Student from Germany visits CPD

September 29, 2014 by Sue Reeves

Image of woman at table.

Jana Heckhoff participates in a clinical services meeting.

A speech-language pathology student from Germany is finishing a nine-week observation experience at Utah State University’s Center for Persons with Disabilities.

“I wanted the chance to get out of Germany and see the world, and I preferred to come to the USA,” said Jana Heckhoff. She talked to one of her professors, who had a USU connection.

“She organized everything and made it possible,” Heckhoff said.

Heckhoff has observed assessments and classes at Sound Beginnings, as well as sessions at ASSERT and diagnostic evaluations at the Autism Diagnostic Clinic.

“It has helped me a lot,” Heckhoff said. “In Germany, we don’t really have much information about autism. The children go to special schools where all children with disabilities go. They are more hidden. I would not have had the opportunity to get this experience in Germany.”

Vicki Simonsmeier, who co-ordinates the autism clinic, said Heckhoff’s experience has been beneficial for everyone.

“She is really good, she asks great questions,” Simonsmeier said. “I’m so glad she had this experience, and that we did.”

Heckhoff said she wants to use the information she has learned at the CPD to work with children with autism in Germany.