September 8, 2015

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Clinic Offers Quality, Individualized Speech-Language Services to the Community

Carter Van Ausdall, 7, works with Kaitlyn Wild, a Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders graduate student-clinician, in the Valdosta State University Speech and Hearing Clinic.

NOTE: This story originally appeared on the cover of the September issue of Health Matters, a monthly publication of The Valdosta Daily Times. 

VALDOSTA — It was during 7-year-old Carter Van Ausdall’s first attempt at kindergarten that his parents, Billy Van Ausdall Jr. and Tiffanie Van Ausdall, noticed that he was experiencing cognitive problems. His speech and language development appeared to be delayed, and he lacked the level of reading proficiency necessary for immediate and future success.

Wanting the best for their youngest child, the Van Ausdalls decided to re-enroll their son in kindergarten the following year. They also began receiving services at Valdosta State University’s Speech and Hearing Clinic.

“It is amazing how much he has learned during the past year,” said Tiffanie Van Ausdall. “Every week he progresses; it is wonderful. I have been nothing but pleased.”

Armed with an improved phonological awareness and reading confidence, Carter Van Ausdall entered the first grade this year on Aug. 7 at Georgia Christian School.   

Valdosta State University’s Speech and Hearing Clinic offers hearing evaluations, communication and cognitive evaluations, and therapeutic services to 150-plus men, women, and children from the South Georgia community each session of the university’s academic year — January through April, June and July, and August through November. Services are provided on a low sliding fee scale.

Graduate student-clinicians provide services, working under the supervision of their Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders faculty members, who are also licensed and certified speech-language pathologists. This affords VSU’s students the opportunity to train in a real-life setting; receive invaluable feedback from their supervisors, fellow student-clinicians, and clients; and improve the quality of life of others through public service.   

Founded in 1962 by the Valdosta Junior Service League and the university, the VSU Speech and Hearing Clinic is located inside the Martin and Laura Lynn Miller Family Clinic on the first floor of the modern, multi-million dollar Health Sciences and Business Administration Building, which opened during the summer of 2014. Services are also provided through the Moody Air Force Base Child Development Center, St. John’s Catholic School, Crossroads Baptist School, LARC Inc., Head Start, and other off-campus locations. 

The Speech and Hearing Clinic was previously located on the corner of Patterson Street and Brookwood Drive.

“I feel that the VSU clinic is an important service to the community because it allows clients both young and older access to quality, individualized speech-language services when there may not be other avenues for them to access,” said Dr. Marian S. Jones, part-time clinical supervisor with VSU’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist. She supervised Carter Van Ausdall’s summer semester graduate student-clinician, 24-year-old Kaitlyn Wild.
“With the speech-language pathology training program, clients are receiving clinical intervention that is based on the newest knowledge in the field. 
“In my 30-plus years of practicing as a speech-language pathologist, I have never lost that feeling of accomplishment when a client is able to gain or regain communication function(s). The people of the South Georgia community have a rare gem here with the VSU clinic and its services.” 
The VSU Speech and Hearing Clinic can be reached by calling (229) 219-1301.

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State's human and physical resources. 

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