Learning From and With Our Clients

by Judith Maginnis Kuster - Mankato State University (kuster@mnsu.edu).

We can learn much from our clients and their support system of parents, spouses, and other family members. Articles such as the guest editorial in this issue by David Shields, a respected author and professor who shares his experiences with stuttering treatment, provide one avenue for learning. The Internet also provides an excellent opportunity for us to listen to and learn from those we serve. Often personal sites are among the best, as they are done with great enthusiasm and knowledge gained from experience, as a labor of love. Although the sites listed provide numerous resources and important connections for many of our clients, the information provided through these links is not meant to be used for diagnosing or treating communication disabilities and is not a substitute for professional care.

  • Three of the primary authors of On The Same Page live with autism or Asperger syndrome. Be sure to check "Hugging a cat and poetry" by David Miedzianik.

  • Aaron's Tracheostomy Page is maintained by Cynthia Bissell, RN, Aaron's mother, as a guide to home care for a child with a tracheostomy. The page contains a section on speech and also on eating with a tracheostomy.

  • Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome (Shprintzen syndrome) is maintained by David and Susan Marchette. Susan is the speech-language pathologist mother of a child with this genetic disorder, often associated with cleft palate, language delays, hearing loss, and learning disability.

  • The Imagine Page maintained by Becca and Steve Pittelko, is a collection of touching personal stories by parents of premature infants.

  • Apraxia-Kids Home Page contains first-hand experience in "Negotiating the Insurance Maze," suggestions on "Things to do at home to encourage speech," a "Speech Therapy Primer" by Ellen L. Councill, M.Sc., CCC-SLP, "How to think about a speech-language evaluation" by Sharon Gretz.

  • Susie's Cerebral Palsy Home Page includes Susie Lamb's personal information about living with cerebral palsy, links to many relevant websites on cerebral palsy, and a penpal page.

  • Cancer of the Larynx: Information and Assistance by David L. "Dutch" Helms has a helpful hints page, a growing email directory of people who have had a laryngectomy, articles and humorous anecdotes, and links to other information related to laryngectomy.

  • Central Auditory Processing Disorders & Other Language-Based Learning Disabilities: Resources for Parents is by Caroline Bristol, the mother of a 9-year old girl who has CAPD.

  • Wide Smiles, created by Joanne Green, provides information and networking among families of children affected with a cleft. There is also a children's section which includes a penpal page and three cleft-related online children's books online.

  • Where do we go from Hear?, for families with children diagnosed with hearing loss, by Denise V. Berg, is designed to provide general information about hearing impairments, terminology, how tests are administered, what to expect and where to turn for help.

  • Hearnet H.E.A.R. is a non-profit organization founded by rock performers and dedicated to raising awareness of the real dangers of repeated exposure to excessive noise levels.

    Some additional pages to explore:

    Return to Internet Resource Page
    Return to ASHA Home Page

    Kuster, JM, Learning From and With Our Clients, ASHA, Summer, 1998, p. 39