What is Better Speech and Hearing Month?
Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) was founded in 1927, by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The aim of Better Speech and Hearing Month is to raise awareness around both speech and hearing problems while encouraging people to take a look at their own speech and hearing and to make a change if there is a problem. Developing strong communication skills is one of the most important elements to socializing and creating relationships. Communicating can be difficult for children with speech and/or language disorders, causing frustration and isolation. A Speech-Language Pathologist helps children overcome communication obstacles, and this month we are giving a huge shout out to our amazing Speech-Language Pathologists at Carolina Therapy Connection!
How can I be involved in Better Speech and Hearing Month?
According to the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC), hearing loss affects 48 million Americans. Nearly 1 in 12 (7.7 percent) U.S. children ages 3-17 has had a disorder related to voice, speech, language, or swallowing. Considering these statistics, millions more family members and friends are also impacted. Better Hearing and Speech Month offers an opportunity for everyone to come together and bring awareness to hearing and speech related issues, educate themselves, and enthusiastically promote hearing and speech health. Anyone can celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month, so we encourage you to get involved in your own community! In order to do your part this month, you simply can shine a spotlight on hearing health or speech issues. You could do this by sharing educational materials, encouraging your loved ones to be aware of their speech and hearing needs, telling your personal journey on social media, or simply just reading this blog to become more aware!
What are the areas of Speech-Language Pathology?
In light of Better Speech and Hearing Month, we want to provide resources for a better understanding of speech-language pathology and the roles of SLPs! The graphic below was created by Allison Fors, a speech-language resource author that creates speech therapy tools and educational resources for the public and all SLPs. View her blog here to learn more about each area of speech language pathology.
Recognize the Early Signs of Communication Disorders
As a parent, the early stages of communication disorders are easier to spot when you know the signs. Early detection and treatment of speech, language, and hearing issues is absolutely critical to improving the quality of life.
Here is a list of examples that are commonly known signs of communication disorders in children birth to 4 years old:
- Does not smile or interact with others using verbal and nonverbal communication
- Makes only a few sounds or gestures, resulting in using mostly nonverbal communication only
- Words are not easily understood or language is unclear (12-18 months)
- Has trouble with reading and writing skills (2.5 – 3 years)
- Has trouble interacting with other children
- Stretches out or repeats the first sounds of words: “f-f-f-f-farm”
- Uses a nasal sounding voice
- Uses a horse or breathy voice (frequent pauses or breathing between words)
Speech-Language Pathology at Carolina Therapy Connection
Our SLP’s at Carolina Therapy Connection design each therapy session with your child’s specific needs in mind. Our approach not only helps your child with their speech, but it also helps with communication, comprehension, social skills, expanding vocabulary, articulation, and many other areas. If your child is in need of therapy, it is best to begin as soon as possible. Children enrolled in therapy early (before they’re 5 years old) tend to have better outcomes than those who begin therapy later. Older kids may progress at a slower rate, because they often have learned patterns that need to be changed. Your child may need speech therapy if they have difficulty with speech/articulation (pronouncing sounds or words) or using words to communicate. Because the muscles and structures used for speech (such as lips, tongue, teeth, palate and throat) are also used in eating, a speech and language pathologist may also help with feeding and swallowing difficulties, also known as dysphagia. Our team of pediatric speech therapists provide screening, assessment, consultation, and treatment in the following areas:
- SOS Feeding Therapy ®
- Beckman Oral Motor Approach®
- VitalStim® Therapy
- Early Intervention Services
- Feeding and Oral Motor Development
- Articulation and Language Development
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Evaluations
If your child is experiencing any difficulty with communication, call our clinic for a FREE screening. A screening is a 10-15 minute conversation between an SLP and the family regarding the need for a clinical evaluation. Our focus is the wellness of the child. All of our therapists work together to insure they are receiving all the help they need to reach their highest potential!