20th Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camp

AWARENESS

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This year, the 20th Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camp was organized by UT Dallas, Texas (USA) in collaboration with the UT Southwestern Medical and Children’s Health Center. Summer camps are an important part of vacation time for many young people, and those with cochlear implants (CIs) also like to take part. The two organizations sponsored the event that brought together about 50 children in Cross Creek Ranch in Parker, Texas, this month.

UT Dallas’s Callier Center for Communication Disorders invites children with CIs to join the camp and offers a range of activities including obstacle courses, fishing, arts and crafts, and music. As part of some of these activities, graduate students from the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences provide listening and speech-language therapy to the campers. “All of our activities are geared toward developing the child’s spoken language and their listening skills,” says Melissa Sweeney, Head of speech/language pathology and manager of the CI program at the Callier Center. “Whether it’s dancing to music or playing on the obstacle course, the goal is always to work on those skills.”

Although the 5-day camp is not long enough to make significant progress, improvements are seen in interactions and socialization with the group. The children appreciate spending time with others who face the same challenges they do on a daily basis. According to one mother whose daughter attended the camp for the first time, “In the ride home in the car, she was talking in sentences and saying words that I’ve not heard her put together before.”

Source: UT Dallas News Center

C.S.