EIU speech pathologists helping children in Jamaica

CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) – Eastern Illinois University is leading an effort to help children in Jamaica who have speech impediments.

The university partnered with Mico Care Services last year to form a teletherapy group to help these kids. Building on the success of teletherapy, the university assembled a team consisting of 10 speech-language pathology graduate clinicians and Professor Rebecca Throneburg to conduct face-to-face sessions.

“It is a good thing for us to work with students from different backgrounds,” Throneburg said. “We are excited to be meeting the children and families in person so we can start face-to-face relationships.

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Over one week, the EIU team will administer speech-language assessments, literacy screeners and will also provide families with practical guidance to assist with children’s speech progression.

Officials from Mico Care Centre said services like this are hard to come by in Jamaica and can cost thousands of dollars.

“We are providing a service that many Jamaicans cannot access or afford,” said Director Sharon Anderson-Morgan. “Most speech therapists operate privately and a session may be $12,000 or more for one patient. They are now getting our sessions for free. We are happy that we can provide that.”

A total of 20 families are receiving services from the EIU-Mico partnership.

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