Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does it cost to participate in this research program?

A: Nothing. All of our speech and language evaluations, as well as our speech treatment programs, are provided free of charge. If your child participates in our brain wave (event-related potential) studies, he/she will be paid $25/hour for his/her time.


Q: Will I be with my child during the study?

A: During our evaluation and treatment sessions, you will be able to watch your child from our observation room. During our brain wave sessions, you can sit with your child in the room. Alternatively, you are welcome to leave him/her with us and we can contact you when the session is complete.


Q: Are there any risks involved with participation?

A: There are no particular risks to you or your child. If you or your child feels uncomfortable for any reason, he/she may stop participation in the research program, either temporarily or permanently. If your child becomes tired or frustrated while doing any of the tasks, he/she may stop participation, either temporarily or permanently. There are also no privacy risks, as you and your child's name are kept confidential and are never directly linked to any published findings. If your child participates in a brain wave study, a little electrode gel will remain in your child’s hair until it is washed.


Q: When can I schedule an appointment for my child?

A: We will schedule an appointment at your convenience. We are available for after school/early evening and weekend appointments, as well as standard 9-5 appointments.


Q: Will I need a university parking permit?

A: Yes. We have dedicated parking spaces for our clinic clients and research participants that require a special parking permit, which we will mail to you. If you forget your permit on the day of your appointment, please let us know so that we can give you a new permit. Parking in our special spots without a permit will likely result in a parking ticket.


Q: What is ERP?

A: Event-related potentials (ERPs) are measured by means of electroencephalography (EEG). EEG recording is noninvasive and acts like a large microphone for the brain. ERPs are measured brain responses that are the direct result of a specific sensory or cognitive event. This means that when a child experiences a sound or word, the neurons working together in the person’s brain generate tiny electrical field changes. ERP technology pinpoints those changes and tracks them with millisecond level precision. ERPs are a completely safe neuroimaging technique.


Q: Can I bring my other children with me when we participate?

A: Yes. Your other children are welcome to come and play in the waiting areas of our research lab. Please note this will mean that you will not be able to stay with your child who is completing the brain wave study.


Q: Is my child eligible if he or she is multilingual?

A: Our current research focuses on children learning and speaking English only.


Q: What will this experience tell me about my child?

A: If your child completes the speech and language evaluation, we will provide you with a comprehensive written report describing your child’s communication abilities. We will identify whether your child might have speech and/or language impairments and we will help you determine what the best route for treatment might be for you and your child, whether it is with our research lab or with another service provider in the community.


Q: Who is conducting the studies?

A: Dr. Alycia Cummings, a certified speech language pathologist on the faculty of Idaho State University - Meridian Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, is the principal investigator for our research program. Staff speech-language pathologists, graduate students, and undergraduate students are all involved in conducting the studies.


Q: How is this research funded?

A: Our research is funded by grants awarded to Dr. Cummings from the National Institute of Health (NIH), as well as from Idaho State University.


Q: What will come of this research?

A: When studies are completed (which usually takes several months to multiple years) our findings are discussed with other researchers here at Idaho State University and nationwide, and presented at international conferences on child speech and language development. Then they are written up for publications in major academic journals. Findings from such research not only contribute to a greater understanding of speech and language development in typically developing children, but also have clinical implications valuable to researchers working with children with speech and language disorders.


Q: How can I find out about the results of the study my child participated in?

A: Once the study is completed, a summary will be posted on our website. You can also call us for a hard copy.


Q: I have friends who also have children between the ages of 3 and 7 years. Could they also participate in one of your studies?

A: Of course! Please feel free to share this website and our contact information with anyone who may also be interested in participation.