We’re continuing with our affiliate highlight series, this time turning our eye to Hofstra University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic in Hempstead, New York.
What Makes Hofstra University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic Unique?
At Hofstra University’s Men’s Aphasia Group, the group members “leave aphasia at the door” and participate in conversation just like any other group of men. The Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic in the Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center at Hofstra University has utilized a social participation approach in group therapy for people with aphasia for a number of years.
Group therapy services are designed to facilitate clients’ compensatory language strategies during social conversation. Group therapy also serves to improve natural communication and psychosocial functioning. The sessions encourage social interaction and peer-modeling among the members of the group, which improves overall pragmatic language skills (Elman & Bernstein-Ellis, 1999).
On a psychosocial level, group therapy serves as a support group environment for these individuals with aphasia, where successful adjustment to living with aphasia was encouraged and modeled by the clinicians and other group members with aphasia. (Elman & Bernstein-Ellis, 1999.)
When the clients were asked what makes this practice unique, the most common feedback received was, “Everyone in this group knows exactly what I am going through and understand my difficulties at a level where my family doesn’t quite understand at home.” Or “The clinicians are always lovely and respectful,” and “I feel comfortable speaking in this group and I am not embarrassed about my communication difficulties because everyone understands what I am going through.”
Great Success Stories
“A 60-year-old client arrived at the clinic shortly after traditional rehabilitation services ended. His social conversation was limited to a few words at best. Over a period of a few years, with intensive individual and group therapy, the client prospered.
In addition to his intensive program, the client was tenacious in developing an intensive home program for himself which included hours dedicated to exercises on Constant Therapy, Rosetta Stone and other therapeutic apps and software programs. His language and literacy skills improved greatly.
He currently participates in a local adult continuing education program for professionals in retirement and gives lectures on economics and sailing. He is a regular at the Men’s Aphasia Group, mentoring and inspiring others to keep working hard, practice and to be patient with the process.
They Love What They Do
Groups are facilitated by the Clinic Director and three or four graduate students enrolled in the M.A. program in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. We enjoy the relationships that we have formed with our clients and how motivated they are to improve their communication abilities. It is satisfying to see the clients regain confidence while using communication abilities in a social environment, despite the aphasia.
Services and Support Groups
The Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic offers diagnostic and treatment services to children and adults for a variety of communication disorders across the age span. All clinical services are supervised by professional speech-language pathologists and audiologists who hold certification by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
Our support group services for individuals who have suffered an injury as a result of a stroke or other neurogenic disorder can participate in our Aphasia Program (Men’s and Women’s Aphasia Group).
Special Services for Caregivers
Caregivers of clients are both educated and provided with informative handouts regarding information that is specific to the clients’ needs. The materials include but are not limited to information regarding the clients’ communication disorders and compensatory strategies that can be used to support communication.
The clients and families can be referred to several family and mental health clinics within the building if additional support is necessary.
The Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center supports high-quality educational and practical experiences for Hofstra University students and provides services to Hofstra University employees and to the community-at-large. Staff are members of academic departments and maintain the identity and goals of each academic discipline.
At the same time, they associate and collaborate effectively with each other on professional issues. Access to multiple services within the Saltzman Center afford the opportunity for a comprehensive approach to clients’ needs.
Do you live in the Hempstead, New York area? Contact the Hofstra University Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic for speech services and support groups.
We’re spending 2018 highlighting our affiliates in order to make it easier for caregivers to find services for their loved ones. Are you an affiliate of the NAA and would like to be highlighted in a future installment? Please fill out the form and we’ll contact you.