Van Riper Lecture

The Van Riper Lectures began in 1981, honoring Dr. Charles Van Riper, a pioneer in the field of speech-language pathology and audiology and founder of the Speech Pathology and Audiology program at WMU. The series brings nationally recognized experts for pre-service and in-service training on topics in communication disorders in addition to important educational experiences for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology professionals.

Trauma-informed Care in the Field of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

38th Annual Van Riper Lecture
October 29, 2020


Thursday, October 29

8:00        Registration at Fetzer Center
8:45        Dean’s welcome
9:00        Keynote speaker, Na’ama Yehuda – Trauma and Development – What it is, how it happens, what it does
10:30       Break
10:45       More Than Words – Understanding the ways trauma is communicated
12:15       Lunch
1:45       Sponsor presentations and awards
2:00       Detection, Identification, Discrimination, and Comprehension – The speech-language pathologist’s and audiologist’s  role
3:15       Break
3:30       Do you see what I see? Do you hear what I hear? - Challenges, logistics, and possible solutions
4:30       Q&A
5:00       Adjourn

Keynote Speaker:

Na’ama Yehuda, MSC, Speech-Language Pathologist

Na’ama Yehuda is a speech-language pathologist and audiologist with 30 years of experience. A clinician in private practice in New York City, she specializes in pediatric populations, and has special interest and expertise in the connections between communication, language, attachment, and the effects of early childhood adversity and trauma on development, co-morbidity, clinical presentations and therapeutic processes. She consulted for the New York City Department of Education, often with highly vulnerable populations. She regularly provides professional development in consultations on communication, language, trauma, and development, to colleagues, parents and educators, as well as to health and mental-health personnel, internationally. Na’ama is often asked to consult on and to teach about selective mutism, medical trauma, prenatal exposures, international adoptions, and other complex clinical presentations. She is fluent in Hebrew and English and is a bilingually trained clinician. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees (Cum Laude) from Tel-Aviv University, and was the recipient of the Rubinshtein Award for Excellence. She is a liscensed speech-language pathologist in New York state since 1999 and maintains her Communication Disorders Clinician liscense (in speech-language pathology and audiology) in Israel, which she has had since 1989.

Na’ama has been elected to and served on the boards of Directors of the Israeli Speech, Hearing, Language Association (ISHLA) and the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Disassociation (ISSTD). She is a member of her state’s professional organization (NYSSLHA) and remains a contributing member of ISHLA. She chaired and volunteers on task forces and committees, and currently co-chairs the Child and Adolescent Committee of ISSTD, the Child and Adolescent Special Interest Group, and the ISSTDNYC component group. Na’ama received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the ISSTD in 2011 and was made an ISSTD Fellow in 2012. She is a recipient of the ISSTD President’s Award (2014).

Na’ama writes and publishes in her various areas of expertise and is regularly contacted by publishers to review book proposals and manuscripts. In 2005, the Journal of Trauma and Disassociation published her landmark article: “The Language of Disassociation.” A few years later, she was among a group of internationally recognized child-trauma experts who contributed to “Disassociation in Traumatized Children and Adolescents: Theory and Clinical Interventions” (Wieland, S. Editor, Routledge Psychological Stress Series). Her own book, “Communicating Trauma: Clinical Presentations and Interventions with Traumatized Children,” received the ISSTD’s Written Media Award for 2016. Her writings have been translated into several languages and have become required and recommended reading in various courses in childhood trauma. Na’ama also writes and publishes fiction. Among colleagues in the Communication Disorders and Mental Health fields, Na’ama is considered a pioneer in bridging gaps of information and collaboration between disciplines, and an advocate on behalf of children everywhere.

Continuing Education

This course is offered for .55 ASHA CEUs
(Intermediate level, Professional area).

Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to: 

  1. Detail speech, language and hearing issues that are commonly seen in traumatized children and the ways those can present throughout childhood

  2. Identify increased risks for trauma and overwhelming stress in populations that already face communication difficulties

  3. Discuss the role and unique skills set that speech-language pathologists and audiologists bring to the work with traumatized individuals

  4. Describe clinical strategies that can minimize communication failure and optimize clinical interactions and outcomes with traumatized individuals

  5. List ways speech-language pathologists and audiologists can incorporate trauma-sensitive approaches into the assessment, intervention, and rehabilitation of traumatized individuals


  • Psi Iota Xi, Incorporated
  • Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
  • College of Health and Human Services
  • Western Michigan University


Previous Lectures

  • 2019 - Cognitive Communication Disorders in Aging Populations
  • 2018 - SLP Practice in the Schools: Contextualizing Interventions and Implementing Policies