Communication Sciences & Disorders
School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi

HILL Program Testimonials

Ginger H. Brown, M.S., CCC-SLP:

The HILL Class has been a God-send to the hearing impaired and/or language impaired preschool children in our region. Our public schools have no 3-year-old preschool program at all; therefore, the HILL Class has provided much needed early intervention services for these children. The HILL Class provides these students with skills needed to be successful once they enter school. These children need and learn from the one-on-one services provided by the HILL Class.

Our hope is that all our impaired students will one day be able to function in a regular school environment, and this is what the Transition Class is helping them do. Amy Livingston and her graduate students have done an amazing job planning the most appropriate transition plans for their students.

Mary Sydney Garrett, Graduate Clinician:

This program is just as advantageous to the students as it is to the children. I have gained independence in all therapeutic aspects (goal writing, lesson planning, parent communication, etc.), organizational skills, and time management skills. It has prepared me for the school setting in more ways than I can count and has also given me added confidence when working with children. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have been able to learn from a program that is so engaging and hands on.


My son, B, is 6 years old. He has Autism and is nonverbal. B uses an AAC device to communicate. He has been in the HILL program since it started. This past semester, due to his age, he started the HILL Transition program.

This program has been a huge asset for B and our family. The one-on-one involvement with the clinician has made his learning to communicate possible. I truly believe he would not be able to use his AAC device as well as he does if it were not for this program. He is still learning, but he has a sizable vocabulary now. Hearing simple things like “I want more yogurt” is a HUGE thing to a parent of a nonverbal child! Even though it is a voice coming from an electronic device, it is a way for B to have a voice.

Words truly cannot express the gratitude that I feel for this program and everyone involved with it. Seeing the improvements B has made since the start of this program and especially this last semester are amazing! He is a brilliant child with a bright future, and I feel this program is teaching him skills to help him reach that in the future.

Brad Crowe, Director UM Speech and Hearing Center, M.S., CCC-SLP:

The HILL and Transition classes have both quickly become a phenomenal resource and treatment program to families of children with communicative disorders. This language rich, intensive, daily treatment program has been a much needed program in the North Mississippi area. The progress the children and their families make during their time in this program demonstrates the value of the therapy provided in these classes as they prepare children with communicative disorders for school. In addition to the excellent therapy services the HILL and Transition classes provide to children and families, these classes provide an excellent training ground for our graduate and undergraduate students in speech-language pathology. Providing our students with this training really gives them great experience working with the preschool population, families, and schools. Knowing students will get this training, graduate, and continue to pay it forward by leading and treating children in other communities makes it invaluable.


The HILL Class has been a blessing for our son. Before HILL Class, he was receiving speech twice per week and we were not seeing much improvement. After being in HILL Class for just a month, we began to notice a big difference. The teachers and staff at HILL Class are awesome and have done a superb job. The HILL Class is a great asset to our community, and it would suffer greatly without the service they provide to the community. It is so nice to have them in our rural community where there are no other services of this type.

Haley F. Bishop, M.S., CCC-SLP:

The HILL Transition Class has allowed for positive collaboration among professionals in different environments to discuss/provide/brainstorm strategies to assist students.

Ashlie Smith, Graduate Clinician:

HILL Class has introduced me to a side of speech language pathology that I did not know existed. During the short time that I have been working in the class, I have fallen completely in love with the program and the children that I have the opportunity to work with. This is truly such a special program, and I am so thankful that I have had the chance to be a part of it.


Last year we heard about the HILL Class at the University of Mississippi. We were lucky enough to get S enrolled in the program for this past fall semester. Since beginning the program 3 months ago, we have seen a dramatic increase in S’s verbal abilities. It seems that the HILL Class has found an excellent mix of reading, sign language, and clinician directed activities to reach S. For the first time in school, she is fully engaged. She has learned to request drink and food, not just single words, but whole phrases. She engages us with things that she has learned in the classroom such as when she tries to teach us the sign language for certain words as we say or read them to her. Her eye contact has increased from almost nonexistent to a large majority of the time.

She has surpassed several of her developmental goals including giving proper names to family members and toys. She has always been interested in books, but now she patiently waits and follows along as we read them to her. She is interacting more with other children and has comprehended the concept of turn taking. She has begun learning analogies and shows success in transferring that knowledge to real world objects.

The focus that the HILL Class has put on verbal communication has been very powerful for S. Using a variety of methods to encourage speech, signing, reading, and writing is standard for many special needs classes, but with this program, they have found a way to make S engage in the activities and retain the information. I believe that this effort on S’s part is due to the individual attention and direction that she is getting from her graduate clinician.

Thank you for providing my family a chance to be a part of this program.