Joyce H. Dinsmoor, 47, speech pathologist

October 27, 1997|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Joyce Helene Dinsmoor, a speech and language pathologist with Baltimore public schools for more than 20 years, died Wednesday of cancer at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She lived in Columbia and was 47.

From 1971 to 1993, Mrs. Dinsmoor was a city schools language specialist, working with autistic children and their families at several elementary schools, mostly in East Baltimore.

"She was always searching and always studying and always learning," said Jackie Reeder, who worked with Mrs. Dinsmoor for several years in the 1970s at Charles Carroll of Carrollton School in East Baltimore. "She was always an advocate for children."

In addition to teaching at city schools, Mrs. Dinsmoor presented papers and lectures on autism nationally and internationally, and taught courses on autism at Loyola College in Baltimore.

Mrs. Dinsmoor was known for her novel approaches to autism and the attention she showed each child. She occasionally took children to her home for a weekend or paid for trips that their parents could not afford.

"She was excellent in what she did," Ms. Reeder said. "Her kids made excellent progress."

Mrs. Dinsmoor gave speech and therapy lessons to developmentally disabled infants and toddlers and their families through Parents and Children Together Inc. (PACT).

Born Joyce Checkoway in Newburyport, Mass., she received a bachelor's degree in speech/language pathology from Emerson College in Boston in 1970, and a master's degree in speech/language pathology from Loyola College in 1976.

She married Daniel Dinsmoor in 1983.

She studied infant development in the human development program at the University of Maryland, and completed an internship in infant psychiatry at the Center for Infant Study at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

She was a former board member of the Baltimore Chesapeake Chapter of the Autism Society of America. In 1993, Mrs. Dinsmoor received an award from the Loyola Speech-Language-Hearing Alumni Network for her contributions in the field.

Since 1993, when she retired from teaching and private work, Mrs. Dinsmoor spent much of her time writing about her experiences living with cancer. Her writing has appeared in Baltimore Resources, Voices of Women and Coping and Living With Cancer magazine.

Services are at 10: 30 a.m. today at the Meeting House, 5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by twin sons, Ari and Gabriel Dinsmoor, both of Columbia; two brothers, Neal Checkoway of San Francisco and Carl Checkoway of Mendon, Mass.; and three sisters, Sheila Angst of Natick, Mass., Karen Checkoway of Portland, Ore., and Julie Checkoway Thomsen of Athens, Ga.

Pub Date: 10/27/97

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