The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Speech Clinic

The Speech Clinic opened officially in June, 1937, as a unit of the Institute for Human Adjustment and of the Department of Speech. Since 1937, although the clinic has been a part of the Institute, it has still continued to operate in close association with the Department of Speech.

Remedial help in speech had been carried on at the University since 1906-7. Upon the resignation of Professor Hempl the course in general linguistics was taught by Professor Clarence L. Meader, and the philological basis of the work was expanded to include the biological processes of language. In 1909-10 Professors Walter B. Pillsbury and Meader organized a course in the psychology of language, which has been given almost every year. Two years later Professors Meader and John F. Shepard co-operated in organizing a course in experimental phonetics.

Professors Muyskens and Meader offered Practical Phonetics in 1922. This was a course in the application of experimental phonetics to the problem of language development. In 1923 Professor Meader added a seminar in semantics especially for those students who were interested in the developmental processes. With the aid of the Department of Speech, special problems in the field were undertaken by graduate students, who later opened clinics at Grace Hospital, Detroit, and elsewhere.

In 1927, because of a continued demand by teachers of speech and speech correction and especially by teachers of English, an explanatory phrase, "to correct minor speech defects," was added to the course listings in phonetics. John H. Muyskens ('13, Sc.D. '25), Associate Professor of Phonetics and Director of the Laboratory of Speech and General Linguistics, who had alternately taught and done graduate work in human biology from 1912 until 1920, had charge of the general program of the clinic from 1927 to 1938.

To meet the increasing demands upon the time and the efforts of the General Linguistics staff and upon members of the Department of Speech, a plan was finally realized in the establishment of the Speech Clinic of the Institute for Human Adjustment.

The clinic was established in recognition of a need to bring remedial help to children and to adults suffering from various types of defective speech. The present housing of the Speech Clinic and the endowment for staff and equipment have permitted a scope of work not hitherto possible. The main purposes of the Speech Clinic are three-fold: teacher training, research, and service. In addition to these official purposes, the clinic also recognizes a responsibility for the dissemination of knowledge regarding the hygiene of speech development, so that serious speech defects may be anticipated and prevented.

Page  1056The training of teachers and specialists at the clinic is accomplished through formal course work and through a clinical internship which provides practical experience in the examination, diagnosis, and treatment of speech disorders. The clinic has recognized the need for training teachers of speech correction for different grade levels, and for different levels of specialization, ranging from the grade school teacher who needs some information regarding speech correction, to the specialist who expects to work as a clinician, instructor, or research investigator in institutions of higher learning.

The work of research has involved background studies in speech and language development and the investigation of attributes of normal speech as they provide a basis for a better understanding of pathological conditions. Investigation of new and improved methods for the correction of speech defects, the further study and description of recognized classifications of speech disorders and, above all, detailed study of individual cases of defective speech are a part of the work of the research program.

Service is given directly through individual examination, diagnosis, and treatment of persons having speech defects. It is also rendered through the dissemination of knowledge regarding speech hygiene to parents, physicians, teachers, social workers, school nurses, and to agencies dealing with human welfare. Through its staff of specialists and graduate clinicians, the clinic undertakes examination and treatment of all types of speech imperfections including articulatory disorders, stuttering, foreign accent, voice problems, and defects resulting from organic lesions such as cleft palate, hearing loss, and lesions of the central nervous system. Regular days are scheduled for the examination of patients. Clinic and staff members also serve in a consulting and in an advisory capacity to referral agencies which may have afflicted persons under their care. Mutual referral agencies have been established between the Speech Clinic and many other departments of the University such as the Dental Clinic, the University Hospital, the University Health Service, and the Michigan Child Guidance Institute. Approximately five hundred individuals are seen annually for examination and treatment. Additional numbers are seen through the medium of survey examinations conducted in public school systems of the state. Occasionally, staff members from the Speech Clinic assist these schools in setting up a program of speech correction. The clinic also co-operates with the Health Service each year in administering a speech examination for entering students and in giving hearing tests to the students.

The National Speech Improvement Camp under the direction of John N. Clancy is affiliated with the Speech Clinic. This unique boys' camp represents one of the most important advances in the treatment of speech correction in this country. The members of the staff contribute unofficially to the support of the camp through voluntary consultation and examination services. In return for this service, the camp places at the disposal of the clinic its unequaled facilities for study of speech cases and methods of speech improvement. Through the intensive study thus afforded, many advances have been made in our understanding of the nature of speech disorders in their relationship to other aspects of the total personality.

The clinic is in a building of its own at 1007 East Huron Street. Its twenty-one rooms contain new and modern equipment, with special lecture rooms Page  1057for the hard-of-hearing, laboratories, a small library, and rooms for research, testing, and training.

The staff in 1940 included Dr. Harlan Bloomer (Illinois '30, Ph.D. Michigan '35), Clinic Manager, Associate Professor Bessie L. Whitaker, (Stetson '06, A.M. North Carolina '07), Director of Speech Reading, Assistant Professor Henry M. Moser (Ohio State '24, Ph.D. Iowa '37), Dr. Lucy Dell Henry (Chicago '22, M.D. ibid. '35), Clinic Physician, John N. Clancy (Notre Dame '21, A.M. Michigan '37), Admitting Officer and Clinician, and William Bilto (Michigan State Normal '35, A.M. Michigan '40), Clinician.