Robert Kurtz, Speech-Language Pathologist
My name is Robert Kurtz. I became a speech-language pathologist (SLP) in 2003, but I have worked since 1995 with children who have speech and language disorders. I began as a “residential trainer” (read: “grunt”) in a group home for children with severe and profound mental impairments. All the residents had speech and language disorders, and, since the agency’s SLP did not come on a daily basis, part of my job was implementing the communication goals she wrote. As a result of that experience, I decided to enroll in graduate school and become an SLP myself.
I completed the master’s degree program in speech-language pathology at Purdue University, where I completed my Ph.D. in 2012. Before working at the group home, I earned a Master of Arts in linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.
I currently work at Cornerstone Autism Center in West Lafayette and Greenwood, Indiana. My clinical background includes early intervention with infants and toddlers, private practice, school-based therapy from kindergarten to grade twelve, and nursing homes. I have supervised a number of graduate students performing clinical practicum work in speech-language pathology. As a doctoral student, I also conducted and assisted in research on child language development; I have co-authored publications appearing in major research journals, and I have presented my own original research at national and international conferences.
I often describe myself as a language nerd, having been fascinated with speech and language all my life. I was born in Kenya and spent the first ten years of my childhood in Tanzania, Swaziland, and Zambia reveling in a glorious smorgasbord of languages and accents from around the globe. I studied numerous foreign languages in high school and college, and spent two years as an undergraduate in Dalian, China. I've traveled to so many countries that my passport had to have extra pages added to it.
I love working with children, especially young children whose language is still in the early stages of development. The growth of language in a child’s first five years is, in my opinion, the most astounding natural phenomenon there is, and I never get tired of observing it; and, besides that, they’re just so darn cute at that age. But, as much as I love the kids, I have learned that the most effective way to help them is to work with their parents and train them to do what I do when I’m not around. That’s why I’ve set up this website--to share with you the tricks of my trade, so that you can be your child’s own live-in speech therapist.
While I’m not new to speech-language pathology, I am new to blogging and website design. I welcome any suggestions you have for improving this site’s content and making it more useful for you. Also feel free to contact me with questions I haven’t answered. And, if you do find my site useful and helpful, please tell others about it. I’ve put a lot of work into it, so I want it to benefit as many people as possible.