Workshop Review: Developing Critical Learning Skills for Children with Minimal Language Skills

Hello! My name is Mike Morita, an intern at LUCREA, Inc. I am currently a fourth-year student attending Temple University, Japan Campus.

Upon starting my internship, my biggest realization was how little I knew about speech disorders, even as a psychology major. This realization came after attending the well-delivered and informative workshop seminar offered by LUCREA, Inc. The workshop had many sections with new and thought-provoking topics that I have never been exposed to. The attendees of the workshop consisted of other speech therapists (STs), teachers, and parents of children with special needs. This made the workshop interactive, with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

The workshop started with the description of the multiple mechanisms behind human speech, and how it ties together with different speech disorders. Personally, I’ve never consciously thought about the mechanisms and the importance of the tongue in order to pronounce certain syllables. Or, how simple sounds such as か ([ka]) and た ([ta]) may end with the same sound, but begin with a different tongue mechanism. Or even, how a short tongue can have a huge impact on speech.

The next section presented individual client cases. This part was especially intriguing, as it was the closest a presentation can get to an on-hands experience with real therapy. This section of the presentation included the description of the child’s disorder and the progress that is being made. It also included videos of one-on-one therapy sessions, games/tools made by the therapists for speech training, and eventual goal plans.

There was also a guest presenter, who is a parent of a child with Angelman Syndrome. She presented together with LUCREA, Inc, bringing up the initial difficulties and current progress with the therapy. I found it amazing how the parent was comfortable sharing videos and daily difficulties with the child, as well as showing the improvements. That was another of many experiences in this workshop that I will never forget.

For a student like me who is interested in pursuing therapy in the future, I found it exceptionally valuable to attend this seminar. I would strongly urge anyone who is even slightly interested to check it out.