Current Issues: RiteCare Family Autism Camp at Radford University: An Innovative Clinical Education Model for Speech-Language Pathology Students The “unique learning style and social communication challenges” experienced by children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) necessitate that speech-language pathologists (SLPs) receive education specific to this disability (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association [ASHA], 2006a, p.18). Graduate training programs often provide this education through classroom instruction and clinical education (also referred to as ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2010
Current Issues: RiteCare Family Autism Camp at Radford University: An Innovative Clinical Education Model for Speech-Language Pathology Students
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth Lanter
    Radford University, Radford, VA
  • Diane Millar
    Radford University, Radford, VA
  • Patricia Rossi
    Radford University, Radford, VA
  • Jill ParmenterColumn Editor
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Professional Issues & Training / Current Issues
Article   |   June 01, 2010
Current Issues: RiteCare Family Autism Camp at Radford University: An Innovative Clinical Education Model for Speech-Language Pathology Students
SIG 11 Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, June 2010, Vol. 20, 59-63. doi:10.1044/aas20.2.59
SIG 11 Perspectives on Administration and Supervision, June 2010, Vol. 20, 59-63. doi:10.1044/aas20.2.59

The “unique learning style and social communication challenges” experienced by children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) necessitate that speech-language pathologists (SLPs) receive education specific to this disability (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association [ASHA], 2006a, p.18). Graduate training programs often provide this education through classroom instruction and clinical education (also referred to as clinical teaching or supervision). Clinical education has a long-standing tradition in the field of speech-language pathology and is considered “an essential component in the education of students” (ASHA, 2008a, p. 1). This article presents a description of clinical education experience, specific to serving children with ASD, that is offered to graduate level speech-language pathology students at Radford University. The RiteCare Family Autism Camp, hosted by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, provides graduate level clinical training in a model of service delivery amendable to many best practices when serving this population, such as intensive services, a partnership with parents, development of social communicative competence through the use of peer mediators, and a focus on literacy. This article describes the role of the SLP working with ASD and the RiteCare camp and seeks to inspire other graduate speech-language pathology training programs to consider an intensive, family-based day program for children with ASD as a clinical education model for its speech-language pathology students.

The Rite Care Family Autism Camp at Radford University has been funded through the university and the generosity of the Virginia Scottish Rite Masons. Future camps will be aided by support from the Jessie Ball DuPont Foundation. Questions about the camp should be directed to Diane Millar, PhD, CCC-SLP.
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