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Lisa Taniguchi works with a child
Lisa Taniguchi works with a child

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) in the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) broke new ground this year by introducing a program that helps parents of very young children assume a large role in helping lead their keiki to verbal success. CSD has helped children and adults to hear, understand and speak better for more than 50 years.

Parents excitedly reported their children expressed themselves more, used appropriate language, and their vocabularies grew “exponentially.” Children enrolled in the program demonstrated gains in language comprehension and production as measured by the MacArthur-Bates Communication Development Inventory, a tool used to assess language development in infants and children.

Funded through a gift by former UH speech therapist Rosetta Fish to the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF), the “It Takes Two to Talk” Hanen program is teaching parents of children aged three to five to do many things. For instance, how to identify what motivates their child to interact and initiate conversations, and how to incorporate language teaching when playing and reading books with their child. The program is funded for two more years and the future couldn’t be brighter.

The UH Speech and Hearing Clinic assisted 147 speech-language pathology and audiology patients—68 of them children under the age of 18 during the past year. Its graduate-level faculty also serve patients with cognitive-communication and related disorders.

Appointments for CSD services can be made through University Health Partners at (808) 692-1580. The UH Speech and Hearing Clinic accepts most insurance plans and is located at 677 Ala Moana Boulevard, Suite 625 (Gold Bond Building).

Read more on the JABSOM website.

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