Click here for COVID-19 updates affecting the campus community

Summer Specialty Clinic director presented with check


Photo courtesy of the College of Health Professions: Representatives from the SLPGO/NSSLHA (Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Organization/National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association) presenting a check for $1,400 to Summer Specialty Clinic Director, Mary Beth Smith.

Two children will be able to attend a summer camp for the disabled and hard of hearing thanks to a $1,400 check donated to the Summer Specialty Clinic.

The check was presented by the Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Organization and the National Student Speech-Langauge Hearing Association to Summer Specialty Clinic Director Mary Beth Smith.

"Our clinic is for children with communication disorders," Smith said. "We see kids for a variety of things like autism, hearing loss, cochlear implants, speech issues and more."

The money will cover the cost of two full time children for the five weeks of camp next summer. The current tuition structure is $700 for half-day programs and $1,400 for the full-day program. Families sometimes have to obtain financial assistance from community service clubs or state agencies.

The funds were raised by selling t-shirts through the organizations and the funds were double the $700 that was raised last year.

The Summer Specialty Clinic will be celebrating 70 years of summer camp service next summer for children ages three to fourteen. The camp provides several services including a combination of communication intervention, social skills instruction, and recreation experiences for children who are communicatively challenged.

Smith said the camp is staffed by around forty graduate clinicians, supervisors and faculty. The students work in the clinic as part of their curriculum and graduate students help evaluate the campers before arriving to make sure the camp can cater to their specific needs.

"We are always looking for ways to get families help with the tuition," Smith said. "We work a lot with the Michigan Elks Club, as well as the Lions Club, Rotary Clubs and more. We try to make the camp fun for the kids by having things like water day or other activities. It's a great way for the graduate students to get out of the classroom and gives the kids a way to have some fun."

Port Huron graduate student Shelby Baker worked on communication skills with older children in the clinic who were there for a full day. In the past she has worked with teaching sign language to campers. 

"We had (the campers) for either group or individual therapy," Baker said. "We want to make sure the kids are having fun and getting the summer camp experience while working on communication skills. We target the communication skills they need to work on the most based on their issues. It's all about helping the kids and making sure they have a good time."