Augustana College’s Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing received $25,000 from the Royal Ball Run in 2016. These funds help provide the center’s services to those with autism spectrum disorder.
Recently some of these funds were used to train Karen Aumuller, a speech-language pathologist at Augustana, in the PEERS Curriculum—an evidence-based social skills training curriculum for high-functioning adolescents and young adults on the autism spectrum.
Designed by Elizabeth A. Laugeson, PsyD, at UCLA’s Semel Institute, the parent-assisted program focuses on improving friendship skills through 16 lessons with concrete rules and steps, homework assignments and activities to ensure that teens are comfortable incorporating what they’ve learned.
“With April being Autism Awareness Month, it’s important to highlight the services that are available right here at Augustana,” said Dr. Allison Haskill, professor of communication sciences and disorders and director of the Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing. “Without the generous funding from the Royal Ball Run, we simply wouldn’t be able to provide these services to the community.”
The Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing is the only provider of PEERS in the Quad-Cities area. PEERS sessions will begin this summer, with scholarship support from the Royal Ball Run.
The center also has several social group and individual options for children on the autism spectrum year round.
Dr. Allison Haskill