We are pleased to welcome the Multilingual Speech-Language Pathology Clinic at UNH as a new training site this year and renew our collaboration with Families First in the greater Seacoast area. These New Hampshire organizations join our growing list of community partnerships offering trainees valuable clinical experiences.  

The Multilingual Speech-Language Pathology Clinic is housed within the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorder’s (CSD) Speech Language Hearing Center at the University of New Hampshire. The goal of this specialized clinic is to provide culturally and linguistically responsive services to multilingual and multicultural clients in the community.  Led by LEND faculty member Meg Morgan, this clinic takes a unique approach to differential diagnosis by using converging evidence from multiple sources of information rather than the traditional method of relying on standardized assessments, which can be culturally and linguistically biased.

Clients and their families primarily seek out services from the clinic to differentiate if communication difficulties are due to a communication disorder or typical development consistent with learning English as a second language. Clients may also be referred with an existing diagnosis (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome) and may be seeking information to differentiate which communication behaviors are typical, given the client’s status as a multilingual communicator, and which communication behaviors are impaired secondary to the diagnosis.

“Having a LEND trainee join our Multilingual Speech-Language Pathology Clinic assessment team has been an enriching experience for our graduate students. The students have had the opportunity to explain terminology, procedures, the reasoning behind methods used for assessment, and engage in valuable and authentic discussions about their field of work, which has positively contributed to their educational experience in this program.”

- Meg Morgan

We are also excited to renew our collaboration with Families First in Portsmouth, which is part of Greater Seacoast Community Health. The Family Resource Center is led by Jess Garlough, Director of Family and Social Services and Jo Ann Clement, the Family Center Manager. The team consists of dedicated staff that offer information and support for parents, grandparents, and caregivers by providing classes, groups, and one-on-one programs to build a network of support and connect families to local resources. Building on family strengths, all programs are implemented using the Protective Factors Framework; parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, concrete support in times of need, social and emotional competence of children.

The Center provides a variety of play and educational groups which are open to children ages birth to six and their parents, grandparents, or caregivers in Portsmouth, Seabrook, Exeter, Epping, and Somersworth. 

Families First also provides home visiting and is part of the statewide Kinship Navigation Program that provide individualized supports and education for families. Visits can be conducted in the home or in the community, virtually or at either the Portsmouth or Somersworth locations.

“Our LEND trainee, Christina Giannopoulos, was able to provide helpful tools from her occupational therapy perspective and offered ideas during face-to-face time with families.  The home visiting team valued being able to discuss dynamics with Christina and hear her suggestions during team meetings.”

- Jo Ann Clement

Wishing our partners a warm welcome to the NH-ME LEND community!