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Speech-language therapy study seeking participants

May 6, 2019

If you suspect your toddler may be having trouble saying words or phrases or may be having a hard time understanding what you say, an NIU research study may be able to assist.

The NIU Speech-Language Pathology program is studying the effectiveness of two language treatments and they are looking for research participants. Children under 3 years old with delayed language skills may qualify.

“Your child will receive a free language evaluation, whether or not they’re chosen for the study,” said Kim Wedoff, clinical assistant professor at NIU’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, and research facilitator. “If your child is chosen, you’ll receive strategies to improve their language skills.”

Participants will also receive a $25 gift card after they’ve completed the study, post-treatment evaluation and related documents.

To qualify for the study, your child will be given a language screen to determine if they have a delay of 30% or greater in receptive language (how they understand words) and expressive language (how they speak).

If selected, your child will be randomly placed into one of these language treatments:

  • Teletherapy: You and your child connect with a speech-language pathologist using secure web-based video conferencing on your computer. If selected for this group, you need to have a computer and internet access. You and your child will receive weekly 50-minute speech-language services via your computer. The services will be provided by an NIU speech-language pathology graduate student under the supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist.
  • Individualized language facilitation: You’ll be provided with speech and language strategies to use with your child during their daily routines. You’ll need access to email because you’ll receive weekly emails with techniques and strategies to use with your child to build their understanding and expression of words. To keep track of progress, you’ll also complete a word and sentence inventory each week.

At the beginning of the study, you’ll complete a questionnaire to assess your comfort working on language strategies with your child. You’ll also answer questions about your child’s progress at the end of the 12-week study.

Researchers are looking at the effectiveness of delivering speech-language therapy remotely to determine if this could be helpful to serve those in rural communities.

If you are interested in participating or have more questions, please contact Wedoff at [email protected], 815-753-5697 or visit NIUs Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic’s website.