May is designated as Better Hearing and Speech Month — a time to raise public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the various forms of communication impairments to include those of hearing, speech, language, and voice. Communication impairments affect the most vulnerable in our society — the young, the aged, the disabled, and the underprivileged. Speech-Language Pathology (Speech-Language Pathologists/SLPs) is the profession concerned with the prevention, identification, and treatment of communication impairments. Speech-Language Pathologist work in a variety of settings including: elementary and secondary schools, offices of other health practitioners, general medical and surgical hospitals, nursing care facilities, and home health care services. Most commonly SLPs are recognized for treating articulation impairments, but there are many more areas in their practice. SLPs provide services for the following communication impairments: articulation, expressive language, receptive language, social skills, activities of daily living, fluency, voice, phonemic awareness, and hearing loss. For 2015, our Bettering Hearing and Speech Month theme is “Early Intervention Counts.” 45% of SLPs and Audiologist believe a lack of awareness is the leading barrier to early detection (ASHA, 2015). Other health care professionals, care providers, teachers, and friends need to help parents understand when a child/student is not performing (speaking,
listening, reading, and writing) at age or grade level expectations so they will become aware of the expectations of their child. You can find more information at http://identifythesigns.