All individuals at Verland have communication goals, whether they are verbal or nonverbal. Through Verland's Communication Therapy (CT) Department, verbal individuals are helped to enhance their speech and language. Nonverbal participants are taught augmentative and alternative means of communication.
The Communication Therapy (CT) Department at Verland assesses and treats the speech/language and communication skills, oral motor abilities and hearing proficiencies of every resident. Speech/language and communication skills are enhanced through both formal and informal means. The specially trained CT supervisor personally executes all formal therapy, which maximizes learning and maintenance. Informal goals are integrated into the classrooms and homes of individuals, and are implemented by staff who are trained by the CT department. Oral motor therapies are established and executed by the CT Specialist during sessions that are designed to maintain current feeding ability (e.g. chewing, tongue lateralization, rotary movement, etc.) Through these sessions and other observations of oral and pharyngeal function, optimal diet and food consistencies are determined. Staff receive regular in-service training in this modality to ensure that each individual receives proper food and drink consistencies during their meals.
Verland's Communication Therapy Specialist provides aural rehabilitation therapy for hearing-impaired individuals who can respond to any of the therapeutic techniques. The techniques utilized in training/treatment may include:
Adaptation to amplification device
Total communication methods
Visual cue development
Environmental manipulation to improve signal-to-noise ratios
Speech reading or cued speech
The CT department screens all individuals and identifies those individuals who will benefit from this program, and remediation is prescribed according to each individual's abilities and needs.