The Missouri State Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic serves young preschool children with communication delays or disorders through the Language Intervention Lab (LIL). Although some children benefit from one-on-one therapy, most young children respond optimally within a setting that is arranged for natural communication exchanges that includes peers. Through child-centered activities that engage children, opportunities to communicate become functional and fun!
The LIL sessions last 90 minutes, twice each week during the University academic semester. Each LIL group contains two to four children within the age range of 2 to 3-1/2 years old. Children must have a diagnostic evaluation prior to placement in the LIL, either completed at the University Clinic or elsewhere with a copy provided to the Clinic. Each child has individual speech-language objectives for the semester based on the recommended long-term goals.
Many strategies and techniques modeled in the LIL may be used in the home in order to expand the opportunities for communication that a child may discover over the course of a day. Parents are encouraged to observe and participate in LIL sessions throughout the semester, as well as view selected educational videotapes, in order to become more adept at using these strategies and techniques on their own. In this way, therapists, parents and caregivers create a team that supports the child’s emerging language skills.