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Released July 3, 2003


HATTIESBURG - The parents of two children receiving services from the Dubard School for Children with Language Disorders at The University of Southern Mississippi have traveled hundreds of miles to Hattiesburg after learning about the school on the Internet.

Barbara Bass of Simi Valley, Calif., and Marian Honda of the Seattle area began communicating through an online support group for parents of children with Apraxia, a motor speech disorder that impairs a person's ability to speak.

"Basically, the child knows what they want to say but are unable to speak," Barbara Bass said in describing Apraxia, which can affect both children and adults.

After developing a friendship they both searched online to find services that could help their children overcome the effects of Apraxia.

"We got the good word about Dubard (on the Internet)," Marian Honda said.

Their sons, both named Daniel, are receiving speech and language instruction this summer at Dubard through the school staff's use of the Association Method. Marian and Barbara are living in Hattiesburg while their children receive instruction, staying on campus in Mississippi Hall dormitory.

The Association Method is a phonetic, multisensory teaching-learning strategy designed for language-deficient children. The Association Method incorporates simultaneous instruction in speaking, reading and writing.

Marian Honda said she and Bass are considering bringing their children for further instruction at Dubard in the future.

"We consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to work with these two children with unique needs who have traveled so far to be here," said Dr. Maureen Martin, director of the Dubard School. "We hope this will lead to them gaining the skills necessary to obtain intelligible speech."

The Dubard School, which serves 55 full-time students and more than 40 additional students through its outclient program, is supported with funding from the United Way and gifts from other organizations. Additional services provided by the Dubard School include evaluations to diagnose speech/language and learning problems plus individual or small-group therapy services. DuBard School personnel also provide instruction in the Association Method for professionals through staff development programs, workshops and courses.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM