by Claire Miller
Speech-language pathologists often work with patients who suffer from dementia, a broad term used to describe disorders that affect the brain and the symptoms these disorders cause.
Those with dementia can experience a number of issues, including memory loss, language impairment, personality changes and behavioral problems, among others, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
“Having a family member or patient with dementia is a really hard thing,” said Debra Schober-Peterson, director of the College of Education’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic.
The 13th annual Summer Institute in Communication Disorders, sponsored by the college’s Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education, will bring together students, faculty and professionals working in the communication disorders field to discuss possible strategies for improving cognition and communication for people who suffer from dementia.
Michelle S. Bourgeois, professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Science at Ohio State University, will be the presenter at the institute. A clinical researcher, Bourgeois has received numerous grants from the National Institutes of Aging (NIA) and the Alzheimer’s Association to investigate interventions for improving the quality and quantity of communicative interactions with residents with dementia, to evaluate memory aids and interventions for people with dementia and traumatic brain injury, and to develop training programs for institutional caregivers.
“Dr. Bourgeois’s work is so crucial because she focuses on patients’ quality of life,” Schober-Peterson said. “She helps speech-language pathologists and families think about what matters.”
Registration is required to attend, and attendees can receive one continuing education unit credit (Intermediate level, Professional Area). The registration fee is $205, but discounted rates are offered for current students, GSU graduates in communication disorders, and members of the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
For more information and registration costs for the summer institute, contact Schober-Peterson at 404/413-8304 or email@example.com.
For more information about the COE’s Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, visit http://education.gsu.edu/epse/1791.html.