For more than half his life, five-year-old Cade Sinness has attended speech therapy sessions at UCF’s Communication Disorders Clinic. So when the soon-to-be kindergartner completed his last session this week, it was time for pomp and circumstance.
“Cade’s mother told me he would have a surprise for me at his last session,” said Tom Ehren, a clinical educator at the clinic. “I anticipated his surprise and came prepared in my own regalia.”
Cade arrived for his last session in a bright red cap and gown. Afterwards he beamed when Ehren formally presented him with a “diploma.”
Ehren said he provides his clients with a “diploma” or “certificate” when it’s appropriate, but he likes to emphasize that achieving better communication skills is a reward in itself.
Cade’s therapy sessions spanned nine semesters at the Communication Disorders Clinic, the training site for UCF graduate students preparing to become certified speech-language pathologists. They were conducted by graduate students supervised by Ehren, a Board Recognized Specialist in Child Language.
This fall, Cade will enter kindergarten with much improved speech and language skills, thanks to the clinic, the support of Cade’s family — and Cade’s own hard work.