Abilene Christian University graduate program helping the young and old speak their mind


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Language enrichment services are available for Abilene youth, as well as adults, thanks to a program at Abilene Christian University. 

Speech-language pathology graduate students at ACU are offering these services through the “Program to Assist” language and speech skills at Center for Speech, Language, & Learning (CSLL).   

The program is designed for those who have delayed speech skills or those whose speech is hard to understand, like 23-year-old Hope Martin, who is learning her personal goals to better communicate.  

“I usually talk too fast sometimes,” said Martin. 

Martin has been following a unique 4 step lesson plan in an effort to find her “bright speech.”  

According to the American speech-language-hearing association, nearly 7% of people have some form of language impairment.  

Christine Dyal is Martin’s instructor and says, “It’s very rewarding when you get to hear their story, oh they were talking “x” amount of weeks ago or I can actually understand them now.” 

ACU’s Communication Sciences & Disorders Department Clinic treats a variety of disorders across the age span.  

“It makes me feel really good that what I’m doing is actually helping more than just my patients or clients, it’s helping everyone around them and building their self-confidence and mine as well,” said Dyal.  

Including, but not limited to speech, language, fluency, and much more. As a graduate student, Dyal says everything is a learning process. 

“It doesn’t matter if it’s the first or the fiftieth thing we’ve tried, finding and just keep working until you find something that works for them.” 

And for that, Martin tells us she really appreciates the help she received from Dyal.  

“She helps a lot and she’s my best friend and I like her a lot,” said Martin.  

The goal of the program is to help fill in the gaps in order for them to communicate better among themselves and others. 

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