May is Better Speech and Hearing Month! ASHA has recently launched a campaign called “Identify the Signs” to highlight just how important early detection of communication disorders is. The campaign also highlights “the ability of certified speech, language and hearing professionals to provide quality treatment and help.”
Communication disorders cause an estimated 40 million Americans to have trouble speaking or hearing. Each of those people directly affected by a communication disorder have family and friends who are affected as well, indirectly. By providing treatment, SLPs and audiologists provide an improved quality of life for their patients. If early detection of the disorder occurs, there is a big improvement in academic, social, and career outcomes.
Knowing the signs of communication disorders is half the battle, since you are unlikely to seek help for something that you consider to be typical development.
ASHA’s campaign website- http://identifythesigns.org/ – provides signs of Speech and Language Disorders and Hearing Loss in both children and adults. For example, one sign for a child is that they “do not follow or understand what you say” beginning at about 1 year old. There are also links here to additional resources for topics such as Noise Induced Hearing Loss.