Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic

Community Groups

Community Programs

Let's Talk Again

A communication program for stroke survivors with aphasia

“Let¹s Talk Again” is a communication program for stroke survivors with aphasia. Both group and individual therapy are offered. The group is led by Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate students under the supervision of G.N. Rangamani, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, professor, and Jodel Page, M.S., CCC-SLP, clinical instructor.  

The group provides increased communication opportunities in a naturalistic context. Members participate in language stimulation activities, try new communication techniques and learn compensatory strategies that focus on enhancing their ability to participate in conversation and other communicative contexts of daily living. Participants develop a sense of belonging and have an opportunity to network with other stroke survivors.

Helpful hints when communicating with stroke survivors:

  1. Make sure you have the person's attention before communicating.
  2. During conversation, minimize or eliminate background noise (such as television, radio, and other people) as much as possible.
  3. Keep communication simple but adult. Simplify your own sentence structure and reduce your own rate of speech. You don't need to speak louder than normal but do emphasize key words. Don't talk down to the person with aphasia.
  4. Encourage and use other modes of communication (writing, drawing, yes/no responses, choices, gestures, eye contact, facial expressions) in addition to speech.
  5. Give them time to talk and let them have a reasonable amount of time to respond. Avoid speaking for the person with aphasia except when necessary and ask permission before doing so.
  6. Praise all attempts to speak; make speaking a pleasant experience and provide stimulating conversation.Downplay errors and avoid frequent criticisms/corrections. Avoid insisting that each word be produced perfectly.
  7. Augment speech with gesture and visual aids whenever possible. Repeat a statement when necessary.
  8. Encourage them to be as independent as possible. Avoid being overprotective.
  9. Whenever possible continue normal activities (such as dinner with family, company, going out). Do not shield people with aphasia from family or friends or ignore them in a group conversation. Rather, try to involve them in family decision-making as much as possiblee. Keep them informed of events but avoid burdening them with day to day details.

-National Aphasia Association, 2013

Resources and information:

 

If you are interested in joining or receiving more information, contact the clinic at 320-308-2092 or csd@stcloudstate.edu

SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd®

St. Cloud State University's Communication Sciences and Disorders Department is pleased to offer a two-part speech therapy program to help individuals with Parkinson’s regain and maintain effective communication: SPEAK OUT!® followed by The LOUD Crowd®. 

SPEAK OUT!® places emphasis on speaking with intent and converting speech from an automatic function to an intentional act. Together, patients and their speech-language pathologist work through a series of speech, voice, and cognitive exercises outlined in a SPEAK OUT!® Workbook. 

Upon completion of SPEAK OUT!®, patients transition to The LOUD Crowd®. This maintenance program consists of weekly group sessions led by a speech-language pathologist. The SPEAK OUT!® exercises are performed, and group members provide support, encouragement, and accountability to one another. 

Participation in The LOUD Crowd®, along with daily home practice and six-month re-evaluations, has been shown to help patients maintain their communication skills throughout the progression of Parkinson’s.

For more information about SPEAK OUT!® and The LOUD Crowd® or to schedule a speech evaluation, please call 320-308-4172 or 320-308-2092.

Community Groups

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Support Group

The AAC Support Group is for people who use augmentative and alternative ways to communicate. These methods can include verbal speech along with pictures, signs, written words, communication systems and  technology. Any person who uses additional ways to communicate is welcome to join! 

The purpose of this group is:

  1. To bring together people who use augmentative and alternative ways to communicate, their friends and interested persons in order to facilitate insightful discussion, camaraderie and well being in a safe and supportive environment.
  2. To provide an accepting and nonjudgmental forum for sharing personal experiences with others, using a variety of communication methods and/or devices and, as needed, the help of others to use communication compensatory techniques.
  3. To be a place to communicate using AAC openly, with enough time to express thoughts freely and make mistakes without fear.
  4. To act as a vehicle to educate ourselves, our friends and family, and the general public about using augmentative and alternative communication and the needs and capabilities of persons who use AAC.

Information and resources:

If you are interested in joining or receiving more information, contact the clinic at 320-308-2092 or csd@stcloudstate.edu

National Stuttering Association (NSA), St. Cloud Chapter

NSA is a social group that meets to support people who stutter. Any person who stutters, or who cares about a person who stutters, is welcome to join.

The purpose of this organization is:

  1. To bring together people who stutter, their friends and interested persons in order to facilitate insightful discussion, camaraderie and well-being in a  safe and supportive environment.
  2. To provide an accepting and nonjudgmental forum for sharing personal experiences with stuttering and the use of communication techniques and  stuttering therapy.
  3. To be a place to stutter openly without fear and embarrassment.
  4. To educate ourselves, our friends and family and the general public about the nature and management of stuttering and the needs and capabilities of persons who stutter.

Information and resources:

If you are interested in joining or receiving more information, contact the clinic at 320-308-2092 or csd@stcloudstate.edu