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Better Speech and Hearing Month

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May is a wonderful time of the year. The weather begins to warm up and children begin to look forward to summer fun. It is also a wonderful celebration for speech-language pathologists and Audiologists because it is the recognition of Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM).

This month gives the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) the opportunity to raise awareness about our profession and describe how we work with hearing and communication disorders. It is also a great time to share resources and materials with the community. I encourage everyone to spend some time looking at such resources; you can find some of these wonderful materials and more at www.asha.org/bhsm/.


Did you know? Speech-language pathologists and Audiologists work with all ages birth-adults. BHSM is a great way to promote awareness of hearing and communication disorders and to identify signs of communication delays.

I encourage you to take time this month to get to know your Speech-language pathologist (SLP) and Audiologist. If you have questions or concerns about a family member’s communication or hearing do not hesitate to reach out and ask them questions, whether that is at your local school, hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health, or private practice setting.  Hearing and communication skills go hand in hand and your SLP or audiologist would love to help answer your questions and/or address any concerns.


Promote Awareness. As a speech-language pathologist working in the school setting, it is very important to identify the early signs of communication and/or hearing delays. The more aware we are, as a community, of the signs of communication or hearing delays, the sooner a child can receive the appropriate services they need for early intervention. The following ASHA link has some great handouts on signs to look for speech, language, and/or hearing delays: https://www.multivu.com/players/English/8294051-asha-psa-communication-disorders-children/


Take Action Now. One of the greatest things you can do to promote communication skills with young children is to limit screen time and read/sing aloud for 15-30 minutes each day. There is no need to get hung up on buying the latest and greatest toys. Children love to interact and play with you. Engaging in play and back and forth conversation and songs is a great way to encourage communication skills.

I encourage you and your family this month to focus less on screens and focus more on play with hands on games and group activities.

With summer quickly approaching make sure to enjoy the beautiful outdoors with your family and friends. Communication is a beautiful gift; have a wonderful Better Hearing and Speech Month!


Reference:

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, (ASHA); www.asha.org  

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