Communication sciences and disorders major uses speech therapy to support stroke survivors

Zoe Kuhn '19

For Zoe Kuhn ’19, her second time volunteering at the Austin Speech Labs became even more meaningful with help from the APEX Fellowship program. She discovered the position through a family friend and was able to complete an eight-week program as a full-time volunteer, the equivalent of a graduate student. Austin Speech Labs works to provide affordable speech and cognitive therapy for stroke survivors or those with brain injuries. As an intern, Zoe worked either one-on-one with clients or helped with group therapy, while also creating lesson plans and homework for clients during planning periods. She utilized music therapy, American Sign Language, writing activities, and phonomotor treatment with clients. Phonomotor treatments include looking at pictures of the different mouth shapes that are made while saying consonants, vowels, and other sounds, and having clients form those shapes until they can repeat the sound.   

Through her work, Zoe learned how to communicate with clients in diverse ways, while also discussing treatment and progress plans with the clients’ family members. She learned how to make quick decisions in unfamiliar situations and “to use the fear and doubt that I feel to push myself to try new things,” she explained. From her experience through the APEX Fellowship program, Zoe gained valuable experience in the speech therapy field and learned skills and lessons she can apply to her career. 

Posted in Experiential Learning on August 9, 2018.