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Speech Pathologists Looking At Ventriloquism As Option To Help Patients

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- "This would be Chester Drawers."

KDKA Meteorologist Dennis Bowman holds aloft the wooden dummy that often joins him on school visits.

This time, his "class" is made up of speech pathologists from Allegheny County intermediate schools. Can ventriloquism help them connect with their patients?

"I think that it would be a good way to enrich language for kids," says therapist Beth Shipman. "I think they would have fun."

Fellow pathologist Kelly Hiser agrees.

"I'm always open to new ideas, just ways to entertain the kids and make therapy fun," said Hiser.

Some see the ancient art of ventriloquism as cutting-edge technology to help those who have trouble moving their lips due to medical conditions.

"There aren't as many alternatives and we would like to get them to say 'P's and 'B's and 'M's and 'N's," says speech language pathologist Ellen Cole. "And ventriloquism is very interesting because ventriloquists do that naturally."

"There are six sounds in the English alphabet that we use our lips on," Bowman adds. "And those are 'B,' 'F,' 'M,' 'P,' 'V' and 'W.'"

Chester Drawers has all those letters covered.

Dennis Bowman School Visits
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