LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Communication: it's what we do every day, but imagine having difficulty communicating because of a speech or hearing problem, something Arkansans face every day.
May is Better Speech and Hearing Month and UALR is teaming up with UAMS to help kids get a jump start on any hearing problems they may have. So parents, if you think your child needs speech or hearing testing UALR wants to help. In fact, in many cases they are offering scholarships to take care of the cost.
Clem Sutterfield, 4, is hard at work improving his speech. He is one of the many students in the preschool language enrichment program at UALR. His mom April Gentry Sutterfield says, "Clem's big challenge is speaking clearly in context, so he does great when you give him one word, but when he speaks in context he goes to fast and he loses articulation."
April is glad she is getting her son help, and says the results, speak for themselves. She says, "There was a day when Clem looked at me and said I wish I had your mouth, and that made me really sad for him."
UALR professor Tom Guyette says the program is all about helping kids. He adds, "We look at vocabulary we look at the development of their speech in terms of how will they pronounce so there are things like articulation and phonology test."
And many times, Guyette says, they are able to offer scholarships to those who need therapy. He says, "We just do it because it's important."
The program is both important and life changing for the Sutterfield family. April says, "He could not be understood by anybody other than family pretty much, and after two years he can be understood by lots of people."
UALR is hosting their annual Jazz and Juleps reception on May 21 to raise money for this program.
If you're a parent and think your child could have a hearing or speaking problem they want to help, just call the UAMS Speech and Hearing Clinic at 501-569-3155. Many times the first hearing screenings are free.