The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Communication Sciences & Disorders (CSDO) Clinic is scheduled to open on September 10 for the Fall semester. The clinic provides intervention for individuals suspected of having or demonstrating communication disorders.
“We treat people with autism, and fluency disorders like stuttering,” said Clinic Director Odette Gonzalez, “We also work with with children who have trouble pronouncing certain sounds, and others with language delays who haven’t started talking yet.”
The clinic includes several therapy and diagnostic rooms, an audiometric sound suite, and observation rooms which allow viewing of the therapy by parents and supervisors.
“We also have a huge population who just want speech improvement,” Gonzalez said, “They may be from another country, and are just trying to get into the corporate world, and want to be able to speak like their peers.”
CSDO students maintain a working relationship with clinical faculty who are all certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and are licensed by the State of Texas Board of Examiners in Speech Pathology and Audiology.
“We’re the second largest major on campus after Interdisciplinary Studies,” Gonzalez said, “I have one undergraduate class right now with 70 students.”
“Our hands-on students work with maybe one or two clients, instead of a normal 15 or more, and their whole focus is on those clients. There’s a lot more individual care.” Gonzalez said.
Graduate students and upper level undergraduate students participate in diagnostic and therapeutic services as a part of their education and training.
“We train future speech pathologists,” Gonzalez said, “The first two semesters of their graduate work is on campus, in our clinic, and then they work at a nursing facility, a rehab hospital, just anywhere they can get direct contact with a client. They have to graduate with a minimum of 400 clock hours.”
The CSDO clinic recently hired two new physicians, Dr. Alan Seitel, and Dr. Christine Bergan.
Clinic services are provided to the general public at competitive rates. Discounted rates are available to students, and a sliding scale is available for those that meet financial eligibility requirements.
“We’re never going to turn anybody away unless they absolutely just stop paying, because we want the experience.” Gonzalez said, “If a student says they can only afford a couple of dollars a session, then that’s what we do. We want to help them, and at the same time they’re helping us.”
The CSDO clinic is located in Manning Hall, and is open Monday through Thursday from 9am to 5pm during university semesters.