Summer camp often triggers images of campfires, jumping in the lake and cabin hijinks.
But summer camp with the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences means something different—and something life-changing.
It’s called Camp Candoo, a summer camp for children with apraxia, a severe speech disorder. Candoo campers attend for two weeks of intensive speech therapy instruction and games. The children come from across the United States and even from Canada.
Childhood apraxia of speech is when the words and phrases get confused between the brain and the child’s mouth. The muscles needed for speaking aren’t weak, they’re just not getting the message from the brain in the correct order.
Students and faculty from the department – a part of Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine – as well as those from Eastern Washington University’s communications disorders program, provide one-on-one and group instruction and practice for the attendees.
The two-week intensive camp often results in significant progress for attendees. Parents are also given tips on how to work with the children after camp is complete, so the therapy never fully ends.