology clinic offers hearing tests and hearing aid services. As hearing aids become more technologically advanced, the turning and maintenance they require has become both more frequent and more complex. While screening and diagnostic services are provided without charge, there is a sliding-scale fee for the hearing aids and their maintenance.
The Speech-Language Clinic does not charge for its services and relies on donations. The clinic would be able to expand services to more children with ASD, stroke survivors, wounded warriors, and others in need of services if it had more resources to hire additional supervisors and purchase additional supplies. To make a donation, please visit https://slhs.sdsu.edu/clinics/support/ or call Rebecca Williamson at 619-594-2868.
Dr. Beverly Wulfeck passed away last September after a long 3-year battle with cancer. Dr. Wulfeck was an internationally recognized scholar, educator, researcher, and mentor who had a long history at SDSU. She joined the faculty in 1976 and was a founding member of the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Language and Communicative Disorders (JDP-LCD) and served as the program’s SDSU director from 1997 until her retirement in 2014. For her services and accomplishments as an educator, Dr. Wulfeck was awarded the SDSU Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Faculty Contributions for the College of Health and Human Services. Dr. Wulfeck shaped the lives and curriculum of SLHS and the JDP-LCD with integrity and compassion.
Dr. Edmund Thile, age 85, passed away in August, 2017 after a year-long battle with leukemia. Dr. Thile served on the faculty at SDSU from 1965 to 1998 as a professor of communicative disorders, clinical director, clinical supervisor, and project director for numerous federally funded training grants. He was a great advocate for the students and started the diversity program in the school and the college with his Health Care Opportunities Program – a grant program to get minority students into health care professions. In 1976, Dr. Thile started San Diego County Speech Pathology Services, Inc. (County Speech) serving San Diego County residents with speech, language, and communication difficulties.