The Language Acquisition Preschool (LAP) came into existence in 1985 as a demonstration program supported by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Handicapped Children’s Early Education Program Grant #G008630279 with Mabel Rice and Kim Wilcox as Principal Investigators. Subsequent support came from Grant# HO24780001 from the U.S. Department of Education with Mabel Rice and Marian O’Brien as Principal Investigators. Since then, LAP has become part of the Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic housed within the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing at the University of Kansas.

Dr. Betty Bunce served with dedication as the Director of LAP from 1992 until her retirement in 2016. She developed the LAP curriculum, which focuses on providing naturalistic interventions in the classroom by embedding language and literacy into everyday learning activities as well as utilizing language facilitation strategies in everyday interactions. 

LAP celebrated its 30th year in 2015.  At that point, LAP had served a total of 661 different children: 221 with speech and language disorders, 236 with English as a second language, and 204 with typical development.  By 2015, a total of 308 different students in speech-language pathology had also been trained in LAP to do intervention within the classroom setting (30 of which served as the lead teacher) and 149 undergraduate students had volunteered in the classroom.  In addition:

  • 8 speech language pathologists had completed their Clinical Fellowship Year
  • 4 students from special education had completed practicums in LAP
  • 24 students from music therapy had competed practicums in LAP
  • 4 students from human development had completed practicums in LAP
  • 1 student from McGill University completed a summer practicum in LAP
  • 3 SLPs completed practicum for additional training/early childhood endorsements